Ed Hochuli reflects on "low point of my career"

NFL officials don’t often give interviews, so any time one does it’s worth noting. Today we have one from Ed Hochuli, perhaps the NFL’s best-known referee, who spoke to the Matt Minkus Podcast.

Hochuli touched on a number of issues, but the most interesting was the huge mistake he made at the end of an early season game between the Broncos and Chargers in 2008.

“That was certainly the low point of my career,” Hochuli said. “People were upset and understandably so.”

But while Hochuli said he recieved about 25,000 e-mails, he was blown away by how many of those e-mails urged him to keep his chin up.

“The most humbling part of it, though, is that of those 25,000 e-mails, probably about 24,700 of those were very supportive and very nice e-mails,” Hochuli said. “I was really humbled by the number of people who wrote me and said, ‘Nobody’s perfect,’ and, ‘I’ve appreciated your career and all the good stuff you’ve done,’ and ‘Hang in there.’ It was really very humbling.”

Hochuli also talked about his physique and said he lifts weights for about an hour at a time, four days a week.
“I get a lot of comments from players,” Hochuli said. “I think there’s a certain respect they have for officials who stay in shape.”

58 responses to “Ed Hochuli reflects on "low point of my career"

  1. Hochuli is one of the best officials in the league and his reaction to that mistake is an indicator of how seriously he takes his job. They aren’t perfect, and before instant replay, no one expected them. Now we have to examine each nanosecond of film to see whether a ball moves a millimeter as a receiver hits the ground to determine possession … and whether a QB’s arm moves a hair’s-breadth forward to determine whether a fumble is a fumble or a “tuck.” When it comes to officiating, technology has not improved the game.

  2. Dude, they comment on how tight your shirts are…..NFL.COM-Player Mic’d Up they call him “Baby Gap”
    Hochuli would prob be able to kick a punters ass if he got outta line, maybe eli manning

  3. Having a general loathing of all officials, the best thing I can say about this guy is at least he’s not Walt Coleman.

  4. Where does he find the time to lift weights and read 25,000 plus e-mails?
    “I get a lot of comments from players,” Hochuli said. “I think there’s a certain respect they have for officials who stay in shape.”
    Ummm, Homo?
    My eyes hurt from reading this crap.

  5. time to start testing the refs for juice, no way that old man has the natural test levels to keep the muscle on. 🙂

  6. It’s always really easy to make the call when you’re watching instant replay on the TV or the stadium HD.
    I don’t think people really appreciate how hard the job is, especially when you’re making snap decisions in real time. While I may not agree with every call that offiicials make, I respect the hard work that they put in to get to the NFL and how much crap they have to put up with wannabe officials or irate fans.

  7. NFCbeast you are bang on. He’s a genuine Dbag lawyer who might lift a weight or two but follows that up with tailored shirts that are 2 sizes too small. The players are noticing all right..laughing their asses off at this clown.

  8. If you numbskulls spent a few hours each week in the gym then you’d probably want to show off your physiques too.
    I just hope he doesn’t start blasting the leg routine to beef up his legs with squats, stiff-legged deadlifts, and the heavy legpresses… because if I turn on the tube and the guy is wearing a tight little ref shirt and a striped banana hammock, I’ll never watch football again.

  9. His extreme sense of accountability is just more proof he’s the right guy for the job.

  10. Your my boy Ed! Oh and your right nerd if somebody blatantly face masks the quarter back on the last play of the game they should just let that go. Good inside moron.

  11. Officials are an important part of the game. I am glad to see that they take it seriously and have pride in the work they do.

  12. Nerd, that’s true. But if a referee makes a mistake, with the rules that were in place when the play was made, he couldn’t have reversed the call due to the rules. the rules need to be changed that will allow the refs to overturn all the wrong calls.
    When a ref knows he made a mistake and can’t do anything about it, that’s pretty effed up. But on the downside, that also will mean the TV studio will have to dedicate more time to the games, and will have to deal with longer breaks in action. Not a popular thing to do, even if it means games go to the true winners.

  13. He is a good ref. A point which just makes it that much clearer that the job cannot and should not be left in the hands of a few guys standing around the field. The rules should allow for more officials calls to be overturned by other refs in the booth after tape review. Etc…

  14. he just totally sucks, end of story. keep screwin teams ya don’t like till they name a rule change after you!!
    this guy takes his job seriously alright. This a??cLown is so pumped up he can’t even see straight. Retire already dickweed.

  15. While I like Hochuli and think its great he’s as buff as he is for his age, the NFL might think about sending old Ed to the piss tester. I’d think it hurts the credability of your drug-tested sport when one of your officials is most likely no stranger to performance enhancers.
    Disclaimer: I have no basis other than from personal experience (having been a gym rat for a decade and worked in the fitness industry while in College) I’d say he looks questionable.

  16. “I get a lot of comments from players,” Hochuli said. “I think there’s a certain respect they have for officials who stay in shape.”
    I think there’s alot of DISrespect for officials who alter the outcome of games.

  17. That was a TERRIBLE call. So funny.

  18. Ed would give Chuck Norris and “the most famous man in the world” a run for their money in a good ole tussle.

  19. “24,700 of 25,000” proves one thing.
    Each of those “alledged” numbers now also prove that he a fabricator and a liar!

  20. # boxchevy says: April 10, 2010 5:21 PM
    24,700 of those positive emails were from broncos fans obviously.
    Haha. That’s funny. All joking aside though, he is one of the best refs in the league.

  21. well Bronco fans paid the price listening to the whining & crying from Chargers fans over the next 15 weeks & 7 Charger losses…
    Chargers still could have won if they stopped the drive which they didnt & they had a second chance to make a play when the Broncos went for 2

  22. Hochuli would prob be able to kick a punters ass if he got outta line, maybe eli manning
    Not if it’s Daniel Sepulveda.

  23. yeah this guy is the best ref in the league… i wouldn’t be surprised if he got paid for that though chargers broncos game though haha

  24. # K-Rock says: April 10, 2010 5:25 PM
    Having a general loathing of all officials, the best thing I can say about this guy is at least he’s not Walt Coleman.
    Yeah, but he’s a close second. He’s always the 12th man on any team we play against.

  25. Interviews by ref’s…
    Must be a very quiet day, haven’t seen a Farve/McNabb/Tebow post yet either
    Lucky I’m in Australia and have a real football season to follow till the end of September.

  26. for all the crap that’s written about referees(who I believe are humans like us), I have got this argument – if you need 3 or 4 slow-motion replays/views to decide it yourself, stop criticizing the ref

  27. Florio reflects on the low point of his career everyday…. when he re-reads his last post that is

  28. The low point of his career was when the airline lost his luggage and he was forced to borrow an extra large referee jersey instead of his custom tailored smedium. Sadly, there would be no gun show that day.

  29. I was one of those folks who email Ed and told him to stay positive. He emailed me back and thanked me. Who does that? Nobody. Classy guy!
    He is also a great official. I watch all the games I can with him because he does such a nice job. I am a Green Bay fan, not Broncos (can’t stand them).
    I was watching that Broncos/Chargers game and the play looked different live than in replay. Who thinks a QB is just going to lose the ball like that? Easy to see on replay when you are looking for it. Too back he took such heat. Lot of moronic calls out there that barley draw a note, but should.

  30. Why do idoits boo Hochuli and Big Ben when they make a mistake, but Tiger Woodes cheats on his wife and kids and peopel root for him? Ray Lewis KILLED 2 GUYS and Leonard Little KILLED A WOMEN and people cheer for them? Ed made a mistake that did not “hurt anyone”! Remember this man is alawyer and would sue your asses within seconds! Go Ed Go!

  31. I work for an NFL team on game days on the chain crew. Ed Hochuli is one of the finest people & official you will ever meet. Ed is defintely NOT on any “juice”, the officials all have random drug tests as do the players. Ed does have a great rapport with the players. I know dozens of NFL players who tell me they do respect him as an official partly because he is in good physical condition. And here’s something very few people know about Ed; when he leaves the field at the end of each game he takes an NFL game ball and personally hands it to a young fan as he exits the stadium. He is polite & friendly to all who work at the stadiums.

  32. Ed, Mr Cowboy fan, Hochuli? The only thing I question is how he can be such a Cowboy fan and officiate their games.

  33. Look…I’m a lifelong Charger fan and season ticket holder…I was furious at the time like other Bolt fans but the reality is…the guy made a mistake and owned up to it…he’s an excellent referee who has impeccable integrity…this was a long time ago and, fortunately, it didn’t even affect us…we still made the playoffs…this story should just go away…we’re heading to 2010 and the Chargers and Broncos remain big rivals…I think the Chargers are still the team to beat but…that’s why they play the game…Denver whipped us in SD last (we got ’em back in Denver) with an entirely new staff and team…the story is the team/players…not Ed Hochuli…Go Bolts!

  34. RIGHT–HE SPENT 17 CONSECUTIVE NONSTOP DAYS READING EMAILS!!! What a pathetic, self-absorbed loser! If anyone knows your name as a ref, it means you did a poor job. This a**hole actually thinks he is part of the show and should be removed immediately. Some steroid old blowhard that likes to wear his “NFL gear” to the gym to act like he is a somebody is not credible. SAD.
    Take that as your 301st” negative” you lying piece of garbage!

  35. Without that call, Cutler would have never played in a playoff game…….oh, wait, nevermind.

  36. As a Charger fan who was upset at the time, I’ve moved on. Hochuli is one of the best. Give the guy a break and move on too.

  37. I too am a LONG time Charger fan,
    and yeah, I was mad as Hell at the time…
    but, at actual speed, it wasn’t as easy a
    call as people later made it out to be
    (after dozens of slo-mo replays)
    Yes, the guy got the wrong call, and yes,
    it led to the wrong team winning that day.
    But Hoch has been one of the best, and I
    was knocked out with how rapidly, and
    completely he owned that screw-up.
    Extremely honorable.

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