Thursday, September 27, 2012

Worst Call in NFL History Analyzed

The NFL call by Lance Easley between the Greenbay Packers and Seattle Seahawks on September 24, 2012 makes me wonder why people have the "perspective" they do!  Lance Easley, a replacement referee, has taken a lot of heat for his "touchdown" call during the in-zone catch. If you have been under a rock and have not seen the catch, watch it below.

But first, let me ask you something. What would you see in the picture if it flashed in front of your eyes for only one second? Would you bet 300 million dollars on it? This is the position I believe Lance Easley was unfortunately put into. By the way, the fact that you have looked at the picture again and for more than a second already disqualifies you from being in the position this referee was in! I apologize for the image, but I wanted to make a point.

Let's get into the play from a unique perspective. (However, as it turns out, the play was much more complicated and was ruled a touchdown for various other reasons. See far below or watch this The referee called what he saw and what anyone would have seen from his particular angle. The media has gone nuts with this call. All of America had the opportunity to see the actual catch from various angles and in slow motion. Lance made the call any ref at any level would of made if they were in his exact line of vision.  I'm only proposing that the original call was accurate based on perspective. There is a lot of other arguments regarding the rules of interference as well as other aspects of this "controversy" that are already clear.

As you hear in the video, even the seasoned announcers say and see, in REAL TIME, "...which is fought for by Tate and Jennings simultaneously... who has it... who'll they give it too... touchdown!..."

If you look at the angle Lance "the ref" is specifically located, it would look as if the ball indeed landed in the Seahawks/Tate player's hands. Lance was about 70 degrees to the right and front of the catch, 7 yards away with slightly lower vantage point - which lines up the hands and ball exactly. Tate was a foot lower than Jennings. The ball, hands and arm movements would line up perfectly to appear to be a solid catch by Tate… followed by what looks like Jennings trying to strip it out of the Seahawks/Tate's hands as they fell.  (BTW, dual possession rules consider it a touchdown when they both hit the ground regardless of the catch in the air, but this is not my point here.) The ref saw it real time and from one particular "perfect" angle. Remember, it was a perfect angle, seen once, seen from ground level and seen in a blink. From my expertise of visual illusions, Lance made the exact call I think anyone would likely have made from his EXACT position. I believe the accumulation of LAME calls by fill-in refs all month long broke the camels back at this point for people. If this was a court case, I'd certainly have a great model/illusion to reveal how Lance's angle shows something different than the rest of us see. Again, I'm only suggesting a point about this unique perspective/angle. The issue of both men actually holding the ball as they touched the ground, interference, the review process and other arguments are another conversation...

In addition to this looking like a solid catch from HIS perspective, the media and personal attacks on this great guy seem off base and highly inappropriate. He was the fall guy to a degree in a stressed system making billions of dollars. He had 3 months of intensive NFL training, met their "criteria", ref'd several preseason games, etc. He did not just show up that Monday in a uniform and say, "Hey, I'll do it." As we all know, all the seasoned NLF guys were on strike. It's a real bummer deal. It's a high dollar sport. The players, coaches, refs and everyone involved should be top notch. The viewers, advertisers and players deserve the best. It bites to see a nice guy with great skills go through this mess when there are (or should be) systems in place to avoid this. There are TONS of VERY seasoned NFL ref's who make "BAD" calls based on the angle they see something. Other ref's see something different from their perspective. Reviews are made and decisions come out. This situation is what it is... but comments like "He's JUST from a small town" or "He JUST a banker" or "He JUST coaches kids" should have nothing to do with anything. It appears like he was putting in the effort and work for some time. He stepped up to a challenge that presented itself and should be commended. I'm only suggesting people see all sides because cyber bullying is the new sport/hobby for America it seems. When someone deserves it, give it to them if you must. When someone is doing their job and their decision can be easily supported, people need to look at the real problems at hand. I rarely take the time to put in my two cents about overly-dramatic, hyped up "stuff" on TV or in pop-culture, but the amount of hateful and off-base attacks toward this guy are upsetting. Lance is a friend to me and his community and does a ton to help those around him. If people look at the play from his perspective and not from what they already see, know or hear, they'd see it quite differently perhaps.

By the way, official NLF rules support that as the guys were falling down, both had control when both feet or bodies touched the ground...which was clearly Tate. REGARDLESS of who actually caught the ball in mid-air. Official rules call this a touchdown, like it or not. Yet, even with this, Lance still get bashing from the media. It's ridiculous. Worst call in history? Not even close.

From TMZ: Easley ruled it a touchdown, while back judge Derrick Rhone-Dunn simultaneously ruled it an interception and a touchback. Eventually Rhone-Dunn and Easley ruled that Tate and Jennings had simultaneous possession, which counts as a reception. Upon review by instant replay officials, it was determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the touchdown call.

When asked about the call in an interview with TMZ days later, Easley stood by his ruling, saying "It was the correct call." When asked why it wasn't an interception, he said, "You have to not only have the ball but have either two feet or a body part on the ground, and that never happened." He later added, "Put any other official who knows the rules and they would make the same call."


The complete breakdown:

The refs call was RIGHT?- First we need to define a catch:

A player (or players) jumping in the air has not legally gained possession of the ball until he satisfies the elements of a catch listed here.
Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3 of the NFL Rule Book defines a catch:
A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds:
(a) secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; and
(b) touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and
(c) maintains control of the ball long enough, after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, to enable him to perform any act common to the game (i.e., maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it, advance with it, or avoid or ward off an opponent, etc.).
When a player (or players) is going to the ground in the attempt to catch a pass, Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 states:
Player Going to the Ground. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.
Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 5 states:
Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control. If the ball is muffed after simultaneous touching by two such players, all the players of the passing team become eligible to catch the loose ball.

Click to enlarge image. You can see in this pic that beyond any doubt at all, Tate has two feet on the ground and Jennings did not. This is where “the catch’ happened.

The key to the NFL’s explanation is that the catch is not made until the receiver lands.  Here’s a reverse angle look from video:

Now here is the crux of the argument. Tate had possession here, the game is over. That’s the important part of the NFL’s argument… The play ended here, before Jennings even landed. Nothing after that fact mattered.

Now did he have control? After watching the video like 10 times IF YOU STOP LOOKING AFTER TATE’S FEET HIT THE GROUND he does. Remember, after Tate catches the ball the play is over. He’s in the end zone so he does not have to be tackled. At the beginning of the jump, he did not have possession, but he reaches in again and pretty clearly wraps his arms around the ball (and the defender’s arms) as his feet hit the ground. AFTER they both hit the ground and the play is over M.D. Jennings wrestles it away. It was not even a simultaneous catch, Jennings was still in the air.

Now I know what a lot of you are thinking. He never had control and/or he was not able to “ward off an opponent.” But the fact they wrestled over the ball disproves this point. He had possession for several second AFTER the play was over. Yes, he also had possession of M.D. Jennings arms. Jennings, might have had it closer to his chest but that is irrelevant to the ruling. If you still doubt Tate had his arms around the ball, this screen cap will end the discussion.

So, again, I have to ask... worst call in history? You could argue that it was the greatest call in history. Regardless, the endless finger pointing and hatred toward one man or a few in a massive billion dollar system is a horrible sight to see. Even with specific rulings and definitions (if we agree with them or not) and other evidence, the attacks continue. The replacement refs did their jobs to the best of their ability and deserve more from us. Is the sport better off with the seasoned NFL refs back? Certainly... maybe. That's not the point. We get to reducible others and move on like it didn't happen. This is a case, on a massive scale, of cyber and media bullying... and with proof we were all wrong and he was in the right. Sad day for sports and community... but it all balances out. I can't wait to see what unique opportunities come from this. Lance, you rock.

Thanks for sharing the magic!

E-mail Rich
Official Website
Local: 805-234-7469
National: 877-RICH-FUN

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bucket Busters Drumming School

The Bucket Busters made an appearance at Good Morning SLO, a monthly breakfast meeting for about 300 business owners in San Luis Obispo put on by the Chamber of Commerce. It was a pleasure to see my good friend Steve (owner) and his students perform their form of magic by serving up some beats for us all. He has become a real force in the business world of San Luis Obispo with training facilities and music shops for all. They have been around since the 80's but there have been some amazing changes recently! From guitar lessons, piano, violin, drums, vocals, woodwinds, brass and so much more, there is something for everyone.

His newest facility in San Luis Obispo is amazing! If you are looking for a great gift for your children and just need supplies, go visit his store Music Motive. They are also available for hire to put on some entertainment at your event! Steve and his crew are great, just tell him "the magician sent you." Speaking of magic, the real magic here is you are supporting the learning experience for kids all over our county every time Bucket Busters is hired for an event.

Recently, they were showcased on a commercial for SLO Like magazine.

Here's what they have to say about themselves:

Music Motive is a fresh concept in music education and inspiration. We offer music programs for every age in a relaxed, fun environment and provide highly qualified instructors with a passion for teaching. In addition to our San Luis Obispo facility, we have locations in Paso Robles and Nipomo.

We've been providing music lessons since the early 80's, and now offer many instruments. We also have music enrichment classes at Music Motive and in local schools for beginning Guitar, Drums, Piano, Ukulele, and a Glee Club! We are endorsed by the San Luis Obispo Symphony.

Percussion Break (weekly drum circle), special workshops, and many other happenings go on continually throughout each month. All of these programs are especially designed to give our students and the local music community opportunities to stretch and be inspired. 
Our scholarship program provides a way to give every young aspiring musician a chance to learn and grow regardless of family income level. Music Motive's famous Bucket Busters whose energetic performances thrill crowds all over the Central Coast, raise scholarship funds from donations they receive, including the sale of their CD, "Buckets Of Fire". Scholarships are also partially funded by the sale of music accessories sold out of our store as well as private donations from individuals and organizations.

Our Mission
To provide high quality music instruction with private lessons, classes, workshops, and performance groups. To draw excellence from every student and every teacher.

From the Founder/Director 
A good teacher can potentially launch your music career. They might introduce you to a lifetime of playing an instrument, or possibly give you the opportunity to play music for the very first time! I'm confident that our program and facilities will help you get the most out of your musical experience.

I believe that music is an essential part of our lives. It can help you to express your thoughts and feelings, but it’s also been proven that learning to play a musical instrument helps develop thought processes and brain development. It can make you smarter, reduce stress, and help you to feel better about yourself.

It is my life’s work and sincere honor to share the experience of music and I personally invite you to be a part of it. Together we can keep music alive and vibrant! Will you do your part? 

Playing music may be the greatest thing to ever happen in a person's life. It could be the best investment you will ever make.

 -Steve Hilstein, Director

As always, please consider bringing me in for your next exclusive private party or corporate event! Hiring "The Ice Breaker" to interact with your special guests makes your event unique, fun and memorable!

Thanks for sharing the magic!

E-mail Rich
Official Website
Local: 805-234-7469
National: 877-RICH-FUN

Friday, September 7, 2012

First Online Candidate for U.S. President

I'm Rich Ferguson. Vote for me for U.S. President in 2012! - "No Tricks, Just Common Sense!"

I meet all the requirements in the constitution. I was born and have lived in the US for well over 14 years, I'm over 35 and I'd be acceptable to a large number of people across the nation due to the internet.

Donate to support my efforts and message.

I'm part republican, part democrat, part independent, part liberal, 100% human and would not classify myself clearly as one party or the other. I suppose to fit in a voting box and the system that we have in place, I'd have to run under "independent" but would fight to ensure equality and a high quality of life for anyone with any political affiliation, lifestyle or belief. Period. All the little arguments, positions and views do not matter compared to taking care of each other.

High level politics has become a rich person's SPORT! It's become a business rather than serving communities and people first - and I'm all about being self-employed, running a business and having the freedom to do what I want, but not at the expense of my neighbors or community. Enough's enough. To some degree, our country has been run like a bad business and as a business, we are bankrupt and a lot of people need to be fired... and other's promoted.

I have no political background but I have a masters in being an average citizen scraping to get ahead like 99% of those that read this. I know little about the game of politics but I know plenty about what people want and have a whole lot of street smarts and common sense that seems to be lacking everywhere.
Regular, everyday guy for president?
Mayor of common senseville?
Politics has become a game of tricks. I've been a full time magician for over 14 years and I know all about smoke and mirrors. Maybe I can make a few people in office that are corrupt disappear since they are in this political game for sport and money - without much care how it affects you and me in the long run.

If my name officially ended up on a ballot, I understand that I would not get many votes from the ultra Rich although I've had the opportunity to be part of that world through entertainment. I understand that there are amazingly prepared and qualified politicians better suited for president than I and that there are many out there who truly mean well. I'm not knocking them or being negative except to express that the system is broken and going in the wrong direction with priorities. We all know it.

Perhaps it's time to find another way and get back to the basics. Why can't we pick a nobody for president if we wanted? It now costs 100's of millions to run for president. What an unfortunate waste of resources. As your president, I'll make no secret deals, have zero tolerance for corruption and waste, not alter my views and maintain my morals. There is one goal - to take great care of our citizens who deserve to live life happy, healthy, safe lives complete with education and heath care… and to be a great example as the best nation to others around the world.

Most likely, I'll never even make it to filing… We will see. Hopefully, I'll get some to think about the possibilities and where we seem to be headed… regardless of their political affiliation.

My slogan is "No Tricks, Just Common Sense!" Share this with everyone you know. Donate if you want, even if to just help make a point. It would be ridiculous to have a nobody name on the ballot.

It's time for everyone to get RICH!  VOTE for RICH FERGUSON in 2012!

If you want to purchase mugs, t-shirts or stickers, you can visit this online store.


In order to submit a statement of candidacy, $5,000 must be contributed or spent on campaigning. 
Am I serious? Not "completely," but partly. I'm willing to try anything. Crazier things have happened. It does make me wonder what's possible. I know there are better uses for me and more qualified and honest people out there that SHOULD run for president. Mostly, I want people to fight for what they want and deserve and quite being armchair critics without lifting a finger to accomplish changes on their own or contributing to their community.