Replacement ref stands by call that cost Packers game vs. Seahawks

CREATED Oct 9, 2012

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NEW YORK - A bank vice president-turned-NFL referee continues to contend that he made the right call in awarding a Seattle Seahawks player a touchdown on the final play of the Packers' 14-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in September.

When asked by the Today Show's Matt Lauer if he made the right call in giving Golden Tate a touchdown instead of an interception for Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings (which would have meant a 12-7 Packers win), Lance Easley gave a one-word answer:


The call was not overturned by a video replay official.  Video shows, however, that Jennings apparently intercepted the pass.

When Lauer asked if the Packers would hypothetically miss the playoffs because of that call, if he would have any second thoughts about the call, Easley then said, "No.  Not at all."

"Until they change the rule, I can't do anything about the call."

Lauer also asked Easley about his fellow replacement referee seemingly signaling  touchback, meaning that Jennings intercepted the pass.

"No.  That's not what happened," explained Easley.  

"He signaled stop the clock, which would give us time to discuss it.  However, it was my call."

Lauer also grilled Easley about the qualification levels he and his fellow replacement referees had entering the game.

"I've been working as an official many, many years...we did the best job we could given the circumstances," said Easley.

He also told Lauer that he thought the referees' union and the NFL had an imminent deal to bring the regular refs back before the controversy surrounding the Packers-Seahawks finish.

"I think it was pretty resolved before that issue.  It was an exclamation point on the whole deal.  It's a controversy that's never happened in the history of the NFL."

The league said the day after the game that Easley and his fellow replacement officials missed a pass interference call against Tate on that play.