It's not easy being Ed Hochuli lately. Everybody screws up at their job from time to time; very, very few receive a city full of scorn for it. And yet the Hochuli hate parade didn't end with the scores of angry e-mails from San Diego regarding Jay Cutler's fumble/non-fumble, as subsequent screwups have effected the Panthers and, as of last night, the Saints.
The effort among San Diego faithful to write Hochuli -- and his willingness to respond -- has inspired other fanbases sleighted by the ref to hate on him as well. It almost makes you want to feel bad for the guy, but, well, he's a public figure with his e-mail available for the world to see (I won't make it easy on you, you can let Googles lead you if you'd like to join in). Also, it probably wasn't smart for him to respond to e-mails from Chargers fans, especially once the NFL advised him against it. Which makes this even more questionable.
FanHouse has obtained what we believe to be a response from Hochuli to a Saints fan writing in regard to his officiating from Monday's Saints/Vikings game. Disclaimer: We were not able to verify the sender of the e-mail completely. A check of the IP, specifically, wasn't possible, meaning this might not be Hochuli writing the e-mail. However, given what we do have to go by and the infamous ref's recent history, we're confident enough to at least pass it along. Remember, however, that this isn't definitively Hochuli. He's a lawyer, and I don't want to get sued. Thanks much.
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Check out the e-mail after the jump.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: EDWARD HOCHULI<EHochuli@xxxxxxx.com>
Date: Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 10:46 AM
Subject: RE: How did you miss this?
To: Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx <email@example.com>
You are certainly free to have your opinions, but if you were a knowledgeable fan, you would understand that there are 7 officials out there, and you would not attribute all errors to the Referee. The face mask, for example, is no where near anything I'm looking at or supposed to be looking at when it happened.
It's popular right now to pile on Hochuli, because I blew the San Diego call. And there is certainly no requirement that anyone have any real knowledge of officiating in order to have an opinion. Fortunately, the NFL and my boss don't agree with you. You are free to have your own opinions, and since you took the time to write me, I figured I owed you the time to respond.
First: +1 for the use of third-person. Second: the note in the first paragraph echoes what our own Matt Snyder had to say about the facemask call. Third: he seems a bit irritable and obnoxious, doesn't he? It's a far cry from the remorse he showed for the San Diego call. Maybe this time he's not remorseful. Or maybe he's just now begun realizing that whether he screws up or not, he's going to have at least hundreds of biased maniacs filling his mailbox each week all season long, and frustration is starting to set in.
Either way, if that is really Hochuli, he's only bringing it upon himself by continuing to respond. Still, could it really be him? You would think he'd be smart enough to realize the repercussions of his continued pen-pal'ing (as well as the fact that the NFL is typically the type of employer you heed warnings from). I have faith in this e-mail; oddly enough, my rare faith in the intelligence of mankind is also gnawing at me. Oh, the inner conflict ...