USA TODAY - I'm a woman. I'm an NFL fan.
And now I'm annoyed.
The NFL announced a new policy that forbids anyone from carrying a purse that's larger than a paperback novel into football games starting in the preseason. But - and here is the ridiculous kicker and I quote -- you can use a "one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)."
Complete NFL bag policy: http://on9news.tv/173mhz0.
I have just one question: What man thought this up?
Because, seriously?! A clear plastic freezer bag?
What woman in her right mind - even in her drunken mind after a few hours of tailgating - is going to load up her smartphone, lipstick,money, credit cards, keys, not to mention tampons, in a clear plastic bag for all the world to see? Not many, I predict.
The NFL has made great strides in recent years in attracting women. There are cute commercials now, usually with some defiant woman scowling at a man for thinking she doesn't like or even understand football. The NFL sells pink jerseys, even when it's not Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
But suggesting a Ziploc bag? This is not one of the league's better ideas.
I'll tell you what's going to happen. Husbands, boyfriends, brothers and BFFs, you're going to be carrying a lot more stuff in your pockets, that's what. You should just go ahead and buy some cargo pants now.
Overall, I understand what the league is trying to do.
After the bombings at the Boston Marathon, keeping people safe, especially at huge events, is a major concern. And after the long lines at this year's Indianapolis 500 because of the stricter security checks, avoiding delays getting into events is a major issue, too.
Making people put their stuff in Ziploc bags is a way to accomplish both.
As Jeffrey Miller, the NFL's vice president and chief security officer,said in a statement today: "This will make the job of checking items much more efficient and effective. We will be able to deliver a better and quicker experience at the gates and also provide a safer environment."
And to be fair, the NFL isn't just picking on women.
Coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage, computer bags and camera bags are now banned, too.
I guess this is just one more minor inconvenience that we'll all have to endure in the name of safety. It could be worse - much worse.
But I'm still not carrying a Ziploc bag to a Colts game.
Thank goodness the NFL now sells tote bags with official team logos that will pass inspection! My sense of style will remain intact.
Erika D. Smith is a columnist for the Indianapolis Star , where this piece originally appeared.
In addition to its own editorial, USA TODAY publishes diverse opinions from outside writers, including our Board of Contributors.
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