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Merry Christmas and Happy Hochulis



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2013 has been an incredible year for us at Football Zebras, and I wanted to thank you for taking the time to read what we write. I appreciate the questions, the discussion, and even the arguments. I suppose it goes for with the territory when discussing the officiating. The number 13 has never been worn by an official, but ’13 has been very kind to us.

ben_otlI was extraordinarily lucky to have my reporting capture the interest of the New York Times, CNN, and ESPN in January. I appreciate the assistance and the traffic we have received this year from Deadspin, the SB Nation team sites, and WEEI in Boston, among many.

We have been able to publish expert opinions from former officiating supervisors Jim Daopoulos and Larry Upson. I have learned so much more about officiating from their input, and I hope that you have enjoyed their perspectives this season. I am especially grateful for their contributions, and I hope they will continue to be part of the conversations through the playoffs and into next season.

As we enter 2014, we have some exciting things lined up, which I wish I could announce now, but it is a bit premature. Suffice to say, I never thought when I wrote the first post on Football Zebras that it would lead to wonderful opportunities for me beyond this site. For that, it is the gift that you, dear reader, have given me this Christmas.

I hope you enjoy the spirit of the season and the company of those you hold dear. Merry Christmas.


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)

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