Tag Archives: Female
The good news for Laruen Silberman is that she probably got more time on a New Jersey football field than Tim Tebow did in the last year. The bad news for the former soccer player, whose goal is to make waves as a potential football kicker at a high level, is that she lasted just two kickoffs at a regional combine at the New York Jets’ practice field in Florham Park, New Jersey before she pulled up with a quadriceps injury and was unable to continue. Silberman actually hurt her leg on the first kick, which traveled 19 yards in the air, before trying another boot that went 13 yards. Then, her day was done.
”They certainly didn’t go as far as they were in practices,” Silberman told media from over 20 outlets who were on hand primarily to see how she would do, ”but I tried to work through the pain.”
The 28-year-old Silberman, a graduate student at MIT and ex-club soccer player in Wisconsin, had never kicked in a competitive football game before, but made the cut at this regional combine — kind of a minor-league version of the big combine that happened last week — based on her overall athletic ability.
”Our job is to evaluate talent and not leave any stone unturned,” Stephen Austin, the NFL’s director of regional combines, told the Associated Press. ”We want young, athletic people who have played a sport, typically in college or military or small schools … Until they get here, we don’t have any idea of what they’re really going to turn out to do and how they’re going to perform.’
Understandably, Austin graded Silberman’s performance as “incomplete.”
The media coverage of this event was at least 10 times larger than at your standard regional combine, so those on hand could be forgiven if the whole thing seemed to be a publicity stunt.
Silberman first gained notoriety on a national scale last month when she told the NFL Network that she could boot 60-yard field goals and was ready to take on that combine.
“I was not aware that I was the first female registrant,” she said in mid-February. “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.”
Alas, it was not to be. NFL.com’s Aditi Kinkhabwala, a female reporter who was on hand for the spectacle, didn’t seem too impressed.
“Lauren Silberman spoke for a grand total of THREE minutes to the 30+reporters waiting on her at the regional combine,” Kinkhabwala said via her Twitter account. “Silberman said: “I really hope this signs a spotlight on sports generally for women.” (I cannot even begin to respond in 140 charac[ters])”
”I’m just really happy I had this amazing experience,” Silberman concluded. ”I might be the first woman trying out for the NFL, but I certainly hope I’m not the last.”
Perhaps one day, the NFL will have a female kicker. Until then, this is as good a time as any to remind ourselves that once upon a time, the great Kathy Ireland had some game in that department (and yes, you should watch “Necessary Roughness” if you haven’t before).
Maybe Manti Te’o will fit in the NFL better than we all thought.
In mid-December, well before it was reported that Te’o was duped in a “catfishing” scheme by a perpetrator who made up a woman named “Lennay Kekua” that Te’o believed to be his girlfriend, the Washington Redskins were told to avoid a person who was initiating contact with players by using a fake identity, NFL.com reported.
The online name of the person in question was @RedRidnH00d, “her” pseudonym was Sidney Ackerman and the report said at least four Redskins had online contact with the person. The players were told to avoid the person running the scam via a memo that went up on the wall of the team’s locker room.
“If you think about it, a lot of them are single guys, and they see somebody who looks good in a picture or something,” Redskins director of player development Phillip Daniels told NFL.com. “In many cases, it involves someone who is a fan of the team, so they’ll start talking about the team. You have to recognize that something just isn’t right.
“But you’re talking about a lot of guys who are single. I don’t fault the guys. I fault the people who are doing this crazy stuff, causing these problems.”
The report said “Ackerman” used pictures of adult entertainer C.J. Miles to start conversations with the players. The Facebook and Twitter accounts used by the imposter were taken down once it was clear NFL.com was going to publish the story. Another Twitter account, @RideAndDieChick, also used Miles’ pictures as an avatar and was followed by 22 verified NFL players and six verified NBA players, the report said, and according to NFL.com the person operating that account claimed to have had conversations with three prominent football players. That account was deactivated this week.
This type of story most likely isn’t limited to the Redskins and Te’o – those are just the ones we now know about. Te’o's much publicized hoax probably had many people, including famous athletes, doing a double take and figuring out if women they had befriended online were in fact, real. While the Redskins’ scam artist didn’t get as far as those who pulled the trick on Te’o, it’s obviously an issue that, at very least, professional teams and the leagues themselves will have to deal with and educate their players on.
VPEtalent wants the most obnoxious and dedicated fans of the Bears and Jaguars for two separate reality shows they are creating for VH1. Sign up here. I’ve confirmed that the show is being at least shopped to VH1, but the lack of mention on the website makes me believe it hasn’t been officially given the “go” as a series.
Hit “Like” or the Facebook share button if you think you know some crazy female Bears or Jaguars fans!
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