Ex-UTEP player turned NFL ref featured in Sports Illustrated

Ed Hochuli is known for his muscles, and some bad calls, but he's also a sci-fi nerd

POSTED: 10:46 AM MDT Oct 03, 2012    UPDATED: 11:04 AM MST Mar 07, 2014 

InsideSportsIllustrated.com has published excerpts of Sports Illustrated's cover story on the return of the regular NFL referees, featuring former UTEP player Ed Hochuli. Read UTEP magazine's feature on Hochuli here.

Last week, deadspin.com posted an article about Hochuli respoding in a playful way to an NFL fan who asked that he and the striking referees return to the game.

"Given the absolute mess that I've seen over the past three weeks... I feel like I owe you an apology," the emailer wrote Hochuli. "I don't think I could appreciate what an amazing job you all do until I saw these guys, who I recognize are doing their best, fail so miserably and so blatantly."

Hochuli's responded with "Seriously, thanks for your email, but I'm sure a week after we're back, you'll be cursing me again!!!! That's half the fun. :)"

Hochuli has received a lot of heat for a few blown calls in the past, including one big one during the 2008 season.

After blowing a call that helped the Denver Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers early that year, Hochuli the referee admitted he made a mistake and answered e-mails from some fans telling them that.

"I'm getting hundreds of e-mails -- hate mail -- but I'm responding to it all," Hochuli wrote to several Chargers fans, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2008. "People deserve a response. You can rest assured that nothing anyone can say can make me feel worse than I already feel about my mistake on the fumble play. You have no idea … Affecting the outcome of a game is a devastating feeling. Officials strive for perfection -- I failed miserably. Although it does no good to say it, I am very, very sorry."