Lauren Silberman will probably never make it into an NFL game, but her appearance at the NFL combine tryouts made history all the same. Though she had to leave due to injury after just two kicks, the fact that she was on the field at all made Silberman, 28, the first woman to try out for an NFL team. The NFL combine is a chance for prospective players to show off their skills in the hopes of getting an invite to an NFL training camp. Silberman qualified for the combine as a kicker, despite never having played in an organized football game.
The nerves may have gotten to her. She held her leg after the first kick, and left the field after the second. Even in the run up to her second kick, Silberman seemed to be wincing. Still, she managed to be upbeat about the whole thing:
"I was really really excited for this opportunity, and obviously it was a very frustrating day because I wanted to show the world how well I could kick.
Overall it was an absolutely fun experience, and this was still a great day.... I really hope this shines a spotlight on sports generally for women."
Lauren Silberman's tryout raises an age-old question: when will a woman be on a professional sports team? Despite it being an absolutely brutal sport, football might offer a path through Silberman's position: kicker. Anyone who can consistently hit a field goal from fifty yards out has a place on an NFL team, and that is an achievable goal for a woman.
It raises all sorts of questions about locker rooms and team dynamics, but Silberman brings those questions to the frontburner, where they'll have to stew for a while before people start coming up with some answers.