Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hochuli Offers To "Make Things Right" In Next Chargers Game He Officiates

DeKalb, Ill. (Sept. 23) - NFL referee Ed Hochuli, under fire for admittedly blowing a crucial call against the San Diego Chargers on September 14, has offered to "make things right" the next time he officiates a Chargers game, according to sources.

"I'll take care of it," Hochuli was quoted as saying to Chargers head coach Norv Turner in a text message late last week, one of the sources said. "Don't worry. I'm going to make things right," Hochuli texted.

"No one feels worse about this than Ed," said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. "So it doesn't surprise me that he wants to make up for his blunder," Aiello continued in the wake of the news of Hochuli's offer.

Hochuli incorrectly ruled that a fumble by Denver Broncos QB Jay Cutler was an incomplete pass, giving the Broncos new life late in their game with the Chargers. The Broncos went on to score the game-winning touchdown after Hochuli's mistake.

"I have shamed myself and my profession," were just some of the words Hochuli used publicly to admonish himself the day after the game. "If I had a gun right now, I'd probably shoot myself in the brain," Hochuli also said. "But, absent that, I'll just have to make it right. I just HAVE to."

Hochuli apparently wasn't just paying lip service. The sources said that, in addition to texting Turner, Hochuli has put a "big, red circle" around his next Chargers assignment -- October 19 in Buffalo -- with the intention of "making sure" the Chargers get a "fair shake -- if you know what I mean," the sources quoted Hochuli as he spoke to a friend.

The friend says that Hochuli plans on making it "ridiculously hard" for the Chargers to lose their Oct. 19 game in Buffalo.

"He feels terrible. Believe me, you'll see just how terrible Ed feels," the friend said, referring to Hochuli's planned performance in Buffalo.

Another source said that Hochuli has some things "up his sleeve", which may include some ill-timed roughing the passer calls against the Bills, a "back-breaking" holding call or two, and, if necessary, calling a Chargers field goal good, even if it isn't.

"He feels it's the least he can do," the friend said.

Turner, when reached for comment about the supposed text messages from Hochuli, would only say, "I have complete confidence in the integrity and fairness of Ed Hochuli. Especially now. I mean, ESPECIALLY now," Turner said with a wink and a smirk.

NFL referee Ed Hochuli (left), crafts a suicide letter immediately after September 14's game between the Chargers and the Broncos. He later eschewed the idea

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