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Hochuli has primetime microphone, disallows quick Packer snap after penalty



Week 15: Packers at Patriots

After administering a pass interference penalty at the 1-yard line, the Packers were trying to snap the ball quickly, which referee Ed Hochuli announced was impermissible:

We were coming out of a penalty and the team has the opportunity to line up. [Whistles heard after a pause.]

There was no timeout called. There was no timeout called. I came in and stopped the play, because coming out of an administrative stoppage, both teams need to come out and be set.

Thanks to the Sunday Night Football Extra online feed, I was not only able to rewind to see exactly what was being called, but could do so from multiple angles (something oddly missing from each team’s replay review capabilities). Within seconds of the penalty being announced and spotted, the Patriots are seen substituting at least four players when the Packers are huddled. (At least four are seen offsides in the picture, three entering and one leaving the field; there are others out of frame.) The Packers break the huddle at that point, trying to catch the Patriots shorthanded and offside.

A reasonable amount of time was not given, especially since the ball was as far away from the team bench as possible.

Unrelated post-script. A quick side note of appreciation from the Sunday Night Football crew for their work on a first down measurement. NBC brought one of their StediCams on the field to zoom in on the one-link-short measurement. In the photo below, you can see the live camera angle in the inset picture, with the overhead cable camera in the larger picture, revealing the StediCam operator. Now why he’s wearing shorts in sub-freezing Foxborough, Mass., is another story, but his shot was excellent.

(Lawyers, please, I try to keep game footage pictures to a minimum, only if the point can’t be illustrated otherwise. But, do appreciate the plug.)

Image credits: NFL/NBC Sports via Sunday Night Football Extra