Ahmard Hall came to Seattle on Saturday with forgiveness in his heart.
The Tennessee Titans fullback returned to Qwest Field, the scene of what he believed was a crime when NFL official Ed Hochuli called him for holding on a fourth-quarter play in the 2009 season finale. The penalty wiped out Chris Johnson's 62-yard touchdown run, denying the Titans running back a shot at Eric Dickerson's single-season record of 2,105 yards and upsetting Hall, who insisted he didn't hold a Seahawk.
Hall revealed Saturday that Hochuli now agrees and recently apologized to him and Johnson for "a mistake."
"It is big of him," Hall said of Hochuli's admission, according to The Tennessean. "Some guys won't admit they're wrong regardless if they're dead wrong. So that is a big deal, with the record that could've been and him being a prestigious referee, to admit that he was wrong.
"I got over it, but I admit it hurt me for a while. You are getting replayed on ESPN as the guy who had the phantom holding call. But for Ed to apologize personally, that definitely added closure to the situation."
Hall said the call also cost Hochuli, who might be best known for his incomplete-pass call on an apparent Jay Cutler fumble during a 2008 Denver Broncos-San Diego Chargers game.
"He told us that call made him miss out on a big playoff game," Hall said before the Titans' 20-18 preseason loss to the Seahawks. "He got a low, low grade for that call. He regretted it and talked to myself and C.J., and then talked to the team. He admitted it was a bad call. People make mistakes, and it was big for him to own up to it."
Johnson finished the season with 2,006 yards, making him just the sixth NFL player to reach 2,000.