Shannon Eastin to Ref NFL Game

The NFL front office announced today that the possibility of a woman officiating an NFL game is no longer a possibility, its a fact.

Shannon Eastin will be the first woman to work as an NFL official during league game play.  Eastin has refereed over the last decade with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.  NFL head of Officials had said last year that women officials were coming sooner rather than later, but no one expected it to be this season.  Johnson stated, “Our goal is to get the best people working this game.”

The reason for the rush to the NFL is the officials strike.  The NFL officials have already stated that they will strike starting at the beginning of preseason NFL games.  Scab officials have been used in Football, Baseball and NBA Basketball all to horrible results.  Call accuracy dips dramatically and outburst from players seem to rise.  The question for the NFL is how long will it allow its game to be compromised by under trained, under talented personnel.  Knowing Roger Goodell, as long as it takes for him to get the price he wants.

Earlier this off-season several players have made comments about their respect level for Goodell, but you are hard pressed to find a commissioner in any other sport to take control of his league and work for its betterment.  You make not like Roger, but you have to respect what he has put in place.

Shannon Eastin will be officiating in the NFL’s first preseason game, the Hall of Fame Game.  Saturday night the NFL will induct its latest crop of Hall of Famers; Willie Roaf,  Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin, Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson.  Sunday the NFL will kick off its preseason schedule with the Arizona Cardinals playing the New Orleans Saints.  From a fantasy football perspective preseason is a chance to evaluate players, to find undrafted rookies who may make an impact, to rate veterans and see if they’ve lost a step, and for Shannon Eastin its a chance to prove that a persons sex does not determine their ability to judge a play, that a woman can know the rules of football just as well as a man, that she too can put herself in the correct position, and if she can’t, well, she was never supposed to be there to begin with.  Eastin is in a win / win situation.  If she fails it will be because she came up to fast, if she succeeds than a womans position in mens sports has taken a huge step forward.

UPDATE

Although rumors persisted up to this last weekend.  Shannon Eastin did not officiate the Hall of Fame game between the Arizona Cardinals and the New Orleans Saints.  The NFL stands behind the claim that Eastin will ref NFL games during the preseason and regular season, unless the league is able to reach an agreement with the currently on strike officials.

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