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ControversySo Suh me! Hochuli, Esq., explains his call

So Suh me! Hochuli, Esq., explains his call

Week 13: Bears at Lions

As a follow-up to the Ndamukong Suh penalty, referee Ed Hochuli (whose weekday and offseason job is a trial lawyer) explained his call following Sunday’s game, as he saw it:

Q: The personal foul on Suh, exactly what did you call and why?

Hochuli: I felt it was an unnecessary non-football act—a blow to the back of the runner’s helmet in the process of him going down.

Q: Did it have anything to do with the fact he was a quarterback?

Hochuli: Well, the quarterbacks receive more protection, but in that situation, no. In that situation, it was I felt an unnecessary blow, a non-football act as the runner was going to the ground.

Q: If the contact had been in the shoulder or not in the head, would it still have been a penalty?

Hochuli: I really would have to see it. I can’t speculate on something else that I didn’t see. But as I saw it, he hit him in the back of the helmet.

Q: Can you describe why that it is an unnecessary [act]?

Hochuli: When you tackle people, you come in, and you wrap up and come with your arms and things like that. I felt he delivered a blow to the back [of the] runner that happened to be the quarterback. That is why I was down there following it. He’s my responsibility.

As reported in the Detroit Free-Press, Suh had a very responsible answer to the controversy, especially considering Suh is a rookie:

I don’t judge calls. It’s not my job. My job is to go out there and play, get the ball out. It was a great opportunity to attack the ball. It just happened. Whatever. I was going for the ball, so that’s all that matters.

Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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