Photo by Jonathan Bachman
Oh boy, the hits just keep on coming from last night. It seems all of the sports world has been thrown into a tizzy after Reggie Bush's record-setting performance last night against the Vikings. Deadspin had a great video of ESPN's Robert Flores so excited pulled a Sarah Palin on air (video after the jump):
But there was other news beyond the fact that Reggie Bush is an apparent "Punt Retard" (can that please be his new nickname? Although "Punt Savant" would be more appropriate). After all, it was Ed Hochuli's crew that officiated last night's game and, unfortunately for them, they were unable to avoid yet another controversy. This time, it was in the form of a non-call on a blatant facemask penalty and a controversial ruling that Adrian Peterson did not fumble the ball in the third quarter. Of course, Saints fans were up in arms and decided to write Mr. Hochuli a letter. Here was the referee's response:
from EDWARD HOCHULI
to Jonathan XXXXXXX
date Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 10:46 AM
subject RE: How did you miss these?
hide details 10:46 AM (1 hour ago)
You are certainly free to have your opinions, but if you were a knowledgeable fan, you would understand that there are 7 officials out there, and you would not attribute all errors to the Referee. The face mask, for example, is no where near anything I'm looking at or supposed to be looking at when it happened.
It's popular right now to pile on Hochuli, because I blew the San Diego call. And there is certainly no requirement that anyone have any real knowledge of officiating in order to have an opinion. Fortunately, the NFL and my boss don't agree with you. You are free to have your own opinions, and since you took the time to write me, I figured I owed you
the time to respond.
Referencing himself in the third person aside, it does seem like Hochuli is a stand-up guy though it seems he is a bit annoyed that he's been getting so much attention (maybe he should change his e-mail address?). The particular Saints fan, who goes by "Jonathan" (and is not our photographer, Jonathan Bachman) did have a reply to the reply:
While I appreciate the response, I don't appreciate the implication that I am not a knowledgeable fan and I am aware of the fact that the line judge - on the video - went to pull his flag out and then didn't once he saw the ball come out. Then there was a conference - which you were a part of - when I thought this issue would be brought to light.
And had that been the only blown call, perhaps my frustrations would more easily be assuaged. But, alas, it was not. It was one completely missed call on a night of uneven officiating, the most embarrassing of which was the inexplicable treatise you gave on overturning the ruling on the field of a Peterson fumble.
I admire the need you felt in responding to me - or your assistant, whichever the case may be (third person personal references?) - but if it's merely going to be to defame my 'fandom' or knowledge of the game or insult me and my opinion, then you're better off just not responding.
It was a horribly officiated game by a crew of which you are the head - the third of such a poorly officiated game this season.
Take care and I hope for future games and the league's integrity you can return to your former glory as a respected NFL official and not what we've seen in those 3 games thus far this season.
God, isn't the internet fun?