Lauren Silberman Kicks Through the NFL Glass Ceiling
Mar 4, 2013
RUSH: It didn’t go well for Lauren Silberman. We told you about Lauren Silberman last week. Lauren Silberman tried out for the National Football League in a regional combine over the weekend. She wanted to be a female kicker. So she showed up at the Jets training center. That’s in Florham Park, New Jersey, which is where the regional combine was, and her tryout consisted of two kickoffs. The two kickoffs totaled 30 yards. One kick was 19 yards, the other kick was 11. It’s a combination, it equaled 30 yards, and then she had to retire from the effort.
She aggravated a quadriceps injury that she suffered in training last week. Quadriceps, for those of you in Rio Linda, that’s the big thigh muscle on the top. She had an injury there. That would be relevant if you’re trying to kick. So she showed up hurt. She aggravated the injury after two kickoffs, totaling 30 yards. And as it says here in USA Today, “It left a lot of people wondering whether the whole thing was a promotional sham.” Really? Think so?
RUSH: Now, the female kicker, Lauren Silberman, two kicks. The AP says 19 and 13 yards, a total of 32 yards, two kicks. It is obvious that the woman has never kicked a football. And, in fact, according to USA Today, she had to ask other players how to do it. USA Today is saying that, not me. USA Today is reporting that she had to ask her players how to kick the ball. Fortunately, she left before the debriefing of the other kickers. According to other media reports, Miss Silberman said at the end of her tryout, “Look, it’s not the length that counts, it’s the technique.” No, I’m just making that up. (laughing) She didn’t really say that.
Folks, there are two ways to report this. There’s the low-information voter way, and then there’s the real way. Now, the low-information voter way of reporting this would be to go, “Oh, what a valiant effort. Did you see this lady kicker try out for the National Football League? You want to talk about guts, this is a woman who really is challenging the orthodoxy of the day. This is a woman who is not content with her lot in life and her place in this culture. She wanted to try out for the National Football League, and more power to her. Why shouldn’t she? And she gave it everything she had. She tried. She did everything. She prepped. She worked hard. She did everything possible. It’s just a shame, and, boy, we hope that she can get well soon and come back and kick for real so that we can find out how really good she is. But what an effort. What a wonderful thing.”
And, you know, someday, folks, it’s gonna be, there will be a female kicker in the NFL, and when that happens, we’ll all think back to this weekend and Lauren Silberman who went in there and paved the way for all the other women who thought they never, ever, would have had a prayer of playing in the NFL. She broke down that barrier. She sucked it up. She went out there and she was willing to humiliate herself. She played hurt. She cared so much to get in this game, and that’s what we need to learn in this country. It’s not about whether you can or can’t. It’s how much you want to, and how famous you can be for trying, and how much credit you can get for trying. Whether you can do it or not doesn’t matter. And we applaud her. What a gutsy thing to do. She subjected herself to national humiliation. She knew she didn’t really have what it took that day. She was kicking hurt.
That’s the low-information way to play it, and if they do this on Entertainment Tonight, that’s how you’ll see it.
Now, the other way to report this is, “Okay, whose idea was this, and for what purpose? Whose fingerprints are on this move and what are they trying to accomplish? Who at the NFL wanted to make a big brouhaha out of some woman coming in knowing there was no way the woman could kick. There was no way she was ever gonna make a team. No way she was ever gonna get past this tryout, and wanted it to happen, a lot of publicity, for what purpose, and did she wear pink? Or should she wear pink?”
The other way to report this is the honest and true, “What in the hell, how stupid do they think we are?” But that way would offend people, and that would be considered disrespectful of Miss Silberman, and that’s why I led with the low-information voter analysis. And of the two, that’s the one I’ll stick with. If I’m gonna be quoted, you people in the media, I choose to be quoted on a low-information analysis. It’s a beautiful thing.
Well, you know what? I’ll tell you something. The National Football League wants to get rid of kickoffs anyway. You know why? Because they’re too dangerous. You know why they’re too dangerous? ‘Cause these big guys, these big men are running so fast in opposite directions, then they collide with each other. They run into each other, for those of you in Rio Linda, they collide out there. And you have concussions, like Dennis Rodman. Nobody can convince me he has not had at least one concussion. And it’s brutal.
So the National Football League is toying with the idea of getting rid of kickoffs anyway. But still is a way to get a woman in the game, and that is allow onside kicks and have her do it. They are trying to get rid of the kickoff, and this might have been a stealth way of moving that ball forward. Anyway, the USA Today headline of the story is: “Female Kicker’s Historic Bid Ends with Injury.” It started that way, too.