Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dealing with Mistakes

Ed Hochuli is having a bad week. That's an understatement!

For the uninitiated, Hochuli is a NFL referee (one of the best) who blew a call in Sunday's Chargers at Broncos game that was instrumental in the Chargers defeat. Hochuli blew his whistle as Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler lost his grasp on the football, meaning the play was dead and thwarting the Chargers recovery of what was a fumbled ball. Hochuli thought the dropped ball was an incomplete pass, and so he blew his whistle. By rule, Hochuli had to reward the ball to the Broncos, who went on to score a touchdown and make good on a 2-point conversion play, giving the Broncos a 39-38 victory over their division rival. Had Hochuli allowed the fumbled play to work itself out, the Chargers would have recovered the ball, run out the clock, and returned to San Diego as 38-31 victors in a very crucial game.

Hochuli is now the toast of Denver, and the target of derision and scorn in San Diego. Can you imagine blowing it on a bigger stage than an NFL game with millions upon millions of spectators and viewers? Yet, even though I am a Bronco fan (#2 after the Cowboys--yes, I'm one of those twisted few), I'm pulling for Hochuli to resuscitate his reputation as one of the finest, if not best, NFL referees. I hope he is able to deal with this mistake and move forward.

I hope NFL fans will allow him the opportunity to move past it. We (speaking of humanity in general) can be awfully hard on people when they make mistakes. In our self-interests and self-pride, we are quick to ridicule and castigate others who seem to ruin our day. But, we all make mistakes, don't we? I know I have made my share. You'd think, knowing our own frailties, we would be a lot on easier on others when they mess up. Or, as someone once said, If you want some slack, you've got to be prepared to give it in return.