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Valley Resident To Become NFL's First Female To Officiate Game

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While the NFL and its officials are stuck in a labor issue, the league is moving forward with replacement officials. They worked the game between the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints on Sunday and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

On Thursday, there will be a milestone many might not recognize -- in the preseason contest between the San Diego Chargers and he Green Bay Packers, there will be a female official. That female is a Valley resident, Shannon Eastin.

It is an opportunity she has been waiting for, as she told Nate Davis of USA Today. "It may sound crazy to some people, but I think I can be in the NFL some day. I told them that I would go referee in the NFL Europe league for five years if that's what it takes," she told The Arizona Republic in 1999, after she'd already begun establishing her reputation in the interscholastic ranks.

"You've got to believe in yourself. If you don't, nobody else will."

She is the Arizona Charter Athletic Association's Director of Officials. She also was one of the officials to work the Red and White practice in Flagstaff for the Arizona Cardinals.

Whether she will eventually get her shot in the NFL, especially since she is a replacement referee during a work stoppage, this has got to be great for her. There isn't any real reason why a woman could not officiate a game. There just hasn't been one.

You can see the game she works on Thursday on ESPN at 5 PM Arizona time.