This is my game day purse. It is officially licensed NFL merchandise from Littlearth, and if memory serves me correctly it is actually called the Game Day Purse. It holds my Terrible Towel, small wallet, keys, sunscreen, hand wipes, spare handwarmers, extra hair rubberbands, tickets and when needed, enough maxipads and tampons to get me through a 12-hour game day outing. I’m a pretty low-maintenance gal, but from time to time I’ll jam in a spare hat or scarf in if it’s cold, but only if I have room. Once I stuffed an Ape in my purse as a joke. It’s really not a big bag at 14 x 12 inches. Doesn’t even have any inside pockets to inspect when at the gate.
And after serving me well for years, it is no longer welcome at NFL stadiums.
Today the NFL announced strict new bag policy in the name of public safety and speeding up the screening process. NFL.com reports:
“Beginning with preseason games, fans will have only be allowed to brin in small clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12,” a press release from the league reads.
Other options include a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (like Ziploc) or a small “clutch bag,” approximately the size of a hand. An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
“Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size,” the statement reads.
A quick look at NFLShop.com doesn’t list any clear bags that would fit the new size requirements, and only has a few small wristlets and phone holders that would pass inspection. Of course these small bags don’t hold anything more than a lipgloss, phone and a wallet, but why would a fan need more than that at a game anyway? Right, back to those pesky maxipads and tampons.
If I want to carry them in a bag that isn’t transparent — I’m old and no longer embarrassed by my period like a teenager, but I also don’t announce to the world each month when I’ve got CARRIE going on between my legs — and yet big enough to hold enough of them, I need to go to the gate and have them approved as medically necessary? How does that speed up the screening process, considering 42% of the NFL fan base is female and assuming more than one or two us are going to have our period on any given Sunday? Are we going to get our own separate gate as not to slow down everyone else from getting into the game? Will there be a “WARNING: BEARS” sign above our special lady-time gate?
A quick look at Twitter shows general displeasure from female fans about the new rule — in particular I like this woman’s moxie of threatening to just bring a box of tampons — and confusion since none of the current purses for sale from the league meet their own guidelines. Over at TheFootballGirl.com they’re demanding refunds for purses they’ve recently bought at games.
The league is not one to acknowledge mistakes often, but when nearly half of your customers are going to be effected in a negative way you have to imagine they might revisit this rule as the season draws closer. Until then, I look forward to carrying this into the stadium this year.
Addendum: Of course Florio thinks this bag ban is a good idea. He hasn’t had to go to a game as a fan in eons.