Econintersect: The question may never be answered because the NFL and regular referees have come to an agreement. The regular refs will be officiating again, starting with tonight's game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. The NFL had instituted a lockout of members of the Referees' Association when the two parties were unable to come to a contract agreement this summer. The agreement reached Wednesday night (actually early Thursday morning) resulted in an 8-year contract plus improved salaries and retirement benefits. Click on picture for full picture of Lance Easley as he reached immortality.
The new contract will have referee salaries increase in annual increments to reach $205,000 per year by 2019. In 2011 the average pay was $149,000. The referees have been considered part-time employees by the NFL but the league will now have the option to hire full-time and to also pay referees for training and development.
Where did the replacement refs come from? American Banker says from all over; after the regular refs were locked out the NFL decided to use replacements:
The ensuing disaster, including missed or blown calls and general mayhem on the field, has left football fans across the country wondering, "Where the hell did they find these guys?"
The answer: from the Lingerie Football league, New Orleans Saints fan clubs, the real estate industry … and Bank of America.
The official at the center of perhaps the most controversial call of the season is in fact a vice president for small-business banking at B of A in California.
Lance Easley has worked at the bank since June 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile, and was a business banking specialist at Wells Fargo for nearly three years prior to that. A source at B of A confirmed Easley's title, but the company declined to comment further.
Easley was standing in the end zone during the final seconds of last night's Monday Night Football matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.
Seattle was down by five points as its quarterback, Russell Wilson, threw a Hail Mary pass down the field. Seattle receiver Golden Tate shoved a Green Bay defender out of the way and wrestled another for the ball.
It was initially unclear who caught the ball first, resulting in the controversial call captured in this now-infamous photo of one ref signaling an interception while Easley signaled a touchdown.
But instant replays showed that Tate should have been called for pass interference, which would have ended the game with a win for Green Bay. And everyone in the world — except, perhaps, for Seahawks fans and the NFL — believed the pass was intercepted by Green Bay.
Is this another example of what seems to be impossible actually stands because the ref was TBTF (too big to fail)? How could he not succeed - Easley he came from a Fedreal Reserve and government backed oligarchy and had previous refereeing experience as a part-time official for a California Christian high school league, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Thursday Night Football (NFL website)
- NFL, Referees' Association Reach Agreement; Return in Place (Zac Boyer, Redskins Journal, Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star, 27 September 2012)
- Banker by Day, NFL Replacement Ref by Night (American Banker, 27 September 2012)
- Bank of America VP Called Seahawks Disputed Touchdown (Financial Advisor, 26 September 2012)
- From High School to NFL, Via BofA(David Benoit, Kevin Clark and Erica E. Phillips, The Wall Street Journal, 27 September 2012)