Weeks ago, the NFL announced a new bag policy that prohibits women from bringing purses to games except for small, clear ones made of plastic. The dissatisfaction with the new policy, issued before preseason began, started out a hushed rumble but is quickly reaching fever pitch as women are arriving to preseason games and being told to either walk all the way back to their cars to return their bags or discard them before entering. It would be horrifying enough to have to discard a nice purse at a regular season game, but at a meaningless preseason game where starters only play for a quarter? No, sir.
I think the bag policy is a bit overzealous. However, in light of the recent Boston bombings, I understand why there is additional caution. I just wish that the NFL would have implemented the rule for the regular season and used the entirety of preseason to warn women about the policy. Women tend to carry lots of things in their bags—from medication to feminine products and expensive toiletries. And sometimes…well, frequently… the bag I’m carrying costs more than my entire outfit. I wouldn’t want to discard such a bag or leave it unattended in the trunk of my car for hours.
I also hate the idea of carrying a clear bag that lets everyone know exactly what they could potentially rob me for when I leave my seat to go to the bathroom alone. Besides that, the bags the NFL is selling that meet the new policy are just downright ugly. Not that a clear bag could be anything else except ugly. As far as I’m concerned the only thing worse than a clear bag is clear heels and you won’t catch me trotting around in a pair of those any time soon.
To comply with the policy, when I attend games, I plan to use a money clip to hold bills and any debit or credit card(s) I carry. I also have a case for my iphone that doubles as a wallet and is smaller than the clutch pictured in the NFL’s policy document. I’ll wear my camera around my neck, without the case, as well as a blanket if I need one. I’ll keep my asthma inhaler and my extra hand and toe warmers in my bra or pockets. Now what to do about my contact solution and contact case? I don’t know! I might be forced to carry the clear bag specifically for that purpose if I those items don’t feel secure in my pockets.
No matter what system I use, I’m bound to be frustrated because an NFL game is an all-day affair. By the time you travel to the stadium, park, see the game, and get back to your car, you’re easily looking at 7 hours. That's a long time to be separated from your belongings and the comfort that comes from having all your stuff right where you need it.
Some women are attempting to fight back against the policy and I’m glad. Women are increasingly becoming a huge fan base for the NFL and our voices should be heard. But for the time being, the best thing we can all do is plan ahead before we attend games to ensure we’re not stuck walking back to the car or throwing away something we need. Toward that end, ladies and gents do us all a favor and please tell a friend to tell a friend to tell all of their friends about the NFL’s new bag policy.
For more information on the NFL’s “All Clear” bag policy click here.
Jessica Danielle is a professional speechwriter and blogger who covers sports with wit and ardor at Playerperspective.com.