Thursday will mark sort of a big day in gender equality when Shannon Eastin, formerly a college football referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, will become the first woman ever to be part of an NFL officiating crew. Sure, it's a preseason game and Eastin's just part of a replacement crew helping to tide the league over during a contract dispute with the usual refs, but it's still happening.
Until the NFL and its regular officials agree on a new collective bargaining act, the 2012 season will be just like a version of The Replacements, only maybe not as terrible. When the Green Bay Packers and the San Diego Chargers let their rookies start fighting desperately for roster spots in a few days, Eastin will have the privilege of chasing around very large young-men, throwing little pieces of cloth with extreme prejudice, and staring mindlessly in front of a little monitor while the NFL gamecaster drones for all the folks watching from home, "Now, if the running back's right knee was down but his left testicle wasn't, and his left wrist was only skimming the grass, I think, technically, it's a fumble."
Woman to officiate game [L.A. Times]