Monday, September 15th — Ed Hochuli

September 16, 2008

Today I Learned…

…that respected NFL referee Ed Hochuli will be given a lower grade and reprimanded for blowing an important call in Sunday’s Chargers-Broncos game.  I say GOOD, because he cost the Chargers (and me in my pool!) the game.

Less than a minute left, Chargers lead by 7.  Broncos have the ball on SD’s 10-yard line.  Denver quarterback Jay Cutler drops back to pass, and loses the football as he begins to bring his arm up to throw.  The ball bounces on the ground and is recovered by the Chargers.  San Diego apparently has sealed the game.  However, the play is ruled as an incomplete pass on the field.  Since it’s within 2 minutes of the end of the game, the replay booth initiates a review of the call.  It is clear by every angle that Cutler’s arm was not moving forward when the ball came out — which it would have needed to be to be ruled an incomplete pass.  Hochuli comes out, and changes the ruling to a fumble.  HOWEVER — he says that since the ball was whistled dead when it hit the ground (as the ruling on the field was incomplete pass), the play was dead and that the Broncos kept possession of the ball.  They go on to score a touchdown, make a two-point conversion, and win the game, taking a two-game lead over the Chargers in the AFC West.

This is a ludicrous ruling, and if I had more riding on it than just a single game in a pool, I’d be pretty livid.  Chargers fans must be up in arms, and I wouldn’t be surprised if San Diego lodged a formal complaint or protest about the game.

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