NFL to debut first female referee, Shannon Eastin, for Thursday’s preseason game

**Update: Shannon continues her historic journey – works her first regular season game.

 

It will be history in the making Thursday night as for the first time in NFL history, a woman will officiate the contest between the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers.

All eyes will certainly be on Shannon Eastin, who has officiated games for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, when she works the sidelines for the preseason opener.

When asked about the impact of a female official, the Chargers spoke glowingly about what it means for both the sport and the advancement of gender equality.

“It’s historic,” said head coach Norv Turner during his daily press conference following Monday’s practice. “I’m excited about it.  It’s going to be different, but the league has done a great job getting the refs ready.”

“I think it is massive,” said Nick Hardwick. “I think it’s a massive step in the right direction. This is what this country has been about for a long time, and this is certainly a step in the right direction. As a player it doesn’t matter at all if the official is male or female.  As long as they make the right calls, that’s all that matters.”

Source – First Female Official to Work Thursday Night’s Game

 

 

Continue reading NFL to debut first female referee, Shannon Eastin, for Thursday’s preseason game

As the Junior Seau tragedy shows – life after football needs help

A man took his own life, and we might never know exactly why.

But regardless of what comes of any investigations or revelations, we’ve got enough circumstantial evidence already to have an idea that the NFL, its players and those who claim to love both have got to do something.

Fact is, too many men are stumbling unprepared into a scary world when the game stops and real life starts.

Whether Junior Seau’s ultimate decision to commit suicide can be traced in any way to his having suffered concussions during his playing career is important to find out.

But that just might be too neat a bow to tie on this tragedy, too straight a line to draw from head trauma to depression to death.

“The NFL is doing all these things to make football better and safer,” said former San Diegan John Lynch, who retired in 2008 after 15 years in the NFL. “But in a lot of ways it seems like they’re ignoring a real issue … The automatic response right now is it’s got to be concussion-related. I’d be cautionary of that. The league should do everything they can to find out more (about the long-term effects of head injuries), because I believe it’s real. But there are a lot of other dynamics that go with retiring and leaving that world.

Seau’s death sheds light on strain of life after football

 

// Photo – NFL.com