Though I’m loathe to link to a story from TMZ, at least this one has nothing to do with Doug Christie. While we’re waiting for Harvey Levin to score the long-awaited Steve Bartman scoop, TMZ’s ability to track down NFL replacement referee Lance Easley — he of Monday night’s staggeringly botched INT-turned-TD call in Green Bay’s loss to Seattle — has the national laughingstock embattled arbiter taking a more defiant tone than you expect under the circumstances.

Easley told us he can’t believe he’s being vilified … “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

He says strongly … the Packers player who allegedly intercepted the ball never had singular possession because, “You have to not only have the ball but have either 2 feet or a body part on the ground, and that never happened.”

Easley says this was clearly a case of simultaneous possession — meaning the catch goes to the offensive player —  adding, “Put any other official who knows the rules and they would make the same call.”

Easley told us, no one has ever seen a play like this before, so there’s no point of reference to judge the call.  He says, “I don’t appreciate the negative stuff.”

Easley says he feels like he’s become a sacrificial lamb, who had to “fall on the sword.”