June 18, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers former running back LaDainian Tomlinson pauses during his retirement press conference at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Preach It, LT!!!!!

Anybody who knows me, is quite aware that I am not a fan of the NFL Network. They are completely biased when it comes to their coverage, and will blow smoke up the rear of anything related to the Steelers, the Ravens, the Patriots, the Giants, the Cowboys, the Eagles… if it’s in the east, it’s priority number one. In fact, if you are going to get any West Coast love, you have to be completely dominating (see San Francisco). Whereas teams like the Browns, the Bills, the Jets (the list goes on & on) get more coverage than the Chargers do. It’s nothing new to us fans. In fact, the arrival of Manti Te’O has only exacerbated the issue. We went from getting absolutely ZERO coverage, even when we were KICKING ASS… to being mentioned every five minutes after this years draft day. To prove my point, we went from being consistently mentioned on their broadcasts (a few weeks ago), to not even having an honorable mention, now that they have put a “media block” on Te’O. Tom Telesco took their favorite toy away, and now the NFL media is pouting in the corner, and won’t likely mention the Chargers until this ban is lifted shortly. This just goes to show you that they don’t care about the team.. just Manti. But, what’s new?

Anyway, I digress. What REALLY irritates me isn’t the non-coverage, and general disrespect that our team receives.. while other mediocre players & teams are constantly praised as the best thing since sliced bread (Romo / Dallas)… but, it’s the non-calls (Or, in this case… the bad calls) that seem to regularly transpire on the field at JUST the worst times. You can say I’m just bitter, but I have seen it a hundred times. There will be a crucial game-changing call by the officials, who generally try to make up for the call by throwing a flag on some ludicrous play in our favor, when it doesn’t matter anymore… almost as if to say “See… we make calls against them too”. This is almost more irritating than the first, because it undermines the integrity of the game, and gives the media a feeling that the game was called in a “fair manner”.

I was watching NFL Total Access earlier tonight. As we  all know, our beloved Hall of Fame running back Ladanian Tomlinson is an analyst (I think that’s what you would call it) on the show. They asked him “What was the most shocking finish you have been a part of”? I was just licking my chops, because as a Charger, I know LT must have a slew of BS games that were inexplicably pushed in the other teams direction by bad officiating. I could have kissed LT for not even wasting a breath, and calling out the biggest ever-loving Lou Lou slap in the face in Charger history!

The Ed Hochuli botched fumble call.

As LT began to paraphrase the events of the final minutes of the game, it almost seemed like NFL Total Access host Andrew Siciliano wished he could have taken the question back. He could be heard saying “Ooops” in the background, and the look on LT’s face was dead serious! LT was about to put their favorite “buff hamster” referee on BLAST! And LT, with all the class & style we have become accustomed to, laid down a factual account of one of the most mindlessly arbitrary officiating moments of all time.

2008….. We’re playing the Denver Broncos, in Denver. We’re up 38-31. Denver gets the ball back with about 4 minutes left. They drive down the field. On the one yard line, Jay Cutler clearly fumbles the ball. We recover it.. Ed Hochuli calls it an ‘incomplete pass’. We review it, and eventually they get the ball back, because he blew the whistle.”

This is where that little rodent, Adam Siciliano jumps IMMEDIATELY in to make sure that he defends his cherished official by saying “and he apologized!!!”. HE BETTER FRIGGIN’ APOLOGIZE! If he makes that call in a dream, he better wake up and apologize! That has to be the worst call I have ever seen, next to the Seattle / Green Bay call… and those were replacement refs, not the “so-called” best ref in the league! Watching the replay, you have absolutely no idea why he would have blown the whistle. I bet you if that was the Steelers, the Giants, the Patriots, or the Cowboys….. his whistle is in his pocket. Just sayin’. LT doesn’t even flinch at the butt-kissing comment, and continues:

Yeah… They go on to score.. get the two point conversion, and beat us at the end of the game.

Then he just stops, as if to say “nothing said from here on means anything”. Of course… in true NFL media fashion.. Siciliano goes on to say “If it’s any solace, they went 8-8, and didn’t make the playoffs.. and you guys… (smarmy pause).. did.. right”? It’s a comment like that, that would get the taste smacked out of you mouth where I come from. Truth is, that was the year we BARELY got into the playoffs with an 8-8 record by absolutely shellacking Denver at Qualcom 52-21 in week 17! (Suck on that, Cutler!!!) Had we been a hair short that year, Denver would have been in… all because of good ole’ Ed Hochuli.

Anyway, I know this was kind of a rant. But, it made me feel SO good to see LT let the cast of NFL Total Access (and everyone who was watching) know what a total robbery that game was! I even remember the NFL media actually having the nerve to back Hochuli up, and say that the Chargers should never have let it come to that, and mistakes happen. He should never be allowed to officiate a Charger game ever again, if you ask me.

I will end off with this…. Preach it, LT!!!!!

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence!

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Tags: Ed Hochuli LaDanian Tomlinson

  • Dion Chin

    My all time fave, a pro’s pro. The great LT. I love seeing him on NFL Network, just like the fact he’s still involved in the game one way or another.

  • geigage

    I just wish that LT got to hoist the Lombardi trophy as a Bolt. God damn shame that a legend like that never got a ring!

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      I get the feeling that the day the Chargers hoist one, he will feel almost the same as if he did it… almost. That’s just how good of a Charger he is
      ; )

    • NativeSanDiegan

      I wish the DOMINANT team with Fouts, Big-Hands Johnson, Louie Kelcher, etc got to hoist it. They dominated the league that year only to be undone in the Ice Bowl in Cincy. -30 wind chill with wind to interfere with our passing game. Should have never played it in those conditions. One TD won it, aided on the drive with a little call here and another one there. Our drives stopped with a phantom holding call. It only took the tiniest play to decide that game. The opportunity for it was supplied by the refs. Everyone in football knew the Chargers had the best team in football and they didn’t give away any games like some good teams do. Everyone knew we were robbed, but they only blamed it on the field conditions and very little about bad calls. Only how great Cincy played on their one scoring drive

  • Alter Ego

    I think every Charger Fan had that freshly kicked in the nuts feeling after that game. Its refreshing to hear that the players (LT) haven’t forgotten that awful day…and feel the same way the fans do about it. Gives us a sense we are in it together. Nice blog Pete.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Thanks mang.

  • Cgoodness13

    LT needs to come back as a running back coach for Mathews :/

  • Brian Smith

    This article is well written on fuckin spot on…..my dad said years ago how he always thought ESPN and now NFL network didint give much attention or love at all to the Padres or Chargers. When i was younger and didn’t watch ESPN much i just told him a was being crazy. Man he was right and you are very right on all.

    I love how Woodson and the Raiders have just got so much love this week…..it makes me wanna throw my shoe at the TV.

    Hope we shock them all this year so they have to show some highlights, GO Bolts.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Thanks for the kudos, Brian! The Chargers always seem to have to work double hard to beat their opponents when guys like Hochuli are on the field.

    • NativeSanDiegan

      At least Chris Berman likes us (& our original powder-blue units) and he seems to make a point of giving us kudos.

  • MC Boltman

    LT21 -> Charger4Life…thats about it…

  • Guest

    I will never forget this day. Anyone remember who recovered the fumble? was it Foley, maybe?

    • joerockt


  • Gunnar Martin

    Wasn’t that the (main) year of the “phantom calls?” Seemed like the entire league hated us for no particular reason…

  • BlueBoltFan

    Meanwhile think of all the coverage and speculation Green Bay got with the substitute officials in that Monday Night game against Seattle. They were contemplating the consequences that night of green Bay missing the playoffs after that game. Yeah, it’s irritating.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Shoot… When it happens to green bay, the league fires all of the refs, and ends a lockout over it!

      • BlueBoltFan

        Ha! True dat!

  • joerockt

    LT speaks the TRUTH, no matter how ineloquently he says it lol. Funny I saw the same piece on NFL network, but didn’t pickup the “Oops”, good catch.

    Damn Hochuli. Guy should have been suspended for that crap. What’s ridiculous about that play is that the whistle wouldn’t have changed the outcome. It was only Dobbins and Cutler and neither stopped when the whistle was blown. I have noticed though since then that refs are less apt to blow the whistle on what could be a fumble. Let the play complete and let the coaches challenge is much better than blowing the ball dead.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      I think they have changed that rule since then.

      • joerockt

        Yup, you’re right, the appropriately named Ed Hochuli rule.

  • 1961 Fan

    How far did we get in the Playoffs?

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      I hear ya, but that is beside the point, in my opinion. We have both been Bolts fans for a long time.. you much longer than I, and I have 30+ years on it. I have witnessed multiple games where the refs are gunning for the Chargers, and the other team can do no wrong in their eyes.. especially when we play teams from the east coast. Not just bad calls… but, complete non-calls, as well. It got to a point where my Dad & I could predict when a bad call was going to be made, almost as easy as you could predict Norv’s playcalling.

  • BoltFanLivingInTheBlackHole

    ‘and say that the Chargers should never have let it come to that, and mistakes happen.’

    As much as that play sucked, you might remember earlier in the game Denver got an interception deep in our territory on a pass to Gates, which clearly wasn’t an interception upon replay. But the replay system at that time was apparently ‘not functional’ so the call wasn’t reversed. How convenient.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Great point.. totally forgot about that. Just another stroke of cough / cough.. bad luck for the Bolts.

  • davacho

    second half of paragraph #2 – hell yes. freaking exactly.

    “I even remember the NFL media actually having the nerve to back Hochuli up, and say that the Chargers should never have let it come to that, and mistakes happen.” this is the MOST frustrating crap i hear from people- that a team should never have let it get to that point where one or two calls determine the game… football is a game of opportunity and that window can open & shut in a moment… in a 4th and long, in a field goal shank and in an inexcusable ref call. a game is a series of moments that lead to the eventual outcome- the ones near the end are usually the most potent. get your mind right!

  • NativeSanDiegan

    I agree with your entire article 100%; except the worst call I’ve ever seen with the most blatant cheating was the Holy Roller play by the cheating Raiders.