Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
With less than two minutes remaining, the Broncos trailed San Diego, 38-31. Denver reached the Chargers' 1 but on third-and-goal, Bronco QB Jay Cutler reared back to throw and the ball slipped out of his hands, bounced off the turf and into San Diego linebacker Tim Dobbins' hands.
If you were like me, today you watched the Packers and Brewers this afternoon, with remote in hand, then you watched Brett Favre and the Jets take on New England. When that game was over, CBS switched to the wild finish of the San Diego-Denver game.
Denver Post photo
San Diego ball, game over, right?
Enter referee Ed Hochuli.
Hochuli is forceful and assertive on the microphone. But he’s a cocky, arrogant, overrated official who loves to admire his own biceps. Hochuli is one of the few officials, but they do exist, who believes fans buy tickets or turn on their TV sets to see him.
Hochuli, seeing the ball squirt out of Cutler’s hand, blew his whistle. What was he going to rule?
If he ruled an incomplete pass, the ball would have been placed at the 1 yard line. The officials put the ball at the 10.
The only way the ball could be at the 10 was if it was a fumble and San Diego recovered. But Hochuli awarded the ball to Denver, saying it should have been a fumble, but he blew his whistle, so the play was dead where the ball hit the grass, the 10 yard line.
On the next play, Denver scored a touchdown, then connected on a two-point conversion, robbing San Diego of a victory.
Chargers coach Norv Turner erupts on the sideline after an inadvertent whistle stopped a play prematurely with 1:14 to play. The Broncos would go on to score the winning touchdown and two-point conversion. San Diego Unon-Tribune photo
Ed Hochuli needs to suffer the consequences. The National Football League (NFL), like most pro sports organizations, never announces sanctions against officials. The NFL needs to make an example out of Hochuli.
The NFL Commissioner should announce that Hochuli, who cost a team a victory, is going to be fined, suspended, or both. The exact terms of the sanctions must be made public.
When Hochuli returns, he shouldn’t be allowed to work any games that involve teams near the top of the standings or any playoff teams from last season.
While the season is still new, send him to Miami or Arizona to work day games in brutal heat and humidity. Later in the season, Hochuli should be banished to cold weather sites without domes.
Maybe then, the egotistical Hochuli and other officials will get the message.