From the beginning it smelled like nothing more than a publicity stunt. At the end, it's apparent that's what it turned out to be. Lauren Silberman had as much shot at advancing past an NFL regional combine Sunday as Army does of winning the NCAA tournament.
As the first female to attend an NFL regional combine, Silberman was naturally going to attract attention. Yes, she was considered a long shot. But Silberman had no experience as a kicker, was a club soccer player in college and was 28 years old. If you're going to try and do something no one else has done before, you would like to have a stronger resume. Or any resume.
For a groundbreaker, a better option would have been someone such as Katie Hnida, who kicked two extra points for New Mexico in 2003 and later kicked in the Continental Indoor Football League. Or Mo Isom, who attempted to make LSU's team last year. The physical realities will make it difficult for any woman, but certainly someone could have made the conversation more interesting.
The NFL benefitted from the attention given to its regional combines. Silberman benefitted, too. She started her own consulting firm, Double Play Media, which shows college and pro athletes how using video games can improve their performance.
Silberman's two kickoffs traveled less than 20 yards. She hurt her quad, but that doesn't come close to explaining her struggles. USA Today reported that she was asking the other kickers at the combine how to kick off.
She wanted others to one day follow her path. But she took them down the wrong road.
- John Keim