Are NFL Officials Being
Who Will Blow The Whistle on Rogue NFL Zebras?
by William Schmidt, Ph.D.
NFL officiating is so bad now, you can usually tell
who'll lose based either
on which side the officials assess the
penalties on or who benefits from the
execrable calls that have now become
common place. The instant replay
and review was supposed to help, but what
happens when the home team
turns off the replay camera so that there
can be no replay, even after a
challenge. Nothing. There is
no review. The visitors get screwed. And
what happens if the official blows his
whistle to call a dead ball for no reason?
Nothing. There is no review.
Today's San Diego - Denver football game shows football is no longer
a game about football. The winner is
fixed in advanced. The game's outcome
is pre-determined and the officials are
there to make sure the script is
followed, just like in a wrestling match
or on Wall Street. The biased and
ridiculously bad officiating is not
accidental. It could only be this bad by
design. It must be deliberate and
sinister. What proof? I can safely
predict that this game's two
ridiculous calls will not be seriously investigated
by the League. Will the
media tackle this? No. They know who butters
their bread. They will not
make nearly enough about how bad and biased
the officiating is. Their
silence has ruined the game for the millions who
expect a modicum of fairness.
So, what happened that got me to write about football?
What was the first clue today that the officials were there to make sure
that the home-town Denver broncos would
beat the San Diego Chargers?
Early in the first quarter, San Diego
threw a 10-yard completed pass inside its
30 yard line. The SD receiver was
brought down. His elbow hit the ground.
He was down on his back and the Denver
tackler then stripped the ball away
from him and took the ball back so close
to the goal line that Denver had a
touch-down before anyone could catch their
breath. San Diego challenged
the call. We saw on TV the replay
that showed the SD receiver should have
been called down before the ball was taken
away. That was the much-repeated
opinion of the two TV commentators
broadcasting the game. But the official
said the play could not be reviewed
because the replay machine, which Denver
was expected to maintain, was not working!
How convenient for the
home team! Instead of SD
having the ball after a completed pass, Denver
got a quick and easy seven point lead.
Why didn't the official just get the TV
networks to offer a replay? Why if
the home team fails to make their equipment
work, are they not penalized and the appeal
approved? Why? Because the "fix"
was on and the script said Denver was to
be the winner.
(See - http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/09/14/sports/nelson/z5f99e36f532c9938882574c5001c72c3.txt
was bad. But listened to what happened with less than a minute left
in the game, Denver had the
ball on San Diego's 2 yard-line and was behind
38-31, The Denver quarterback
ran to his right and looked downfield for
someone to throw the ball to. In his
hurry to get the pass off as a burly SD
linebacker rushed towards him, he whipped
the ball back to throw it, but it fell
out of his hands, very clearly before he
started moving his passing arm forward.
The SD player grabbed the ball off the
ground and was tackled and went out
of bounds. Just as they had earlier,
the TV announcers did a review in slow
motion of the play from several angles.
They all immediately agreed that
the Denver quarterback had fumbled it and
it was San Diego's ball.
"Not so quick", said the official. On review he claimed that the ball had
been whistled dead. Why?
Absolutely no explanation. It was not a fumble.
And it was also not considered an
incomplete forward pass. The ball was
placed back at the 10 year line where the
quarterback had dropped it. If it had
been considered an incomplete forward
pass, the ball should have been given
to Denver on the 2-yardline. But the
official did not try to claim that the quarter-
back had the ball as he was moving his
arm forward. No. This would not
have been tenable stance. The replay
showed that he clearly lost it as he
was taking his arm back. So, then it
was a fumble? "No", said the official,
it wasn't a fumble, even though that's
what it looked liked to everyone else
It was an "official's whistle-blown
dead-ball." Why the whistle? No explanation
was given. So Denver got to
keep the ball and then scored the winning
touchdown and points-after.
The official claimed that once the whistle was
blown the other team could not take
possession. But that is patently untrue.
March 2007, it was ruled that a fumble caused by contact is live on review,
when the whistle is mistakenly blown. The same rule should have applied
here. The quarterback dropped the
ball because he was about to be hit hard.
The official who blew both calls was Ed Hochuli. He is an attorney. He
email@example.com TEL: 602-263-1719 FAX: 602-263-1784
specializes in civil litigation in areas
where bad faith is involved.
expert. all right, in bad faith. He
was standing less than 20' from the quarterback
when he blew his whistle prematurely.
This was no accident. In his career,
he has surely called thousands of plays
involving quarerback fumbles. He blew
the earlier call. And then to
fix the game's outcome he blew his whistle and blew
this call deliberately. He could
have reversed himself. That he refused to
is proof, he blew this call deliberately.
The League should fire him. Instead
he will get a letter from the Commiss
downgrading his performance for
admitting he made a mistake, not
for the error itself.
The letter means nothing. He just won't officiate at other games
involving these teams. That's
the League's typical response. Hoculi was
previously banned by the League officials
after 2001 from officiating a
San Diego-Denver game because of his
terrible calls back then. The owner
of the Denver team admits that
Hochili has long been one of the most
criticized of the league's umps.
See - http://forums.contracostatimes.com/topic/bad-calls-nfl-referees
Video of the 2 plays.
Yahoo reports that Hochuli is publicly contrite. But he has not
the least he should do. But in an age when arrogant
politicians and CEOs
grab all they can, I wouldn't expect Hochuli to do
the right thing and
What Players Are Saying:
Shaun Phillips, a star player on the SD defense wrote this about the
I can't say that the ref cheated us because that's a fine. I can't say that
the Broncos didn't win that
game because that's being a sore loser. I can't say that it was a
mistake that the replay
machine wasn't working in the first qtr cause that would be a lie.
Hochuli is the President of the NFL
Referees' Association. This should give readers
some idea about how unfairly professional
football is officiated. I have long considered
NFL officials to be partial, biased and
determined to give one team, usually the home
team, the game. See my earlier Blog
It comes as
no surprise that NFL officials supported Hochuli's ruling, even though no
one else on the plant has.
Players have to be careful what they say. They may get the same official in
the next game.
But the SD Chargers were quick to speak
out after today's badly distorted game. It was all too
much to take.
SD Coach Norv Turner: It was a fumble, clear to
everyone on our sideline, and
I'm sure all the fans...Ed came over to me and said he blew it and that's not, to me,
acceptable. This is a high-level performance game and it is not acceptable to have a
game decided on that play. (So, why didn't
he reverse himself then. Moral cowardice?
Denver fan pressure? No, I think he got money in advance and was afraid of
found shot. Officials are not full time employees of the NFL. A little extra
on the side is hard for some officals to refuse. Two blown calls is not accidental.
Denver Quarterback: "I think it was a fumble,
Tomlinson: "The NFL is always holding us accountable
for stuff we do, and
so at some point, the referees have to be held accountable too," he said.
what is the point is having referees out there?"
Hart: "The machine is not working in the first
quarter when a call
should have went our way ... we thought," Chargers safety Clinton Hart said.
all of a sudden, it is working every other quarter."
Other Fans' Comments:
Having just written this, I decide to see if anyone else on the Internet agrees:
"NO RESPECT: I have long respected Ed Hochuli as an NFL
referee. That ended Sunday."
SCORE II: Final Score: Chargers 38, Denver 24, Referees 15".
since the 1919 Chicago White Sox has there been a more blatant fix of a professional
game. The Chargers won this game twice. Why should I be a season ticket holder |
games are fixed? Never before have I seen such a sham!"
"PAGING THE FBI: In the NBA they call officiating like that point shaving.
should launch an investigation."
"Are you kidding me?"
"Why even bother playing the game when the referee could have told us who was going
win before it started? Two major blown calls that turned a hard-fought comeback win into
another loss. Can anyone remember an instance where an obvious missed call was not
overturned due to an equipment malfunction? If the NFL had any integrity, it would nullify
the results of this game and replay it. No more Super Bowls for Ed Hochuli."
"I still have not gotten over the ridiculousness of the officiating in this game. It
up there or actually EXCEEDS the holy roller and any other incompetent officiating we have
had to endure as Bolt fans. This is probably the WORST officiated Bolt game in history.
Simple fact. ALL announcers, commentator, and even players such as Cutler agree that
call was blown at the end. This is NOT supposed to happen with a fair official replay
and with halfway competent officials What the hell was Hochuli doing? He wasn't in
to clearly see the motion of Cutler's arm, obviously. Otherwise he would have not blown
call. So if he is not sure, DO NOT BLOW THE PLAY DEAD.....that is the WORST thing
that an official can do...particularly on a play at this point in the game and with
of such magnitude!....If the NFL does not seriously discipline this guy and/or demote him
or just plain kick his *** out of the league...then something is wrong.
sample of opinions from this site:
Many believe the mob can fix a
getting to the officials.
Have Ed Hochuli and his crew been bribed by the mob or are they under direct orders
from the NFL to make sure that Denver beats SD? That's the only explanation many
observers offer for the abysmally poor officiating in this game....
As corrupt as the White House.. NFL ...
.Newsweek.comThe NFL wouldn't stand for
itNFL Fixing Games
for the Patriots?Was Last Nights
Patriots-Ravens Game Fixed? « Holy Toledo!Corrupt
NFL referee Pete Morelli NFL admits refs
mistake but ...Instant Replay Needs
Another Look / Safety net required to offset ...
NFL steroid dealer names
names, ends up dead - The Something Awful ...
The NFL, the Mafia, Ronald
Reagan and Fixing Elections ...
Interesting Things For
you Late @ Night: NFL steps up monitoring ...
Officiating - the
Walt Coleman Story
Sample Some Other Terrible NFL Officials' Calls:
Arbitrary Pass Interference Calls:
Umtil 2008, because of his bad calls in a 2001 Denver - San Diego game, Hochuli
worked more than 120 subsequent NFL games, including playoffs, with
every team but Denver. The NFL penalizes the officials by keeping them
away from a team they egregiously offend.
Walt Coleman - January 19, 2002 "tuck-rule" ruling turned a sack and a lost
fumble into an incomplete pass, thereby giving NE an undeserved win
over Oakland in AFC divisional playoffs.
Walt Coleman and the Minnesota Vikings, 2003 to 2006
Raidertopia » 2005» September
Not only was that a bad call but that official should
be fired because he .... He actually predicted something like a 38-7 New
Hochuli's look alike