Thursday, September 18, 2008

The most sincere referee in the NFL... or the dumbest

Ed Hochuli, the NFL ref who botched a call at the end of the San Diego-Denver game that allowed the Broncos to keep possession and go on to score the winning points, has been receiving hundreds of e-mails from irate fans.

Even crazier? He's responding to them.

"I'm getting hundreds of emails — hate mail — but I'm responding to it all," Hochuli said in a posting on the San Diego Union-Tribune Web site. "People deserve a response.

"You can rest assured that nothing anyone can say can make me feel worse than I already feel about my mistake on the fumble play. You have no idea. ... Affecting the outcome of a game is a devastating feeling. Officials strive for perfection — I failed miserably. Although it does no good to say it, I am very, very sorry."

"No one feels worse about this than Ed, but like the coaches and players in our high-speed game, mistakes will occur," NFLRA executive director Tim Millis said in a statement.

"The NFLRA stands by Ed Hochuli as a 19-year veteran with multiple Super Bowl and countless playoff game experience who has the integrity and character to admit a mistake and accept the criticism that comes with it."

The crucial call occurred with the Broncos at the Chargers 1-yard-line in the final minute. Denver quarterback Jay Cutler dropped back to pass, the ball slipped out of his hands, bounced off the grass and into the arms of San Diego linebacker Tim Dobbins.

Hochuli, a former NFLRA president, ruled it an incomplete pass. Replay ruled it a fumble, but it was spotted at the 10, where the ball hit the ground, and given to Denver because the rules did not permit possession to be awarded to San Diego because the whistle had blown.

Denver went on to score a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to win 39-38.

Source: Fox Sports
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In related news, Ed Hochuli has resigned from the NFL and just been hired as next season's newest American Gladiator.

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