Broncos vs. Chargers, September 14, 2008

Denver Broncos helmetImage via Wikipedia

Hi all…

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m a Broncos fan. When they do well, they’re the Broncos. When they do poorly, they’re the Denver Donkeys. What the heck do I call them when they win a game thanks to two blown officiating calls? I have no idea.

This weekend, the Denver Broncos played the San Diego Chargers in Denver at Invesco Field at Mile High (also known simply as Mile High Stadium, which was Invesco Field’s predecessor). It was their home opener after beating the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football on September 8.

The two botched calls that I hope the Chargers are complaining about to the NFL’s head officiating office were at the beginning and end of the game.

The first was the “fumble recovery” or “interception” by Champ Bailey. When Ed Hochuli went to review the play under the hood, he waited two minutes and came out telling fans that he’d waited the two minutes he was allowed, but the replay equipment malfunctioned. As such, he was forced go go with what had been ruled on the field.

This “technology” issue sucks. It wasn’t the only “glitch” during this game either. The game clocks were malfunctioning all over the place and it was even more apparent in the 2nd half.

The second issue is of course the lovely call about Jay Cutler‘s “incomplete pass” or “fumble”. Ed blew the whistle when the ball hit the ground, basically declaring it dead. So when the Chargers player picked it up and ran out of bounds with it, which should have killed the game… Mr. Hochuli again went under the hood and came out saying that the Broncos had the ball at the 10. Huh?

This is such a blown call that it Hochuli should be drawn and quartered. (Ok, maybe I’m going overboard there, but he really screwed this one up.) Apparently he told the San Diego coach that he blew it, and that’s obviously not good enough.

What’s bizarre to me was this wasn’t the only piece of bad officiating today that I saw while watching my NFL Sunday Ticket… There were a couple of crews that should go back to school to learn what the heck they’re doing.

Yes, I’m a Bronco fan. But they didn’t deserve to win this game. Cutler threw an interception in the 4th quarter that should have been the end of the game. And the Denver Defense blew chunks today (I should know — they were a last minute change on my Fantasy Football team when the Baltimore/Houston game was rescheduled due to Hurricane Ike).

Right now I’m hoping officiating improves this season. ‘Cause after the 2nd game of the season, I’m not holding much hope.


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  1. As an aside, I heard from my Aunt & Uncle down in Houston via my Mom tonight… They’re safe and sound, but without power. Sounds like they were lucky. My hopes and thoughts are with those in Houston & Galveston less lucky. Hopefully they’ll get help to those who need it and then focus on infrastructure.

    The well being of all of those affected by Ike in Texas and elsewhere on the Gulf Coast must always come first. Football is a pursuit for another time.

  2. That’s good news from your Aunt and Uncle. Being hit by a hurricane is no fun. Hopefully all impacted can rebuild quickly after the hurricane season is done.

    The blown call gave the Broncos the opportunity to win the game, but San Diego gave up the winning 2 point conversion on the almost the same exact play as what was used for the Touchdown.

    Yes, the refs should get the dang calls right, but still the Broncos still had to execute to win the game, and San Diego still had an opportunity to put the game away.

    The oddest things about the calls and their significant impact on the game, is it also puts the Broncos as an early season favorite to take the AFC West.

    Last thought about the game, is that both San Diego and Denver looked atrocious on defense. My guess is that is going to come back to haunt them both at some point. (Well, maybe it already has for SD since they are now 0-2 having lost both games with last minute drives.)

  3. You’re absolutely right. Questionable calls aside, both teams had to execute to get the points necessary to win. Shanahan and the Broncos executed slightly better than San Diego, providing the points necessary to come out ahead in the end.

    And yeah… NONE of the defenses in the AFC West have looked great this year. Though Oakland looked pretty good playing against KC (what I saw of that game).

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