Female Kicker Blazes Trail at NFL Regional Combine

posted by Pretty Tough
Friday, February 22, 2013 at 8:02am EST

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Female Football KickerLauren Silberman, a 28-year-old from New York City,  will make history March 2 when she becomes the first female to ever participate in a regional NFL Draft Combine according to  NFL.com .

Silberman,  who has kicked a 40 yard field goal but never played competitive football, will tryout as a kicker.  This is a story that could have been ripped from the pages of one of our books Playing with Boys (Pretty Tough #2) is about a  female soccer player who makes the varsity squad of her highschool football team.

At the University of Wisconsin Silberman played club soccer, then went the very non-traditional pro sports route of attending MIT and writing a master’s thesis about athletes using video games as performance enhancers. She has since started a company called Double Play that aims to aid athletes through video game use.

Other collegiate kickers will be competing against Silberman in the New Jersey regional, and Silberman had this to say in a phone interview with NFL.com, on becoming the first female to sign up for a combine:

“I was not aware that I was the first female registrant. I was actually hoping that the 2012 historical milestone rule, to allow women to play, would prompt more women to attend tryouts this year. But for me, what’s important is to finally have a chance to fulfill my dreams by trying out to play in the world’s most competitive football league.”

The NFL began implementing the regional combine system in 2011, featuring 10 host cities that whittle down participants to send to a super-regional combine in Dallas in April. Silberman will be the first to try to break the gender barrier in the three years since the regional combines were launched.

The prospect of a female playing in the NFL is something that excites a lot of people but even if Silberman ends up being the best kicking prospect at the combine,  it’s unlikely an NFL team will pick her up unless they’re looking for a publicity stunt.

For years opponents of female playing on the gridiron have said it is “for their own good,” which is ridiculously sexist. Have they ever seen a women’s pro football game?  I’m referring to the WFA  (not the Lingerie Football League). Those players definitely have what it takes to compete on the gridiron.

Silberman might not make a NFL team or even make it to the super-regionals, but it’s a milestone that a woman is trying out. Too bad  it took until 2013 for history to happen.  We’ll be cheering for her.

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There are 8 comments on this post. Join the discussion!

emilyryall says:

Equally - have they ever seen top quality women's rugby?! Now that is much tougher than American Football with and all that padding! Great news and hopefully she will be selected on merit.

Friday, February 22, 2013 at 9:01am EST

michaelharper696 says:

This is great news for football . Let's hope she gets selected .

Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:45pm EST

michaelharper696 says:

The day was finally her Lauren Silberman did a great job ! At the New York Jets Regional Combine , Lauren made kicks of 19 yards and 13 yards . She later asked to see a trainer because there seem to be an injury to her quadricep. This injuiry is among the top five injury that happen to kickers . Most of the time it happens , when one is over loading their leg ( too many reps ) . This injury can be over come with proper rest, etc, . For now , Lauren Silberman rest up . You did a great job ! At this point , we all should be feel good about this story. Just ask yourself, why not give her a try because almost every NFL team could use another kicker .

Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 7:58pm EST

Crimson says:

Are you serious? Ms. Silberman's performance can fairly be called an epic fail by any fair and objective measurement. She didn't "make" any kicks, period. She missed 30 yard field goal attempts by plunking them 19 and 13 yards respectively. It took her 30 seconds to put the ball on the tee.

It's pretty stunning that anyone could frame this performance as a win for women in sports. If anything some honest women in sports should be calling her out for her lack of preparedness and poor performance. If she was injured she shouldn't have participated in the first place.

I suggest you ladies and Mr. Harper be a bit careful with your mystical and inappropriate praise for Silberman. Reasonable people have already observed the obvious.

Monday, March 4, 2013 at 12:18pm EST

michaelharper696 says:

Stop being a Monday Morning quarter back ! I guess that everything you did in your life came out perfect ( always ) . No it
did not ! There was someone in your life that tried to encourage you at something you was trying to do . Give a person credit at trying ! If this is not true then live on , you are going to be put in a situation that you must encourage someone . Sorry for the mystical praise, but I
think everyone should live their dream ! Amercia , land of the free !

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 6:35pm EST

mcjack says:

Katie Hnida has been lambasting her in the media http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2013/03/04/katie-hnida-says-lauren-silberman-was-terrible/1961559/

As well as Jane McManus from ESPNW

And also Aditi Kinkhabwala from nfl.com

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 10:45pm EST

Crimson says:

jack -You're right. My original blurb should have read "some honest women in sports on this blog should be calling her out". I had seen the Hnida piece and she is 100% right; Silberman was terrible. Had also seen McManus' piece and thought it was a softball write up. Appreciate the Kinkhabwala link. It's well done and is as close to accurate as I've seen out there. She hit it on the head. This was a shameless PR stunt, nothing more.

harper - Silberman is an MIT graduate. Clearly a smart lady and certainly bright enough to know that she didn't have a clue what she was doing, which her performance painfully confirmed. She obviously thinks its all about her. A reasonable person would think that a mature adult might consider the impact her incompetence might have on other female kickers that may have actually put in the work to truly deserve a legit shot at the NFL. Instead she got her 15 minutes of fame, all kinds of premature girl power PR in the media then proceeded to disrespect the NFL, kicking as a skill set and most particularly her fellow female athletes who lost collective respect due to her exhibition.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 9:52am EST

michaelharper696 says:

Thanks Coach !

Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 6:09pm EST

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