The Denver Post’s Nick Groke reports that NFL ref/fitness buff Ed Hochuli has been replying to angry e-mail with San Diego postmarks. Unmentioned is how many of Hochuli’s messages begin with, “Dear Norv,”.

Hochuli, a 19-year veteran with two Super Bowls to his credit, has been swamped by letters from Chargers fans upset about the Broncos’ 39-38 victory at Invesco Field at Mile High. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, a contrite Hochuli responded to some of the e-mails.

“I’m getting hundreds of e-mails ” hate mail ” but I’m responding to it all. People deserve a response,” he wrote to several Chargers fans, according to the newspaper.

“You can rest assured that nothing anyone can say can make me feel worse than I already feel about my mistake on the fumble play. You have no idea. …

“Affecting the outcome of a game is a devastating feeling. Officials strive for perfection ” I failed miserably. Although it does no good to say it, I am very, very sorry.”

The crucial call occurred with the Broncos at the Chargers’ 1-yard line. Denver’s Jay Cutler dropped back to pass and the ball slipped out of his hands, bounced off the grass and into the arms of San Diego linebacker Tim Dobbins.