On Sunday, a 28-year-old woman from New York became the first female ever to try out for NFL teams at one of the league’s regional combines. It really was a historic moment, and the media treated it as such by turning out in droves,.
The only problem, of course, is that the woman, Lauren Silberman, wasn’t a football player, or even a full-time athlete. She tried out as a kicker, but apparently spent a good 20 seconds trying to get the ball to stand up on the tee, and then she took nine awkward steps back and 5 awkward steps sideways to line up just six yards away from the ball. And then she kicked it 20 yards.
Thus, the first female NFL tryout was a dud. There are lots of women out there who might have made female athletes everywhere proud on Sunday, but Ms. Silberman isn’t one of them. And that’s okay. It’s really not that big of a deal, given that I’m pretty sure no woman will ever play in the NFL anyway. (Hey, if I’m wrong, that’s great.) Nevertheless, today I thought it would be cool to talk about some female sports firsts that actually were a big deal. So I put together this lists of achievements. It’s certainly not comprehensive, since you have to choose what “firsts” are interesting or important. But I will say this: every one of the women on this list is or was an genuine athlete.
Take a look.