Farewell, Ed “Guns” Hochuli. You were too ripped for this world.

He’s been a steady rock of a presence on the sideline for years. One of the few refs to actually be known by name, and not really because he was bad at his job (Cough cough JEFF TRIPLETTE) or because his name kind of sounds like the word booger (Jerome Boger). His mighty muscles were an inspiration to us all. He was probably in better shape than half of the players. I was always incredibly annoyed that his nickname was “guns” and not “Hochules”. I mean come on, it was sitting right there.

I will miss his beefy arms, his ample thighs, his firm shoulders, and his impossible back. I will also miss his tendency to explain the entire rulebook for a routine penalty. I honestly don’t mean that as a joke. Muscle boy did a pretty good job explaining everything to us casual non-rule knowers. My favorite example of this was a moment Chargers fans will likely remember, and not fondly. In a game between the Broncos and Chargers (This was back in the JAY CUTLER-PHILIP RIVERS FEUD days, remember those?) the Broncos were driving with only a few seconds left, down by a touchdown. They were on the 5 or so yard line. Cutler butterfingers the ball and fumbles it trying to pass, but because Hochuli blew the whistle and called it an incomplete pass, the play could not be reviewed by rule. So the Broncos get one more play instead of the game being over. The Broncos score, then go for 2 and win the game. Chargers fans everywhere were rightfully livid. If you were a member of the Something Awful forums at that time, a certain “Dear Ed “Guns” Hochuli” post became legend. Shoutout to my man SA2k.

But what I don’t think got enough respect was how Guns handled his mistake. He fucked up and he knew it. He didn’t try to pretend he didn’t mess up (COUGH COUGH JEFF TRIPLETTE COUGH MUTHERFUCKING COUGH) he came right out, explained the situation, and took the heat. He looked clearly upset at himself. Not many refs, or people, would be willing to go out there and own a mistake like that so readily, but Biceps McProtein went right out and said the call was made incorrectly. I don’t blame Chargers fans for holding a grudge for that moment, but I honestly gained some respect for him on that play. Ed Hochuli is a better man than me.

He was also a lawyer, which like…holy moly. A lawyer by day, a buff gym nut by evening, and a NFL referee by weekend? Dude is a hell of a workaholic. What does Hochules do for fun? I mean besides pick up cars with his bare hands? Does he ever just watch TV? What shows does he watch? Pumping Iron on repeat?

Whatever he does for a hobby, he has more time now to devote to workouts instead of that hobby, so I wish him godspeed.