Created on: March 07, 2013 Last Updated: March 08, 2013
Through the years, women have overcome so many obstacles placed in their way in the name of women's right. They have overcome artificial boundaries put in place, in a veiled attempt to show that somehow women are not on an equal level with their male counterparts. The business world now features many female CEOs, showing that women are just as good in the boardroom as any men. One place that separation still exists though is on the playing fields of sports.
Perhaps that is why the story of Lauren Silberman was so enthralling. Here was a young lady that was going to try making it into a professional sport where no woman has ever dared go. She was trying out to be a kicker in the National Football League, starting her journey at an NFL Regional tryout in New York. Cameras were rolling and at the ready as Silberman strode on to the field with the other kickers in her tryout group.
The first thing that observers and the other kickers noted was the unorthodox preparation that Silberman undertook. Basically, she did no kicking whatsoever. As her male counterparts warmed up by booting field goals and practicing kicks, the young lady warmed up by stretching and doing some light jogging. It was also suggested by some of the anonymous kicking candidates that she tweeted and looked for pointers from a few of them. This could have been a precursor of things to come.
The time finally came for Lauren Silberman to start her tryout. It would begin with the simplest of kicker assignments, the kickoff. After all, one just lines up ten yards back, run forward, and kick it as far down the field as one can. Silberman went to place the ball on the tee, but that took a good 20 seconds to accomplish. Once the ball was on, Silberman started to back up, except she only went about six yards. Perhaps she had a different philosophy, given that she came from a collegiate soccer background.
Silberman started her trajectory towards the ball, she swung her leg, and the kickoff traveled 16 yards; the kick did not even pass the 20 yard barrier. Surely, it was a bout of nerves that got the best of her, so she lined up for attempt number two. She ran to the ball, kicked, and watched the ball sail 13 yards. She grimaced a bit when that kick went skyward, so NFL personnel on hand came over and spoke with her.
Just like that, the tryout was over. Silberman indicated that she had injured her quad muscle, but was trying to tough it out. Whatever the reason, her tryout went off disastrously. It led some to speculate if the tryout was simply a stunt by the NFL to garner some publicity, trying to show they are a sport for everyone. That was not the case as it turns out. It turns out that anyone that wants to come out for a first round regional tryout can do so, as long as they pay their $275 fee and get the application in on time.
In this case, it appears that the $275 was in vain as Silberman showed very poorly. It was unfortunate enough that former kicker Katie Hnida felt the need to speak out. She chastised Silberman for lack of preparation, among other things. In a USA Today quote, published in the New York Daily News, Hnida said, "Her performance does not have to do with her gender, it has to do with her experience and her preparation. Unfortunately, what's going to happen now is she's going to be looked at (as inferior) because she was female." Hnida knows of what she speaks as she was the first woman to kick on the NCAA Division 1-A level, with the University of Colorado and New Mexico.
Learn more about this author, John Atchison.
Click here to send this author comments or questions.
Below are the top articles rated and ranked by Helium members on:
First woman to try out for NFL blows kick-offs
Cast your vote!
Click for your side.