Ed Hochuli is arguably the most recognizable referee in all of football. The reason being is simple: His biceps are bigger than those of some linebackers. Hochuli knows his pythons are his trademark, which is why he fed right into the buzz on Wednesday when NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington asked him if he has been keeping up with his workouts while the referees have been locked out:
I asked Ed Hochuli how many curls he’s been doing: “As soon as I heard the rumors today, I got down on the floor and started doing pushups.”
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) September 27, 2012
Thank goodness for that. The regular officials are scheduled to jump right into action and call Thursday night’s game between the Ravens and the Browns. According to SI.com’s Peter King, the 61-year-old Hochuli is one of the main reasons they will not require any extended preparation time before returning. Hochuli reportedly implemented a weekly test regarding rule changes with his fellow officials via conference call and went over the results with each of them.
“That’s one of the reasons why the officials will be up to date and ready to go,” a source told King on Wednesday. “Ed grabbed the bull by the horns and made sure that whenever this thing ended, the regular officials would be ready to go back to work immediately.”
After being treated to three weeks of nonstop complaining and one of the biggest blown calls in sports history, seeing Hochuli’s guns on the field this weekend will be refreshing to say the least. The fact that he kept all the officials sharp during the lockout will only make him more beloved by NFL fans — until he blows a major call of course.
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