The replacement referees are but a distant memory at this point, however, the fallout from their extended stint in the NFL continues to linger.
Three weeks ago, pro football experienced an embarrassment of epic proportions when Lance Easley and his fellow substitute officials wrongly handed the Seattle Seahawks a victory over the Green Bay Packers that they clearly didn’t deserve.
That victory caused anywhere from $100 million to $1 billion in worldwide bets to shift, and it may ultimately end up costing the Packers a playoff spot.
After the replacement referees were kicked to the curb and the real referees returned, one of the guys working that Packers-Seahawks game, Wayne Elliot, went on Inside the NFL and acknowledged that maybe it wasn’t the right call.
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Unfortunately, the man at the center of the controversy, Easley, isn’t ready to make the same admission. When asked whether he stuck by his decision or not on a recent episode of TODAY, the replacement ref didn’t even hesitate.
“Yes,” Easley said (via Larry Brown Sports). “Until they change the rule, I can’t do anything about the call.”
And seeing as Easley doesn’t view his call as a mistake, naturally, he doesn’t view it as the event that effectively ended the referee lockout.
“I think (the lockout) was pretty much resolved before that issue,” he explained. “It kind of was an exclamation point on the whole deal. The controversy (was) on a play that’s never happened in the history of the NFL. You can go back to the archives. You will not find that play.”
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The Packers are currently 2-3 – good enough for third place in the NFC North. A lot of their fate will rest on how good the Minnesota Vikings actually are. With outings against the Houston Texans, New York Giants and Chicago Bears still on the agenda, Green Bay could easily find itself on the outside of the postseason looking in if the Vikings end up being a legit squad.
If that happens, Easley is going to have some serious explaining to do to Packer Nation.
(Kudos Larry Brown Sports)