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Sarah Thomas in line to officiate NFL game

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09:25 AM ET 06.15 | Sarah Thomas spent three days at the Colts minicamp as part of the NFL's officiating development program, and league officials say she would be the first woman to reach NFL fields through the program. She's expected to join the Colts in training camp next month and could call some preseason games this year. Once completing the development program, Thomas could get a shot at the regular season if a spot becomes available. That wouldn't happen until a current official retires or leaves the league. "It's just something that happened," said Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating. "She was in our pipeline for a while." Last year, Shannon Eastin became the first woman to be an official in both a preseason and regular-season NFL game. She was a line judge in the Rams-Lions season opener, among the replacements hired during the officials' lockout.

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Sarah Thomas, Mark Cunningham/Getty Images Sarah Thomas, Mark Cunningham/Getty Images
June 15, 2013  09:35 AM ET

Insert sexist comment here.

June 15, 2013  09:40 AM ET

I have no problem with this.

June 15, 2013  09:48 AM ET

Kudos to her for getting this far.

June 15, 2013  09:48 AM ET

I don't see any reason why women can't be a ref.

June 15, 2013  09:52 AM ET

Good for her, I wish her success!

June 15, 2013  10:17 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I don't see any reason why women can't be a ref.

I totally agree!!! Hell, there are quite a few fat and out of shape male refs in the NFL today!! It would be quite refreshing, to see a woman that can run up and down the field and stay up with the players, without huffing and puffing!!!!

June 15, 2013  10:18 AM ET

If she's qualified, then she should be brought in.

June 15, 2013  10:24 AM ET

Dammit!

Now I have figure out how to adjust all of my referee curses to make them gender-neutral.

June 15, 2013  10:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I don't see any reason why women can't be a ref.

She'd be great for the Lingerie League.

June 15, 2013  10:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Dammit!Now I have figure out how to adjust all of my referee curses to make them gender-neutral.

How about you suck?

June 15, 2013  10:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

If she's qualified, then she should be brought in.

So you're saying she has to be better than what they already have, Otis? ;-)

June 15, 2013  11:01 AM ET

Pair her up with Ed Hochuli and that will eliminate any stupid comments by players or other referees.

June 15, 2013  11:09 AM ET

She passed the Development Program!!!

June 15, 2013  11:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Pair her up with Ed Hochuli and that will eliminate any stupid comments by players or other referees.

Damn right. Of course the sexist element among the fans ("lots and lots and lots" is the official number, I believe) will scream about every mistake she makes, not noticing (or caring to notice) the male officials are making them too.

Comment #15 has been removed
June 15, 2013  11:59 AM ET

Can we at least get our own seat on "The View" then?

June 15, 2013  12:13 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

So you're saying she has to be better than what they already have, Otis? ;-)

Packer fans would be happy with ANYONE after the replacements...

June 15, 2013  12:13 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Can we at least get our own seat on "The View" then?

Go ahead. I still won't watch.

June 15, 2013  12:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Packer fans would be happy with ANYONE after the replacements...

LOL, Seahawk fans don't agree with you!!!!!

 
June 15, 2013  12:58 PM ET

Good for her. She can't be any worse than the current crop of officials they have. Wait a second I said the same thing when the replacement refs were fired and the original officiating crews got their jobs back. Officiating did not get better.

What the NFL needs, but they are unwilling to pay for is another Umpire who monitors the game from within a booth that has several TV screens with multiple camera angles for every play. That Umpire would not be able to make game time decisions, he could communicate with the field Umpire what the officiating crew is missing or doing wrong, the Booth Umpire would also overturn bad calls or even bad ball placement immediately without that stupid replay booth on the field. Hopefully the Booth Umpire would be efficient enough so that the NFL could eliminate the coaches CHALLENGE FLAG.

The NFL likes the slow indecisiveness of refs, it allows for more commercial time.

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