Well, the circle is now complete.
The NFL allowed kicker-who-has-never-kicked Lauren Silberman to pay the $275 fee and show up for a Regional Scouting Combine. The NFL went all in with the publicity stunt, spending far more time hyping her participation than checking her credentials.
And now that the Silberman’s tryout ended in failure, the NFL is aggressively pounding the nails into her football coffin.
Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com, who drew the short straw to spend her Sunday afternoon at the Jets’ facility watching players far too pedestrian to play even for the team that owns the place, has penned an impressive take down of Silberman.
“What we saw was a sideshow,” she writes. “A delusional, haughty, heartbreaking sideshow.”
Yes, it was a sideshow. A sideshow that the NFL inexplicably embraced, in an apparent effort to lay the foundation for its plan to launch American (Football) Idol, via Regional Scouting Combines that produce folks who get a shot at the Indianapolis edition.
Hopefully with intriguing, marketable, and unique personal stories.
Here’s where it becomes impossible to draw the lines between the NFL and NFL Media. (And, no, I’m not better than that.) NFL Media pretends at times to be independent, but as the title of the organization confirms it’s necessarily not. And when NFL Media produces something that appears on the surface to be independent, it’s fair to wonder whether there’s another agenda.
Still, it’s impossible to call out Silberman (which Kinkhabwala does) without calling out the league (which she doesn’t). Silberman didn’t belong there, and the NFL knew or should have known it.
“[S]he disrespected the 37 other kickers in New Jersey on Sunday who’ve spent lifetimes honing their craft.” Kinhabwala writes. “She blithely said her friends saw her kick somewhere in that amorphous time she began kicking and told her, ‘You should try out for the NFL.’ Like it’s that easy.”
Apparently, it is. Because the NFL let Silberman in. And that’s the subject Kinkhabwala conspicuously omitted from her article.
Or maybe she didn’t. Maybe she did, and someone else at NFL Media killed it.
And, yes, it’s that easy.