Sunday, September 14, 2008

How to handle a blown call

No huge conspiracy theorists. No yelling about an "officiating crisis." Just legitimate criticism of a great ref who blew a big call.

Ed Hochuli is a stud. He'll always be a stud. But he missed a big one today, I'm afraid, calling what should have been a fumble by Denver quarterback Jay Cutler an incomplete pass. Because he blew his whistle and ended the play by calling the pass incomplete, all a replay review could do was give Denver the ball back a few yards further back. You can't unring a bell, you can't unsay a word, and you can't unblow a whistle.

I girded up my loins for a huge backlash.

Actually, what I've seen hasn't been that bad.

Here's Norv Turner's quote from this article:

"On the last play it was clearly a fumble, clear to everyone on our sideline and I'm sure to the fans. Ed said he blew it, and that is not to me acceptable."

Not a damn thing wrong with any of this. I'd bet a chunk of my next paycheck that Hochuli would agree with every word of it.

Cris Collinsworth, at halftime of the night game, was similar. He pointed out the mistake, said that Hochuli is one of the best officials in the NFL, and pointed out how unfortunate the error was, particularly to the Chargers.

No name-calling. No misunderstanding of a rule. No Chicken Little breathless crap.

Just saying "He's a good official, and he blew it, and it's bad that he blew it."

I hope this reasonableness lasts.

(I doubt it will.)


At 12:00 PM, Blogger tommyspoon said...

Five days and counting...

At 3:34 PM, Blogger TeacherRefPoet said...

Wilbon is good to Hochuli in that link, and that's good to see.

On a non-officiating note, I disagree with the current majority opinion that the rule needs to be changed. Players have been coached since Pop Warner to stop at the whistle...but now they can continue to pursue a loose ball after a whistle just in case the dead ball is ruled a fumble on replay. I don't like that, and I'll like hits-after-the-whistle even less when it's an incomplete pass.

This blown call is awful, and I feel for both the Chargers and Hochuli. But having players knock each other about after the whistle is, in my eyes, worse.


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