There is nothing transparent about the NFL. At least there never has been until now. The NFL is, and always has been, one tough sport. It’s concept, however, is simple – enormous, huge-muscled men ruthlessly throwing similar looking men to the ground upon catching them, others ferociously crashing into the bones of their opponents, while others are grunting and growling their way down a stretch of grass to get a pigskin ball across the threshold of celebration.
And football fans are just as tough. They are so devoted, they are known to mimic this grunting and growling in the stands, proving fierce loyalty to their teams, antagonizing their opponents, and expressing their unmitigated love for this most spectacular game. So for many football fans, the news of the tough NFL instituting a new policy this season banning them from bringing any non-clear bags of any kind into the stadium seems kind of, well, paradoxical.
Beginning with the 2013 season, the only bags that will be permitted into any stadium in the NFL will be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags, not larger than 12 inches by six inches by 12 inches. In addition to this policy, each fan is only going to be allowed to carry in just one bag. This means no more purses, backpacks, coolers, briefcases, diaper bags, computer bags, seat cushions, camera bags or fanny packs will be permitted entry into an NFL stadium.
And as for those official team logo-drenched tote bags sold on every team’s website, and in every team’s stadium stores, and perhaps even already owned by you – well, they too are no longer allowed inside a football stadium.
The reason for all these items being shunned and having to stay at home on game day? It certainly isn’t a new fashion controversy. And surprisingly, it has nothing to do with the league making money. It is, says the NFL, about increasing public safety, and delivering a more efficient process at the security gates when entering the stadium.
A spokesman for the NFL has voiced that the fans of the sport ‘deserve to be in a safe and secure environment.’ By only allowing clear bags into stadiums, security at the stadium gates will be easier, and faster, to enforce. Ever since fans have been required to have their bags individually searched before entering a stadium, this has resulted in long, frustrating wait times, as security officers root around in dark bags, often removing some items to see the bag’s entire contents.
Transparent bags permit the security officers to clearly, and rapidly, see the contents of every bag, therefore lessening the threat of illegal contraband entering a stadium, and ensuring a safer environment for the fans. But no diaper bags? No purses? Obviously, this new policy may not receive much favorable response, especially from the female fan population. Many fans feel it is simply outrageous that women not be able to bring their purses with them to football games, something they have been doing since the invention of the game. It also seems a bit discriminatory, in fact. A woman’s purse is an extension of her, and contains all her life essentials.
Of course, cameras, iPads and binoculars, as well as the contents of purses and diaper bags, are still permitted in the stadiums, they simply have to be ensconced inside a clear plastic bag. Like the policy or not, if you show up at the security gate with a non-clear bag, you will be either turned away, or the bag will be confiscated. So for those fans who wish to comply with this new policy, rather than watch the game from their couches, there is The Clear Bag Store, an online store dedicated to offering only clear, plastic bags, in numerous styles and sizes.
One of our newest arrivals is the ‘NFL Stadium Compliant Bag’, and it meets the NFL’s size regulation, and comes trimmed in black or pink. The bag is completely transparent, and has a sturdy construction. Also available are clear bags that replace purses, backpacks and diaper bags, as well as a large number of other styles for a variety of other uses.
These clear creations may not be when you had in mind for NFL fashion, and a stadium full of fans all walking around with nearly identical clear bags may definitely present a somewhat comical vision. But if you want to bring your favorite things with you when you go watch your team play at the stadium, you’re going to have to ‘clear’ away those negative thoughts and just say ‘plastic please.’