US soccer star Carli Lloyd has been invited to play in an NFL preseason as a place kick. Lloyd has been contacted by several teams according to CNN after a video of her kicking a 55-yard field goal at the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice went viral.
In 1991, Kathy Ireland played Lucy Draper in the cult classic football film Necessary Roughness. Her character was a former soccer player brought onto the Texas State University Armadillos. Could real-life mirror Hollywood?
Two different NFL franchises have contacted Lloyd about playing in their final preseason games. The 37-year-old declined to participate, but is now considering a possible kicking future in the NFL. Yes, Lloyd is considering a future in the NFL as a place kicker. Lloyd would become the first-ever woman to play an NFL down if she did join and team.
Remember Lauren Silberman?
Only one other female football player has had a tryout with an NFL team. Lauren Silberman tried out for the New York Jets in 2013 and received nothing but widespread criticism from NFL pundits and fans. Silberman made a mockery of her NFL tryout with one NFL.com writer, Aditi Kinkhabwala penning: “After the two pathetic and pitiful pseudo-kickoffs, after the stubborn refusal to say how far she’d ever actually kicked a football, Lauren Silberman still could have salvaged her day.”
Silberman only seemed interested in completing the tryout to advance her non-football endeavors, which all became apparent when she spoke to the media.
“The NFL opened this amazing door for me. I am a young entrepreneur,” Silbermann said. “I have created a product geared toward professional athletes and I would be a lousy businesswoman if I didn’t seize this once-in-a-lifetime platform.”
While Silberman was only interested in push her own agenda, Lloyd is a professional athlete. She is a two-time World Cup and Olympic Gold Medal winner. Lloyd is familiar with what it takes to be a professional athlete. The United States soccer star has stated she is up for the challenge and that is what is motivating her to pursue a possible NFL deal.
Great idea, bad career move
As great as it would be for Lloyd to join an NFL team, one has to question whether she could stand up to the physicality. She has never played football previously and the likelihood that she would be a target for opposing special teams to be heavy handed with is high.
In the same way men and women do not compete against each other in the UFC, the physicality in the different gender divisions is very different and can cause major injuries. NFL players retire due to injuries every day playing against other men and CTE has become a common a mainstream medical condition due to ex-football players suffering brain trauma during their careers.
Lloyd won’t miss out on the physicality just because she would be playing as a place kicker. Being a female player would make her a target for other teams as ridiculous as that sounds in 2019. Not only is the physicality against Lloyd, but so is her age.
It is all a challenge for Lloyd and she could influence another generation of female athletes to pursue their sports dreams.