G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Lauren Silberman failed miserably in her attempt to become an NFL kicker at combine tryouts. Jezebel attempts to downplay Silberman’s failure by insinuating that the 28 year-old MIT grad whose only kicking experience came in club soccer, was “forced to quit tryouts” after an injury. Here’s the kick:
USA Today reported that Silberman had a hard time figuring out how to stand the ball on the tee. She also barely warmed up and took only a 6 yard drop instead of the standard 10. Worse, Silberman asked some of the men at the combine how to approach the ball. Silberman spun better than she kicked:
“You know, the distance wasn’t there, but hopefully the scouts will notice my technique,” she said. “It’s not always about length.”
That’s what she said.
There’s another angle to this story besides Silberman either being out solely for media attention – she’s an entrepreneur of some sort – or just being clueless and riding the wave of Go Grrl-ism that causes many women to reach for things that are far out of their grasp. Like the annual panoply of Pink that taints NFL attire, the NFL’s promotion of Silberman was a marketing ploy. The league charges combine participants $275 to test their mettle. They have little time to review kickers’ chops. Jane McManus of ESPNW briefly noted that the NFL promoted Silberman’s attempt, the circus surrounding which involved several TV interviews. Had Silberman been successful in any way, you can bet the NFL would have been there to trumpet her achievement.
Even if one woman came along that could make an NFL or even a D1 NCAA roster, how impressive would that be? I’ll admit that it’s a bit ridiculous for me even to get roped into the discussion. Doing so lends credence to the argument that a kicker is on the same level as the other NFL players. As if a female kicker would be on the same plane as Tom Brady or Adrian Peterson.