When the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers tussle in exhibition action, a girl, of all things, will be helping make the calls. Naturally, this development has caused quite a stir in the football community.
But is it that big a deal? Or even an unexpected development? Not really.
It is 2012, after all. Women can vote, drive, have casual sex, get divorced, marry other women (in some states), run for President and be CEOs…what exactly makes them unqualified to decide whether or not that was a hold?
Honestly, it’s somewhat appalling its taken 50+ years for a woman to have the opportunity to put on those ugly jailbird patterned shirts and hold a whistle at an NFL game (does she even get a whistle? Or would that be too much responsibility?) There’s no good reason why a female hasn’t been out there in the past, and there’s nothing that suggests this woman, Shannon Eastin, isn’t up to the task. She’s already the crew chief for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and by all accounts, girlfriend knows her way around the gridiron.
Now, hear this: I am not a feminist. I don’t believe women should have to belligerently fight for their rights or that all men are “out to get us.” It simply seems to me that women are intelligent creatures and whether or not they’ve ever actually suited up and played football themselves, they are more than capable of officiating.
There are plenty of guys who only understand females and sports in so far as pink jerseys and crushing on cute athletes. That’s one faction. There’s a whole bunch of others who actually pay attention to the rules and know a thing or two about what pass interference looks like.
Don’t hate. Embrace this time of change for the NFL. And maybe, when the “real” referees are finished with their Collective Bargaining Agreement hold out, a woman will make it onto the permanent roster of NFL refs and be more than just a passing headline.
It is 2012. After all.