NFL ref Ed Hochuli and the Gettysburg Address: a quick comparison

Just a brief post of no importance, but since I have a blog and Twitter allows for only 140 characters at a time…

Ed Hochuli, NFL official, attorney, and bicep exhibitionist, probably has the highest profile of any current NFL referee. It wasn’t really a shock when “Hochuli” started trending on Twitter during the Giants-49ers NFC title game, which he officiated. The Twittersphere went all-in on Hochuli following Vernon Davis’ 73-yard touchdown catch/celebration penalty. After a replay review, Hochuli ruled the TD would stand, and gave a typically long-winded reply, which included the word “uncontroverted”.

Even better for Hochuli fans was his speech at midfield after regulation play had ended. Hochuli explained the NFL’s new overtime rules, and did it in his usual fashion. Joe Posnanski posted Hochuli’s words in verse, noting that the official’s remarks lasted 57 seconds.

At the time I tweeted that I wasn’t sure whether Hochuli’s soon-to-be-famous “New Overtime Rules Speech” was longer than Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, but that I thought it was close. As it turns out, it wasn’t that close. The Bliss Copy of Lincoln’s speech is 273 words long, while Hochuli’s address was only 183 words in length.

Hochuli’s overtime rules explanation, by my analysis, took 15 sentences, while Lincoln’s speech contains only 10 fairly lengthy (but brilliantly crafted) sentences, so Hochuli gets the edge there.

So there you have it. Ed Hochuli was unable to match the length of the Gettysburg Address last night. However, his phrase “a touchdown always wins the game” will surely go down in history in much the same way as Lincoln’s “government of the people, by the people, for the people”.

Final note: there are 277 words in this post.

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