Lauren Silberman's NFL Tryout Breaks Societal Barriers

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Lauren Silberman's NFL Tryout Breaks Societal Barriers
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Lauren Silberman's NFL regional combine tryout was more about impact than actual results.

And her attempt at pro football simply continues the trend for women in sports.

Danica Patrick is easily the most notable, because of her initial success as part of the Indy Car Racing series. She has since become a popular competitor in NASCAR, which has quickly inflated her marketability and amplified women's roles in professional sports.

Ronda Rousey has significantly impacted the world of UFC. After winning a bronze medal for the USA at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Rousey won the inaugural title belt for women in mixed martial arts. In short, she is the respective face for women in the sport.

Then there is Lauren Silberman, a 28-year-old woman who became the first woman to try out for the NFL.  

Though her efforts are inspiring and significantly historical, her attempt at pro football ultimately came up short.

Without question, Silberman could have made better of the opportunity, but she also was re-injured, according to Jane McManus of ESPNNewYork.com:

Silberman aggravated a right quadriceps injury and was done for the day after just her second kickoff attempt during a tryout at a regional combine.

"I just couldn't do it today," Silberman said. "I know I can do a lot more."

Nevertheless, the true definition of Silberman's tryout is breaking down the walls for anyone still believing they have a shot to make the NFL—including women.

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The price to try out isn't cheap at $275 for specialists and $225 for other positions. There are also specific eligibility rules to participate. 

But should someone fight through and get to pro football, obviously that investment will have paid off. And per Jack Bechta of the National Football Post, there are those, such as kicker Greg Zuerlein of the St. Louis Rams, who began their journey at a regional NFL Scouting Combine.

As for Silberman, she extended a woman's opportunity on the gridiron to a chance in the NFL. Katie Hnida had seen time on the field as a kicker for the New Mexico Lobos of the then-NCAA Division I-A (now FBS) in 2002 and 2003.

Here, Silberman also received support from former NFL punter Sean Landeta in an article by CBS 2 New York:

“I think it’s courageous on her part in trying this, and certainly groundbreaking if she could prove her skills are good enough to play in the NFL,” he said. "I give her points for giving it a shot. She’s obviously following her dream.”

Simply put, we can't fault her for trying.

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