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NFL's first female referee: Shannon Eastin's debut game

NFL's first female referee: Shannon Eastin became the first woman to be an official in an NFL regular-season game, in the Rams-Lions game Sunday. Eastin had 16 years of football officiating experience before she became the NFL's first female referee.

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Line judge Shannon Eastin runs on the field during the first quarter of an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the St. Louis Rams in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. Eastin is the NFL's first female referee.

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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 Shannon Eastin used her left hand to tuck her pony tail under her cap after the national anthem and got ready for work.

She seemed to do her job, which ended by helping to separate St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions players after some shoving, pushing and shouting broke out following the final play.

Eastin became the first woman to be an official in an NFL regular-season game, working as the line judge in the Rams-Lions matchup Sunday.

"It's a great milestone," Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said after his team beat St. Louis 27-23. "But we didn't think about it all during the game."

That's probably just the way she — and the league — liked it.

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Eastin is among the replacement officials hired by the league while the regular officials are locked out. Replacement officials are working games for the first time in 11 years.

She became the first female official to work an NFL preseason game last month as the line judge when Green Bay played at San Diego. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has the hat and whistle she used during that preseason game, and they'll are expected to be displayed in Canton, Ohio.

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