Ed Hochuli has had a pretty crappy week. It all started Sunday, when he gifted the Broncos a victory in the closing seconds of the Denver-San Diego game, and, as hard as it is to believe, it's gotten worse from there.
Chargers head coach Norvell Turner voiced his displeasure Sunday night (and again Monday), Jerry Jones weighed in with his well-reasoned thoughts, and the internets excoriated the freakishly muscular attorney-during-the-week for basically ruining any chance San Diego had of making the postseason. (On the upside, every game from here on out takes on "MUST-WIN" status, which is always fun.)
In light of what has transpired, Hochuli would like to take this opportunity to let you know, football-viewing public, that nobody feels worse about what happened than he does. (Well, except maybe Norv.)
"I'm getting hundreds of emails - hate mail - but I'm responding to it all. People deserve a response," he wrote to several Chargers fans according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. "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."
Okay, now I just feel sad for Hochuli. I always thought he was one of the league's best officials, and the Chargers-Broncos game certainly seemed out of character based on his body of work. I mean, this isn't Steve Javy or C.B. Buckner we're talking about, yet in the time it took to blow his whistle and signal incomplete pass, that's exactly what he's become.
Hopefully we can all put this behind us and let the healing begin. Somehow I think Jerry Markbreit would want it that way.