Former soccer player Lauren Silberman is my hero. The 28-year-old graduate student at MIT never kicked in a competitive football game before, but made the cut at the regional combine at the New York Jets’ practice field in Florham Park, New Jersey, because of her overall athletic ability.
Last month, Silberman told the NFL Network she could kick 60-yeard field goals. “I was actually hoping that the 2012 historical milestone rule, to allow women to play, would prompt more women to attend tryouts this year,” she told the network. “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.”
However, Silberman’s dream of playing in the NFL came to a halt when she suddenly pulled up during a kickoff with a quadriceps injury and couldn’t continue. Apparently, she hurt herself on the first kick, which only went 19 years, and then had to stop after her second kick went a mere 13 yards.
No matter what anyone says, and no matter how she fared, Silberman is my hero. She made the cut and gave it a shot. And even though she hurt herself on her first kick, she tried to work through it and go again before the pain was just too unbearable to go on. She is a role model for young women in sports. And no matter how many strides you think we’ve made over the years, there’s always room for improvement. And Silberman just proved that. ”I might be the first woman trying out for the NFL,” she said, “but I certainly hope I’m not the last.”