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Cam Newton Claims Referee Ed Hochuli Told Him He’s “Not Old Enough” to Get Roughing the Passer Call (Video)
Every sport has unwritten, unspoken rules. In baseball, you can’t saunter out of the batter’s box after you hit a home run. In hockey, goons aren’t supposed to pick on the talented guys who don’t fight. In soccer, if you have the ball and a player on the other team is hurt, you’re supposed to kick the ball out of bounds, and then the other team is supposed to give it back to you.
One of the unwritten, unspoken rules of football is that veteran quarterbacks who have proven themselves get more protection from referees than less-established guys. What this means is that, on borderline roughing the passer plays, your Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings will get the flag, while your Jameis Winstons and Johnny Manziels will not.
Obviously, the official rules are supposed to be the same for everybody, which is why this sort of thing goes unspoken. Unfortunately, during the Panthers-Saints game on Sunday, referee Ed Hochuli made the mistake of actually speaking about this rule to Cam Newton after one of those borderline roughing the passer plays.
Here’s what Newton had to say about it after the game:
“I was rolling out trying to string out the play and create some kind of opportunity to get a completion. The defensive lineman, you know, kind of hit me. It was close, right on the cusp—was it a late hit? I don’t know. But The response I got was: ‘Cam you’re not old enough to get that call.’ And I’m like, geeze, I didn’t think you had to have seniority to get a personal foul or anything like that… I’m ticked off, really… If he would have said he missed the call, okay that’s one thing. But for his response to be what it was, I’m not old enough to get that call? Geeze, so, heaven forbid he gets any rookies. They’re going to have a long day, man.”
We don’t have any audio evidence of Hochuli saying this. But we do have a video of Hochuli talking to Cam after the play in question. And you can tell Cam cannot believe what he’s hearing:
Of course, the problem with unwritten rules is that their application can be somewhat arbitrary. In this case, even someone who thinks established QBs should get preferential treatment might find it strange that a 5th-year player with a $100 million contract wouldn’t be considered “established.”
Regardless, the NFL is probably going to have a little chat with Hochuli over this.