Thursday, September 18, 2008

The value of a good reputation

If you watched the end of the Broncos-Chargers football game last Sunday, you saw referee Ed Hochuli blow a call that cost the Chargers the game. Hochuli is a 19-year veteran and has a reputation as one of the very best referees in the NFL. Blown calls happen all the time. What strikes me about this story is how Hochuli has responded to his mistake, and how the public is responding to him.

Hochuli knew he blew it almost immediately, but the NFL rules didn't allow him to overturn the call. So he admitted to Chargers' coach Norv Turner during the game that he made a mistake. After the game, feeling "devastated" by his error, he emailed San Diego fans and apologized. And he talked about his error with the commissioner. Exactly the kind of thing that a person of integrity and professionalism would do.

The response by the NFL and fans appears to be overwhelmingly supportive and forgiving. In fact, the NFL is reviewing its own rules about overturning calls. An NFL official said that whole goal is to try to get him back to get on the horse and work again this weekend. He's too good of a guy, too good of an official to keep off the field...
In the ideal world, that's what happens when you build up a positive reputation and do the right thing. And sometimes in the real world too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hochuli is one of the best. He made a mistake. Period. That is sports!Sometimes the call goes your way, sometimes, not.... If folks really want to get worked up about something, I suggest they look at the financial news these last few days.