Football Zebras™

Author Archive for Ben Austro

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

NFL quietly passes ‘Hot Potato’ rule for coin toss

NFL flipping coin (Dallas Cowboys)

The NFL has circumvented the typical rule-revision process and is making a rule change that will affect the opening coin toss, according to a league source. “We made the point-after-touchdown try a more exciting play last year,” the source said. “We looked at other parts of the game, and realized that the coin toss was…

Blakeman takes #HotRef in stride, appears on ‘Today’ and ‘Access Hollywood Live’


Super Bowl 50 referee Clete Blakeman has lead a relatively obscure existence in the NFL, with an occasional reference here, although I’ve even admitted in the past to be “riding high on the Clete Blakeman bandwagon.”  The first sign that something was piquing the interest of fans on Sunday was when our post “Who will…

Jim Daopoulos joins ‘SportsCenter’ for playoff officiating analysis

ESPN SportsCenter set

ESPN has tapped former NFL officiating supervisor Jim Daopoulos to provide analysis of rules and interpretations throughout the playoffs. During the regular season, Daopoulos provided analysis occasionally on Monday and Tuesday mornings on SportsCenter. He will be in their studios in Bristol, Conn., to be used on the nighttime editions as needed for the four…