Mostly because it was great to unplug for a few weeks and "take a breath" and also evaluate our year ahead.
I leave 2013 with very mixed emotions as it would have been my last year on The List should I have attained such an honor. It also reminds me just how full of crap FIFA is to cap the age at 45 as I think a pretty compelling case can be made (actually based in science) why the very best referees should be able to work to 50 ... as FIFA used to allow. We will save that for later this month.
It did force me to reflect on my career as a referee and what would have been my forced retirement and my actual retirement from the collegiate game and celebrate Jr. getting geared up to become a referee in early 2014.
It also was a time of recognition from an active career as a referee, to one of a referee coach, assessor, and instructor. It is clearly time to give back for me.
Now before I get all misty, I am still refereeing, actively, just not as much as I used to. Also, my *focus* is no longer my refereeing, but others.
Kicking Back is going to change a bit too in this regard as in looking back at my musings over the last years, it has increasingly stepped away from analysis, and more toward bashing (FIFA).
While I don't intended to stop that practice, especially with some of the lunacy coming from Sepp these days, I think it is important to get back to what Kicking Back was initially intend to be, a thoughtful commentary on sport and how that intersects with refereeing of all types.
To accomplish this however I will be writing a little less in an effort to go a bit deeper in topics so please bear with me as we change form right before your eyes.
I do however reserve the right to rant on occasion about the lunacy that is going on on the international stage ... in fact ... Fridays are that day ... Free-for-all Friday's where there will be little content and big rants.
It is a World Cup year after all, so let's see where we go.
Next up, year 5.