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Some NCAA History

The old: Mark Schlabach's essay on the origins of Death Valley, Howard's Rock, & why the Tigers run down the hill at Clemson.

The new: Sarah Thomas will become the first female to referee a Division 1-A college football game in today's Memphis-Jacksonville State contest.

Revisiting a similar moment: I recall an Arsenal - Fulham match at Highbury several years ago, when a female referee's assistant was employed. She blew a few offsides calls. As they all do, as it's an impossible task. Well, English fans can be both vile and humorous with their chants, and the chanting is usually from one set of fans or another, but not both. In this case, to the tune of the "what a load of rubbish," with which dubious decisions are usually serenaded, both the Fulham and Arsenal support bellowed "you should be home cooking dinner." Clever lads.

Refs have a tough job, and for gals managing a game of guys it is that much tougher. I haven't seen a female referee in the Premier League since. I hope that Sarah Thomas meets a better fate.