As expected, NFL referee Ed Hochuli has been downgraded by the league for his mind-numbing, brainless, and erroneous call on Sunday that helped lead to the Chargers’ loss to Denver.
However, I stand by what I said on Monday: There was still “game” to play and the Chargers' defense should have stuck it to Denver and never allowed a TD pass on a 4th-and-goal, and then to cap off the insult of the ref’s bad call, to allow a successful reception on a two-point conversion.
San Diego’s loss is more shocking because a ref’s error occurred at the end of a game, rather than, say, the first quarter.
Coaches and players traditionally say that if there is time left on the clock with a chance to win, then there is no time for excuses.
As Denver Coach Mike Shanahan said today, no one “gave” the Broncos a TD on 4th-and-goal, and his team still had to make an amazing and extremely dangerous-to-attempt two-point conversion on a pass.
Titans’ Coach Jeff Fisher also noted that his team was subject to the same confounding call awhile back.
If you have watched the NFL for four-plus decades like I have, you can probably recall all kinds of horrible calls on the part of officials.
I can remember several terrible calls that supposedly decided games—before there were instant replays. Sure, they bother me, but they are a part of the game. Ask any coach, player, or fan.
Despite human error, which is impossible to eliminate, I prefer to abide by what most players and coaches say and what I was taught by my coaches: If the game is close and you lose it on a call, then that’s just the way it goes.
It is your job to win a game and officials’ bad calls are a part of the game, whether they occur in the first or fourth quarters.