From the moment it was disclosed by the league’s in-house media conglomerate that a female kicker will be among the participants in a Regional Scouting Combine process that the league wants to see grow into an American Idol-style competition, we were skeptical that it was a publicity stunt.
And it was. Apparently for both the league and the female kicker.
Mike Garafolo of USA Today has more details in the aftermath of Lauren Silberman’s disastrous Sunday tryout. Per Garafolo, other kickers at the tryout said Silberman was asking them how to properly approach the ball before kicking it.
It’s not surprising, given that Silberman had never played football before. Never. As in ever.
And so, as former Colorado kicker Katie Hnida told Garafolo after seeing video of Silberman kicking, Silberman was “terrible.”
So what in the hell was she doing as a participant in an NFL Regional Scouting Combine?
Apparently, anyone can participate — if he or she (or Gus the donkey) is willing to pay $275. Sure, the NFL claims that “[a]pplicants must meet NFL eligibility rules and be able to perform at a high skill level” and that “[t]he NFL reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject any applicant it determines to be unqualified or unfit to compete.” But those are just words on paper.
Whether accidental or intentional, Lauren Silberman slipped through the cracks. She apparently wanted the publicity. And the NFL wanted it, too.
Even at the risk of applying a speck of tarnish to the otherwise unassailable shield.