Welcome to the gauntlet, Shannon Eastin.
Ms. Eastin is one of the NFL’s replacement officials while Hochuli and the boys are involved in some sort of labor mess, and she (yes, she) will be on the field for tonight’s pre-season game between the Chargers and the Packers.
It sounds dangerous on the surface. Male referees sometimes get accidentally crushed when a player goes over the middle, or they fall and end up under pile when they’re trying to break up a scrum.
How’s it all going to go when Eastin decides she’s had enough of Ray Lewis’ BS for the day and wants to give him a stern talking to, or if she thinks the scramble for a fumble has gone on long enough and she needs to rip Logan Mankins away.
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I think that’s concern No. 1 – her safety. With players getting bigger and faster by the day, you certainly need refs who can handle themselves in physical situations against some of the scariest people in the world.
This video (featuring the one and only Len Berman!), makes me a little bit more relaxed about the whole thing, because apparently Eastin is a six-time national judo champion. She’s a trained fighter who can probably hold her own against a lot of people. That said, “a lot of people” aren’t the people playing in the NFL, but at least it’s better then not having an extensive judo past.
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Concern No. 2 is how seriously the players are going to take her. Are NFL players going to listen/take orders from a female referee? I’m not passing judgment on the ref, but the NFL is filled with a bunch of alpha-male lunatics who might be serial killers if they didn’t suit up and take out their aggression on other grown men in pads on Sundays. It’s just the way it is.
And those same alpha males go out and pick up women with no problem, are most likely extremely misogynistic and aren’t used to dealing with females in any setting other then ones that they create. Except for their mothers, there aren’t a lot of authority figure women in most NFL players’ lives.
It just seems like something is going to happen. I’m not saying that after every call someone is going to pat her on the ass and ask her out or something, but if she becomes a full-time referee there is going to be some incident where players are making obscene comments on the sidelines or they make a bet to see who can touch her chest. It’s going to happen.
So I apologize if I’m making NFL players out to be a bunch of frat boys, but there’s no doubt that a lot of them have that mindset. Look at the dumb stuff they do on a regular basis already – Pacman Jones made it rain in a night club, then tried to take the money back from the strippers, then someone got shot. Ben Roethlisberger thought that he could have any women he wanted to the point that he was accused of rape twice.
Remember the New York Jets incident with the hot Mexican reporter, Ines Sainz?
This is the NFL we live in.
So hopefully Eastin makes it through this thing okay, and there are no problems tonight. I have no doubt she’s a solid referee, I just question the other stuff. The good news though is that Antonio Cromartie doesn’t play on either of these teams, so the odds of someone trying to impregnate her look pretty low for the time being.