The Replacement Ref That Made The Call on The 'Fail Mary' Says He Suffers From Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Yahoo Sports- As the 2012 Russell Wilson pass that would soon be known as the "Fail Mary" floated through the Seattle air, Lance Easley was still an anonymous NFL replacement referee.
In his regular life, he was a vice president with Bank of America, a family man, a devout Christian and someone who for decades in California spent his free time refereeing high school football, small college basketball, whatever he could.
Today, everything is different.
It's more than two years since Easley made one of the most infamous calls in NFL history. It left him under siege from the media, both traditional and social. Players and coaches blasted him. Late-night comics mocked him. Irate fans and gamblers hammered him with crank calls and death threats. The controversy extended all the way to the presidential campaign trail with both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney addressing it.
Today, Easley says, the man he was is gone. Perhaps only his faith remains the same. Today, everything else is up for grabs. Today, it's all a struggle.
There are a few things that Lance Easley suffers from. Much to his chagrin, PTSD is most definitely not one of them. An enflamed sense of self, on the other hand, absolutely is. The ability to trivialize something as serious as PTSD without remorse is another. Seriously, dude? There are people fighting for our country overseas. Risking their lives on a daily basis for our freedom. Taking every step with the the fear of death, of themselves or others, literally lurking around the corner. Meanwhile, Lance is comparing a case of guilt from making a shitty call in a regular season football game to what heroes have to deal with when entering back into society. Given who it is coming from, a former REPLACEMENT referee, this may be the most absurd proclamation I have ever heard.
You know, up until this point, I thought the atrocious call by Lance Easley was a mere case of being overwhelmed in a big spot. A case of folding under the pressure of the bright lights of the NFL stage. Now I don't think it is out of the realm of possibility that he made that call, knowing it may have been the wrong call at the time, out of a pure hunger for attention. Am I crazy? Maybe. However, if this guy's life, a life that featured a job far more important than being a replacement ref, was actually ruined by one bad call why would he bring it up again? If the public scrutiny was so detrimental to his life and his relationships, why would he put himself under that microscope again, when almost everyone has already forgotten about that game? Why would he be giving information to Yahoo Sports to do a piece on him? Simply because Seattle and Green Bay, two completely arbitrary teams that happened to face each other that fateful day, are facing off again? If your grandfather goes into a strong depression whenever the war is brought up, do you make a point to talk about every worldwide conflict that hits the news circuit? I am pretty sure the first rule of getting over a significantly negative event in one's life is to mention it sparingly. If this guy's therapist told him to do a national news story on the play that has caused him so much supposed pain then it's quite possible he needs a new fucking therapist.
Listen Lance. I know you think your ridiculous ruling has been governing our lives for the past two years, but I can assure you it has not. If anything, you blowing that call was a good thing for the league. It was basically the straw that broke the camels back in negotiations to get the normal officials back on the field for good. Does it suck that your name got dragged through the crapper for a week or two? Sure, No one wants to be publicly ridiculed to a nationwide audience. But just like anything else, it's lifespan as an actual news story was relatively short. Maybe it gets mentioned here and there in regards to other blown calls, but it certainly isn't anything that is still worthy of lengthy discussion. Furthermore, If am in Lance's shoes, I am far more pissed at the NFL for putting me in a position outside the scope of my abilities than I am at my call, or the situation, which has caused me such grief.
So, by a show of hands how many people that suffer from actual forms of depression for legitimate reasons want to punch Lance directly in the face? How many people that have PTSD want to teach him the harsh reality of what that actually means? How many people that have dealt with the mentally ill find this story disingenuous? Here's a hint; If a majority of people that suffer from the same diseases as you can't sympathize with how you developed them, you're symptoms probably align more with those of being a huge pussy more than anything else.
P.S. I suppose it is totally plausible that the NFL did a really crappy job of giving background checks and this guy does have all these psychological problems stemming from one blown call. However, you have got to imagine that if something so petty spiraled into something so significant, Lance was bound for the nut house regardless. Whether it was a bad call in a football game, or a confrontation at the office, it is pretty clear that Lance had more on his plate than he could chew.