Bye-Bye, Biceps: Referee Ed Hochuli Announces Retirement After 28 NFL Seasons

NFL referee Ed Hochuli

Photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

The NFL’s longest-tenured referee is hanging up his whistle.

Ed Hochuli, who began his NFL officiating career in 1990 and had served as a referee since 1992, announced his retirement Tuesday through NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron.

Referee Jeff Triplette also is retiring, per Riveron’s announcement. Replacing them will be Alex Kemp and Hochuli’s son, Shawn Hochuli.

Known for his bulging biceps and verbose penalty explanations, Hochuli was one of the league’s most respected and entertaining officials. All told, the 67-year-old worked 28 seasons in the NFL and officiated two Super Bowls: the Denver Broncos’ win over the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII and the New England Patriots’ victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Triplette also spent more than 20 years in the league, becoming an NFL official in 1996 and a referee in 1999. His career came to an inauspicious end earlier this year, as his crew bungled several important calls during the Tennessee Titans’ wild-card playoff win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Shawn Hochuli is entering his fifth season in stripes. He spent his first three as a back judge before switching to side judge in 2017.

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