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August 6th, 2013
10:57 PM ET

Sarah Thomas on officiating with men: "I'm just one of the guys"

As 32 NFL football teams prepare for the official start of the 2013-2014 season, Sarah Thomas is hoping to line up for an opening kickoff of her own.

After refereeing her way up the ranks by working games at the high school and college level, Thomas is now poised to become the first full-time female NFL official.

A week ago the mother of three was seen working a New Orleans Saints scrimmage as she's currently one of 21 finalists in contention for a permanent NFL officiating position.

Joining "Piers Morgan Live" on Tuesday, Thomas revealed the microscope she's been under as she calls off sides and holding penalties this summer:

"I've never worked a preseason where there's been more focus on the next season," she explained. "I'm embracing everything that has been put before me, but really and truly, I'm just focusing on being an official and going out and working the game just like I normally do."

Speaking live with Piers Morgan via satellite in Philadelphia, Thomas shared details of how she's been treated in an otherwise male-dominated industry:

"They're professionals," the 39-year-old explained. "This is their job ... But when they see me in stripes, I'm just one of the officials that's out there. It just so happens that I am a female. But when we're out there working we're a team and just trying to go unnoticed like I said, and I'm just one of the guys."

Watch the clip for more of Piers Morgan's interview with Sarah Thomas, and for the full edition of "Piers Morgan Live" tune in every night at 9pm.
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