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Originally written on Bush League Chronicle  |  Last updated 11/20/14

Via Bush League Chronicle:

Lauren Silberman became the first female participant to compete in an NFL regional scouting combine on Sunday. Unfortunately, her tryout was both short and underwhelming.

Silberman, who was one of 38 kickers to take part in the combine at the New York Jets' facility, kicked only twice. Both attempts were kickoffs and only one actually crossed the midfield line. In fact, her two kicks combined to travel a total of just 30 yards.

She called it quits early after claiming she aggravated a quad injury she suffered during practice the week before.

Katie Hnida, the first woman to score a point in a Division I football game, believes Silberman's showing may have actually done more bad than good in regards to other females hoping to pursue the sport.

"Her performance does not have to do with her gender. It has to do with her experience and her preparation," Hnida, a former kicker for Colorado and New Mexico, told USA TODAY Sports by phone. "Unfortunately, what's going to happen now is she's going to be looked at (as inferior) because she was female.

"But she was terrible."

Video of one of Silberman's kicks can be seen at the end of this post.

Hnida is currently recovering from a blood clot that has put her Arena League career on hold.

Aside from the fact that Silberman didn't kick too well, Hnida also slammed her for other reasons. Silberman couldn't figure out how to stand the ball on the tee without it falling, she lined up six yards behind the ball instead of the standard approach of 10 or more yards, and Hnida also noted that Silberman's technique was "terrible."

Three kickers who tried out along with Silberman said she asked them how to approach the ball on the kick.

Silberman didn't take any warm-up kicks before the tryout, citing the fact that she was nursing an injury. Hnida doesn't buy her claim.

"I also find it curious she didn't warm up. You never go in kicking cold," Hnida said. "There's a reason why the kickers are the first people out there. It takes us a while to warm up."

Some now fear that females may have an even harder path to receive a fair shake on the football field, including Hnida.

"It is disappointing," Hnida said. "I hoped she would go out and do justice for an NFL tryout, because there are lots of people who have dreamed of going to the NFL. It should be something serious."

Silberman played soccer at the University of Wisconsin before attending MIT for her Master's degree. It was there at MIT in which she wrote a thesis about how video games help athletes enhance their own performance. She then took her thesis one step further when she founded a consulting company that helps athletes use video games to train.

Although her performance on Sunday was less than stellar, at least she had the courage to put herself out there.

TEAMS: New York Jets
91 Comments:
  • Meow.
  • I have a daughter who is 13 and plays football for her Jr high team. She is just not only the kicker but also plays on the offensive and defensive line. When asked by her if I think that she could have the opportunity to play in the NFL someday I just tell her the sky is the limit. I agree that Silberman was set up for failure from the beginning. I believe that she was injured and if she had not been injured maybe she would have had a chance. I believe that exploiting it was just another way to try to let women know where there place is in the NFL. Do I think anyone in the NFL would ever consider picking a woman to play professional football, NEVER!!!
  • She was setup? She was forced to kick? If you are too injured to give a respectable effort don't do it. That was embarrassing for any female athlete in any sport. Had she ever kicked a football before? That would be like running for President when you hadn't actually had a job or been in charge of..........................nevermind.
  • Pleaseeeeeeee stop talking about this pointless human. She did NOT tryout for the NFL !! She should get zero credit for even thinking she did !!
    If and when a non-male ( women, donkey....whatever ) does get a REAL tryout ( this would mean being at a HQ for a team, with decision makers on hand ) then fine....but this pay to watch me kick an effin 13yrd ( oh wait, she really stepped up on her 2nd kick and smashed a 19yder ) kick is just elfin embarrassing to all huMANs that really deserve a chance.

    Go find a pole somewhere and collect those dolla bills yo......
  • No she didn't tryout for a team but she was invited to the combine. She's a good kicker with an injury, very unfortunate timing for her. If you've seen her in action you would know she's a decent kicker who maybe or maybe not deserved a shot. There have been some bad male kickers that made it to the NFL only to blow games for their teams. As for this Hnida chick who apparently has alot say she should go away for good. She's just jealous she didn't get the shot, probably because she sucks. Better luck next time Lauren!!!
  • Uh no. You don't get invited to the regional combines. You pay a hefty fee (it's like $215 or something) and you get to try out. If she had performed well enough, she would've been invited to the country-wide combine. You, me, and even stephen hawking could register for the regional combine she took part in with the use of a credit card. After watching that video, it's clear that she did not belong - injured or not. But regardless, just because she was at a "combine" doesn't mean that it wasn't open to the public and she had to show something special beforehand. The more you know!
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  • No, she was not invited, if your $275.00 check doesn't bounce you're in, you could do it,I could do it, my dog could do it!
    No, she's not a kicker, she played club womans soccer, couldn't even make the Wis. womans team. She even said she wanted to go to the combine to get advice from real kickers to "perfect her skills" but it's obvious that she had no skills, she couldnt even stand the ball on the tee!
    This is nothing but a publicity stunt, watch her showing up for all the "Good Morning" shows , afternoon talk shows and probably dancing (kicking) with the stars too.
    There are probably many female athletes who could have put in a strong showing but from now on when a woman tries out for a male dominated sport all anybody will bring up is this pathetic Silberman joke as proof that it's just a waste of time for women to try out.
    She would have done better if she stayed at home and written a thesis on kicking. Know your strong points.
  • HA! Too funny! Seriously though, if a woman has the leg to do it, the knowledge to be properly prepared and the heart to go out there and boot one then she has my support. I just don't want to hear any whining and crying when a 6'4" 300 lb. lineman runs her over. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off cupcake or hang up your cleats.
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  • Unlike all the men who were complaining that Silberman wasn't "lady like" and needed to "learn her place" (in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, I assume?) my problem wasn't that she was female, but how exactly she qualified for the combine in the first place? It's like something out of a Disney tween movie where the brainiac figures out the mathematical equation to perform athletic feats...This just smelled like a publicity stunt all the way around, and I can't help but think that ol' Roger knew all along that not only was she not good enough, that it would ensure that it would either discourage female players in the near future or keep them from being taken seriously. I'm not speaking as some feminist wanting to break some kind of barrier. This comes from a female football fan who thinks a woman who loves the game as much as I do shouldn't be denied a shot at it just bc she's a female. She just has to be good enough. That's all that matters to me about any player.
  • I'm a man who loves the game... and I couldn't have said it better myself. She's bad for football and, more importantly, bad for women who want to be taken seriously.
  • If a woman can perform at the professionallevel,she should go for it.She shoudn't expect special treatment because she a woman either.
  • Is there any proof that she ever kicked a football farther than she did in this tryout? It looked like she was kicking a medicine ball. 15 yards! You gotta be kidding me, never before in history did a male kicker only kick the ball 15 yards TWICE! Grab some pom poms girls, you'l never play in the NFL.
  • There's no excuse for having to ask other kickers how to place the ball on the tee, but if you've ever has a blood clot in your leg you would know the pain she was in. She should have canceled the tryout if she knew she had a blood clot.
  • This was all self-promotion without self-preparation. She couldn't qualify as kicker for a Pop Warner team. She probably used this opportunity to advance her gaming business. Notoriety is all.
  • she most certainly would have failed if she did not try at all...
  • absolutely right, the only failure is when you don't try, she tried, its the dreamers who move forward and not the people who sit behind computer screens demonizing those who get off their butts and attempt things.
  • Your comments are the stupidest things I've ever heard. "the only failure is when you don't try?"

    So Germany didn't failed in WWI and WWII?

    Absurd. What you two people have is a false belief system and you are trying to alter facts, to support your false belief system.

    So when you interview for a job and don't get the job, that's not a failure? Be serious! You FAILED to get the job!

    We are raising a generation full of weaklings who feel somehow they have some type of entitlement.
  • I agree. If she was actually QUALIFIED and even HALF way PREPARED, I would give her kudos for trying. There have got to be at least 5,000 other women and 100,000 men who could put forth a better effort but realize they have to pay their dues in order to EARN a shot at the things they might want. It's one thing to work for a goal. It's another thing to just "give it a try" because "ooh, goodie, I could be a rich, famous kicker in the NFL." I can kind of skate. Maybe tomorrow I'll pick up a stick at Walmart and try out for goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Because I have a dream.
  • the problem here that you arent getting is that she did try. she was purely for the media. because she tried someone else who may have made a team couldnt because there are only so many spots open at the combine
  • To be fair, she didn't take anyone's spot. You have to pay a ~$200+ registration fee to try out at the regional combines, and they pick who they deem the most qualified applicants to fill the slots.
  • She couldn't even place the ball on the tee properly. Poor form throughout the workout. This was to plug her video game and nothing more. What a joke.
  • "...plug her video game and nothing more". No, this was about plugging her. The men in charge of these events are very adept at singling out women who will "cross the line" and get "down and dirty" to get a try out. Did you see the old fart who walked her over to the massage table? The rest of the contestants could have broke their legs and he wouldn't have given them a second glance. She is a very attractive woman. Those horn dogs didn't care if she could kick or not. And that old man, did he finally work the kink out of her thigh? You betcha! He worked the "kink" out of something else too....Mercy!

    Update: March 05, 2013
    Isn't it ironic that women who do these things are all beautiful and have bodies built for luv? Do you think if Danika was butt ugly and had a body like Barney Rubble she would be racing in NASCAR? That tramp wouldn't be able to find a sponsor for a go cart.
    Does it cheapen the sport? Only if you're a woman. Does it make women look cheap? Of course it does.
  • I don't really agree with that because Danica is actually pretty good at racing. I don't follow racing at all but I have watched a few times and form what I've seen she can drive a car as well if not better than most of the men in the field. I am a Veteran, was in the Navy, and during the time I was in the military started to integrate women into pretty much any job. by the time I got out the only place women weren't allowed to be stationed was on submarines, and I heard they've since started experimenting with that, so I'm well aware of women doing jobs formally reserved for only men, and I've seen women that can do any job better than any man I've ever met. that being said I believe if a woman can be a football player then she should go for it ... apparently it won't be this girl though ...
  • Guess video games don't help football kickers improve their performance...
  • Maybe she could only kick the ball 8-9 yrds before using the video game.
  • I'm thinking about trying out for the NHL. Anybody know how to lace up a pair of skates?
  • I'm over 50 and I know I can still boot that thing a good 25 yards. I'd be great for onside kicks. I want a try out... the first over 50 tryout person. Please.
    This was a combine and not an actual tryout right?
  • The regional combines are essentially tryouts, where you pay a registration fee to attend. The top performers get an invitation to the national combine. Despite the outward appearance of this case though, you have to have some qualifications to attend the regional (i.e. college experience).
  • Why is there such a need for women to do everything that a guy can do?
  • Let get some facts straight, first.

    She was injured.
    She had never kicked a football prior to the last several months.
    It was a publicity stunt.
    She was set up to fail.
  • One hit from a big lineman that might break through and get to her and she would be done with trying to be a kicker for the NFL
  • Hnida has a insecurity an Jealous issue like she the king of kickers.. She's a bunch of BS.. At least Lauren went out an gave it a shot .. it's hard enough in a all male sport. I commend her.. at least trying whether she was awesome or not that doesn't matter it was her attempt at it. Hnida should get her head out of her butt an that is putting it nicely. If she is the king of kickers why don't you try .. I'm referring her to the B word here...
  • She doesn't try... because she has the maturity, integrity and humility to understand that, even though she's a damn good kicker in her own right, she falls short of the minimum standards required to EARN a shot.
  • I think Hnida has every right to say what she said. She's played division 1 college football, semi-professionally and professionally. Granted it is some arena league, but still, she gets paid to kick footballs on a team with men. She went through the appropriate steps to get where she is, and I would think, realizes she wouldn't make it in the NFL. You commend Silberman for trying? Well Hnida has been DOING it for over 10 years. She paved the way for women like Silberman to even have a shot. My question to you is, if a MALE kicker at the combine, was quoted as saying the exact same things as Hnida, "No preparation, no warm up, doesn't know how to put the ball on the tee, doesn't know how to approach, terrible technique" but also says "I hoped she would go out and do justice for an NFL tryout". Would he be a "jealous king of kickers, who should get his head out of his butt" A lot of the men on this board are echoing the same sentiments as Hnida. She was awful, why sugar coat it. This is the pros, not grade school where everyone gets a trophy cause we don't want to hurt anybody's feelings.
  • I'd rather hear the insult from a guy it would mean more criticized comment and I would take a lot better than coming from Hnida.. 10 years who cares. She still wouldn't make it the NFL>> Period or she'd be in by now!! This wasn't insult/slam from a constructive , intelligent person.. It was a mere B slamming. I'd take a slam over a male than her any day!!
  • Take Danica with her.
  • It looks like the armchair flakes are back.
    The lady had an injury, end of story. I have seem top level kickers sit the bench because of turf toe. Wow, turf toe!!! Following some of these armchair comments suggests the pro kickers must be panzies which suggests, why pick on her!!
  • Did that injury prevent her from knowing how to tee the ball?
  • If she sat on the bench like she should have, nobody would have said anything.
  • Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance. She did not prepare the way an adult should prepare. She didn't even know how to tee up the ball. What's next, the pro tour even though she doesn't know how to tee up a golf ball?

    Stop applying grade school standards to adults. She was in it for the notoriety, that's all.
  • Is there any vetting in order to try out at the combine? Can anyone try out? She is an embarassment to women-kind! I am a lady of "a certain age" and a huge football fan, but this woman made us all look bad and probably set back women in football by 10 years.
  • What is wrong with this country? Being politically correct does NOT make women physically equal. Whoever let this woman try out must be nuts. The majority of women do not match up to men physically. I thought the NFL had more sense. Women are on their way to ruining the combat readiness of of the military and now this. Women do not want to hear it and people are afraid to say it but physically women are out of their league competing with men. YES I KNOW THEIR ARE EXCEPTIONS AND THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE---EXCEPTIONS.
  • I don't know what this ordeal was. I was embarrassed watching this .It was totally self promotion or she was trying to ruin any chance for any women who are serious about trying out.She looked like Miss Priss who has never played any sport unless it was with a Barbie sports doll.She would not look at the camera or the media as she was interview afterwards.. This had to be the wierdest sports event I have ever watched.
  • I didn't even watch the vid and don't care to. Some peoeple make VERY valid points and others, well just get the heck off the soap box already. As a female veteran I am going to briefly make comparison; it's like in the Army,some women want to go infantry and such, and some SHOULD be allowed. Yet only IF they are physically and mentally capable. There is a saying to not "bite off more than you can chew". I have seen some female soldiers that put some of the men to shame as far as PT test scores, qualifying with their weapons, and completing a 20 mile or more ruck in full battle rattle with a 240 in tow (one of them happens to by my daughter that is 5 feet tall and 98 lbs). Then there are the ones that complain about everything. Yea again, don't bite off more than you can chew. I just hope that this "publicity stunt" or whatever this lady was doing does NOT hurt anyone else's future chances. I don't personally know her, so not going to bash her, but it would be a shame for future "qualified" candidates to be turned down due to gender bias. To the "tard card" that asked why women always want to try to do what men do, because we can, and if we succeed then why the heck not? Does it threaten you? Affect your money, health, or life? Then sit down and be quiet and live and let live! That is all....
  • I served in the military for twenty-four years. I have seen a number of women who could complete the PRT test and did quite well. I never saw a woman who put their male counterparts to shame. I have seen that statement on many of the articles on MSN and other websites, but it is generally not true. On rare occasions you will see physically strong women, but that is not the norm and you don't see it as a routine. Five foot-eight and hauling a full ruck twenty miles, I don't believe it!
  • dont forget she was only 98lbs..makes it even more believable..lol
  • all well said, until she gets the sh## knock out of her then we have to change the rules.... You must back off and not hit her so hard...... get real!
  • Army Chica...yep, I too was in the infantry for 23 years. I remember that it was time to get out when the S-4 had to move the port-a-potties around the maneuver field.
    You must have been dreaming....or fibbin' to be kind. Female? 98 lbs? with a full 80 lb ruck? 20 miles? She'd be luck to get 20 feet..just like that great female kicker who couldn't kick a ball 10 yars. Stop the BS as we are not buying it like you boy Obama evidently does.
  • I heard that next up is the MVP from the little people basketball league is trying out for the NBA. Hey, little people can play with the big boys.
  • Did she even play soccer?
    If women want to try to do what men do, then there is no need for womens sports let them try out with the men and win a spot on the team.
  • PITIFUL - Just plain pitiful. The woman shouldn't be allowed within a 100 yards of another football field for making a mockery out of this opportunity. If she had an injury, stop wasting everyone's time & go home. She clearly embarrassed herself. But, she also embarrassed the NFL people who even let her on the field. Please lets all stop talking about this loser right now. She doesn;t deserve another nano second of attention.
  • I am a female. I agree there are SOME things that males are just physically capable of doing that women cannot do. And vice-versa. Try having a baby thru your private parts!

    I find it hard to believe by the way SOME of you belittle women that you were actually raised by women. I pray you don't have daughters. They will find men who will treat them exactly how you are talking. Belittle them, treat them like 2nd class citizens & expect them to call them HO's!

    So sad!
  • Dear So sad....you should have stopped with your intelligent and thoughtful and logical first sentance. The second part of your less than thoughtful comment shows exactly why women should not participate in men's sports or do other tasks for which they will never be capable or qualified. I trust you would allow men to try out for a female pro team, get paid $$$$thousands to do it too. Heck there'd be no 'all-female' sports team left in the pros or elsewhere.

    Keep drinking the KoolAid too....ok!
  • so lets say she kicked the **** out the ball...booted it 70 yards...then lets say some team signs her...Then comes her first game...kicks the ball 2 yards deep in the endzone but the returner decides to take it out and oh look he breaks free with 2 blockers out in front and only the kiceatorsker to beat...that chick would DIE when one or both of the blockers came running full speed at 260lbs right through her!....it was the stupidest thing in the world for her to ever try...i dont care how good they think they are no women ever needs to be in the nfl..guess what women..get it in your head..you cannot do everything a man can do...stick to being a women and do what women can do best..we love you for that...and no this isnt some male pig rant this is simply the facts!!
  • She has supposedly has credentials from Wisconsin University that she played soccer there, she doesn't even kick the ball like a sidewinder soccer player. Fake, she is an embarressment to all women in sports.
  • I HEARD THAT SHE HAD NO SKILL --SOOOO HOW DID SHE RATE A TRYOUT? EVEN SO SHE SHOULD ONLY BE JUDGED ON HER TALENT [ WHICH IT SEEMS SHE HAD NONE ]. HOPEFULLY THIS DOESN'T NEGATIVELY IMPACT OTHERS CHANCES---IF THEY CAN DO IT AND WANT TO LET'EM!
  • This article concludes with "At least she had the courage". Her display DID NOT take any courage. She is nothing more than a publicity seeking hound. Perhaps she needs another run through Wisconsin and MIT so she can learn how to place the ball;must have missed that in one of her courses.
  • How will humanity, and the future of womankind, ever recover from this devastating blow?!? [insert sarcasm here]
  • @schlotterer, read your post again, and you're right we would not even attempt to give birth. we leave that to WOMAN.......WE have enough common sense to know NOT EVERYTHING IS EQUAL AND SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE. Suppose men wants to join woman team sport how is that fair to the other team? you know it wouldn't sad part of it you won't admitted
  • For everybody trash talking her efforts. Just think...next time you work up the courage to try something or your little bastard fails at something. There will be some other useless cynical loser thinking the same about you.
  • you call that efforts???? just like SAT you get points for printing your name in the correct box...help me GOD
  • Courage...your clueless. This was nothing more then a girl trying to get attention. She didn't even know how to setup for the kick. All she did was hurt the image of real female kickers. Why any one would defend her is beyond me.
  • No problem! She be on SPECIAL special teams. On-side kicks only!
  • yes and get her bell ring by an 250lb player..... ouch!!
  • this is just a political stunt, I am glad NFL allow this to proceed, just to proof a point "not everything is equal" the only things should be equal are Pay, position in job field....Man's build and woman's build is night and day, we don't try to be like woman and woman shouldn't try to be like men..... lastly yes you have a woman just won in the MMA do you want to schedule a fight with the men's..... this time think be fore you speak!! YES I LOVE WOMAN!!!!!!!!
  • Heyyyyyyyyy so many haters! She deserves a big trophy for participation. Winning and/or accomplishment is no longer important. Tell women for fifty years they can do anything a man can, and just as well, this is what you get.
  • It would look better for her if she had withdrawn "due to injury" rather than trying WITH the injury. That would have accomplished two things. First: she wouldn't have failed miserably due to a physical injury. Two: It would have eliminated all of the ridiculous commenting found on this site due to mental defects or character flaws.
  • For everyone that believes a woman should play professional football here's a juicy tidbit for ya. I personally can not wait to see what happens when a 325lb defensive end comes down on this kicker full speed. I'd pay twice the admission of a front row seat to see that. Now, think she should still play football?
  • Katie Hnida,just keep drinking the KoolAid in the PC era of sports and sports coverage. You took a job from other athlete that was more qualified.

    Too bad these days that these types of females will soon be joining the infantry and getting themselves and others needlessly killed.
  • What a joke. She should never of been allowed on the field and if she was hurt she should of said something. She was embarrassing and I think my 12 year old would of done better and he’s never kicked a football. Football is a game for men not women and that’s how it should be. What if I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader should I have that right. I’m not good enough to play on the men’s PGA golf tour why can’t I play on the woman’s tour if I’m good enough. Just plain silly.
  • if you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.....
  • So much indignation, anger, and attention being given to this young woman for having a little fun. You pay a few hundred dollars to participate in this tryout. My grandmother could have done this if she had had the inclination.
    The question is not why she was at this pay-to-participate tryout. It seems she was just having a good time and getting some cool life experience. The real question is why so many are hating on her for doing it. Angry that their own lives are so dull and resentful of anyone that finds a unique way to have some fun?
  • It seems like this was just to promote her business. She failed terribly and it makes me wonder about any business skills too.
  • The best way to feel good about youself and your efforts is to criticize others for failing in theirs....
  • You must be feeling pretty good right about now!
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            Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose returned to the floor Monday night in a 97-95 win over the Utah Jazz after missing the previous four games because of a strained left hamstring. Rose went 5-for-10 from the field with 18 points, five assists and three rebounds in 25 minutes. Coach Tom Thibodeau wants to...
Via Sports-Glory
6 hours ago

Reports: Jon Lester, Red Sox still engaged in contract talks

    This embed is invalid   " /> The Boston Red Sox haven’t put away their wallets just yet.   The Red Sox still remain engaged in contract negotiations with free-agent pitcher Jon Lester despite reportedly signing Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez to contracts totaling nearly $200 million, multiple sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford...
Via NESN.com
6 hours ago

Peter King, Red Sox picked the wrong time to send these tweets

Major news events usually lead to major social media fails. The Ferguson announcement resulted in a couple tweets from the Boston Red Sox and Peter King that couldn’t have been worse in the timing department. King inexplicably used the word “indictment” to talk about the Jets’ offense and special teams right when the announcement about Darren Wilson not being indicted...
Via Awful Announcing
18 hours ago
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