Top 10 Moments of the 2008 Season

The Top 10 Moments of the 2008 Season: #6

Over the next few days, we’ll examine the top 10 moments of the ‘08 season leading up to the moment that defined the 2008 NFL season.

6. Mile High Mistake: Ed Hochuli puts his stamp on the AFC West division race by blowing a critical call in Denver’s 39-38 Week 2 win over San Diego.

In a year where good officiating seemed to become the exception rather than the norm, referee Ed Hochuli set an ominous tone by blowing a call late in the fourth quarter of an AFC West clash between Denver and San Diego.

Driving late for a potential game-tying touchdown (or so we thought at the time), Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler fumbled the ball and San Diego recovered. However, Hochuli blew the play dead, signaling an incomplete pass. Moments later, Denver scored a touchdown and two point conversion to win the game by a point thanks to the untimely call.

Realizing he made an incredulous error, the NFL  apologized for the mistake hours later and in an unprecedented move, Hochuli answered e-mails from angry fans, who disagreed with his call.

The call nearly propelled Denver into the playoffs until their late-season demise. The Mile-High mistake proved costly on that day for San Diego but more importantly established a tone of bad officiating that lasted all the way through Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, I mean you Pittsburgh McAulay.

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