Longtime NFL referee Ed Hochuli retiring
SAN DIEGO – Longtime referee Ed Hochuli, known for big biceps and long explanations of penalties, is retiring from the NFL, the league announced Tuesday.
The NFL announced one of their best-known referees was retiring after 18 years.
“I get notoriety because I explain things, and I get notoriety because I have a decent physique, which is funny because I’m a shrimp, a peewee compared to those players,” Hochuli told USA Today. “Neither one of those things has anything to do with whether I’m a good referee.”
Hochuli will be an independent consultant for the league, according to the Los Angeles Times. His son, Shawn Hochuli, will replace him as a referee.
San Diego Charger fans have mixed feelings about the veteran referee.
During a game against the Denver Broncos in 2008, Hochuli made a call that ultimately led to the Broncos coming back to beat the Chargers by 2 points. Hochuli later admitted he made a mistake and responded to the hundreds of emails he received from angry fans.
“I’m getting hundreds of e-mails — hate mail — but I’m responding to it all,” Hochuli wrote to several Chargers fans, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. “People deserve a response. You can rest assured that nothing anyone can say can make me feel worse than I already feel about my mistake on the fumble play. You have no idea Affecting the outcome of a game is a devastating feeling. Officials strive for perfection — I failed miserably. Although it does no good to say it, I am very, very sorry.”
Another longtime referee, Jeff Triplette, whose officiating career spans over two decades, announced his retirement earlier this year. He will be replaced by former side judge Alex Kemp.