Hochuli Takes The Heat
Posted by hiphopmama on September 17, 2008
Everyone has been up in arms about the botched call at the end of the down to the wire Chargers-Broncos game on Sunday, but at least the key player seems to be taking the right approach. After incorrectly ruling Jay Cutler’s slip-up an incomplete pass only to overturn it as a fumble on replay, 19 year veteran Ed Hochuli owned up to the mistake and apologized for it in a sincere sounding mea culpa. The NFL Referees Association is backing him, stating correctly that he has a stellar record and vast amounts of experience in lots of big games, including the Super Bowl. He’ll be graded down for the error, but there’s not much else to do.
Personally, I feel sorry for him more than angry with him. I’m somewhat of a Chargers fan, and I was rooting for them all the way in that game, but mistakes happen and at least he owned up to it. Anyway, I’ve never seen any other ref take their “craft” as seriously as Hochuli. He is entirely believable when he says that he practices making calls in front of a mirror to be prepared, and I’ve even seen him get disgusted with himself when he made the wrong signal for a given call. I’ll bet he gives himself twenty push-ups or makes himself run lines or something else whenever he slips up, so I can imagine he’s really pelting himself over this one. The real problem here is that the rules in place didn’t allow him to give possession to the Chargers, not so much with the fact that he made a rare and very human error. Tough decisions go both ways, and I highly doubt there was any malicious intent involved, so let’s give him a pass on this one.