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!