Well, now we know where Ed Hochuli was during the opening rounds of the post-season. Good to see “Guns” getting himself another NFC Championship game. The dude is flat out excellent at his job - the second best zebra going, next to Mike Carey. Sure his explanations are long-winded. Sure, like White Castle fries, Ed’s shirts only come in one size…men’s small. Sure he’s not without controversy, but you’ve got to give this much to Ed: he genuinely cares about getting it right, and genuinely desires the audience to understand the rules that govern a given call on the field. And…he usually gets it spot-on.
NFL rules are like a Rubik’s Cube: just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you realize you’ve got nothing. But there is one rule (that Ed brilliantly explained yesterday) that is subject to no interpretation. It’s a rule at which basketball ought to take a closer look. When you don’t have any timeouts…and you call a timeout…nothing happens. Finally a rule that makes sense!
If I walk up to the vending machine, insert no money, and hit a button for a Twix, what happens? Nothing. The machine just sits there, as if to say – “Nice try, pal.” I don’t get arrested. I don’t get charged more the next time I attempt to purchase something from that machine.
How entertaining was it to watch Eli Manning attempt to call timeout at the end of the first half? Like a hamster feverishly flicking the ball bearing of an empty water can, Manning kept going to the T, then looking up, then back to the T, “Oh no I don’t have any,” looking up, “Snap the ball,” looking up, “SNAP THE BALL!” All the while, the officiating crew just stared back blankly at old Eli. Pure amusement, and pure genius.