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Right Said Ed

Sundays are not for writing, especially.

Sundays are not against writing, of course. I imagine that slice of the calendar is fairly agnostic about whether writing occurs on top of it.

(Oh, people adhering to various religions or other might care, but the calendar? I doubt it.)

None of this is the point. The point is, Sundays are not especially for writing. Because Sundays are for football.

Some Sundays, anyway. Like this one. I spent a very large part of the afternoon and evening glued to the set, soaking up touchdowns, tackles and turnovers galore.

(That's "football turnovers", of course. I don't know how to make the pastry. Or it would have been both.)

"But these guys will turn it around. To a point. Probably."

Also featured prominently in this week's action were the referees. The real referees, as opposed to the D-III linesmen and Pop Warner back judges the NFL has been trotting out with whistles so far this season. And that's a good thing.

Well, mostly a good thing. Evidently, the pros are a little out of practice; there were as many phantom calls and oddball decisions as in the last couple of weeks. But these guys will turn it around. To a point. Probably.

The guy I was happiest to see -- although I didn't actually see him today -- is Ed Hochuli. One of the more recognizable refs, he's the one with the Popeye arms and the propensity to explain -- and explain, and explain, and over-explain -- any sort of controversial or questionable play or call or vendor menu item.

At the same time, our burgeoning sketch group is compiling scripts to shoot and put online. And to, uh, burgeon with. I figured the time was ripe for a sort of Ed Hochuli tribute.

So I wrote one. On a Sunday. I'll drop it off below for your perusal. And then I'll get back to football. I'm sure there are some highlights I missed. And maybe some juicy ref explanations. Those are the best. Happy Sunday, pigskin peeps.

On Further Review

A REFEREE in uniform jogs into view. He taps the microphone switch on his belt. He makes various explanatory hand gestures during his explanation. Ideally, he has big Popeye-style forearms.

After further review, the ruling on the field has been overturned. The runner lost possession of the ball before being touched down by contact.

Also, the recovering player had not gone out of bounds before touching the ball, suggested by the sideline judge throwing his hat. The judge had seen a bee and was attempting to shoo it away.

Furthermore, the penalty for a block in the back during the return was declined. The penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, grabbing the facemask, was accepted -- but on review it was found that the lineman has been sleeping with the cornerback's wife, so that penalty is waved off.

Regarding the holding call on the offensive line, our review unveiled the following facts...

The referree holds up a huge report, like a court transcript.

...Point the first, that a member of the offense, number ninety-seven, did with full intent and malice of forethought, hold a linebacker illegally from his intended path...

The scene cuts to a montage of the referee, with a voiceover of (possibly absurd) further explanations, as he: points out Xs and Os with a pointer on a whiteboard, performs a scene with finger puppets, does a touchdown dance, and points out on a doll where the bad man touched somebody.

The final cut is back to the ref, now clearly exhausted, wrapping up his explanation.

...fifteen yards from the spot of the foul, and thirty hours of community service. So it's first and ten from the forty-six yard line.

Unfortunately, this explanation took so long, we don't have time to play the last three quarters. The game ends in a tie, zero-zero. Drive safe.

As the referee says "second half", he waves his arms over his head to signal time out, then locks his arms straight out to the sides to signal the "game ends". When he's done talking, he jogs off, out of the shot.

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