NFL says mama needs a brand-new bag
Among the inherent differences that distinguish males from females is the latter’s strong need to accessorize.
Take shopping for instance. When women purchase a new outfit, that isn’t where the buying ends.
After all, what good is the garment without some shoes and jewelry to go with it? And, hey, doesn’t that new scent of perfume smell nice?
Oh, and we almost forgot about the handbag, although rest assured the ladies won’t.
This is foreign territory to men, whose attire generally consists of whatever piece of clothing their hand touches first upon waking up that morning. That is somewhat problematic when the item is a bathrobe, but guys are pretty adaptable when it comes to getting dressed in no more than 45 seconds.
And except for metro-sexual types, there’s no requirement that men’s clothes need to be freshly pressed, or even recently laundered for that matter.
As far as accessories go, wallet, comb and car keys stuffed into pants pockets pretty much fills the bill, Hopefully, bills fill the wallet, too, so that the man can pretend to be a gentleman and pay for a few things during the course of the day.
Men don’t carry purses. There are several reasons for this, one of the most important being the need for him to keep his hands free in order to catch foul balls and hot dogs tossed by vendors at certain sporting events.
Also, men aren’t the ones who get pestered by kids for everything from tissues to candy to boredom-relieving trinkets while away from home. If a child asks his father for something and slipping the kid a buck can’t solve the crisis, he advises the young one to “go ask your mother.”
Given those circumstances, it’s no wonder women have never been able to completely abandon the practice of carrying purses. But the NFL is doing its best to help break females of that habit by weaning them off larger bags.
In an attempt to curtail personal freedoms just a little bit more, the NFL has declared that women attending games this season will not be allowed to bring into the stadium with them anything bigger than a clutch-style purse. According to an expert on the subject I consulted, a clutch purse is big enough to hold a hankie, tube of lipstick and three mints.
To demonstrate its willingness to be reasonable, however, the NFL has also given the OK for fans to carry in clear gallon-storage bags. Anything other than that, though, will result in a person being denied entrance into the ballpark.
The move was orchestrated by the NFL’s Stadium Security Committee and done in panicky reaction to last spring’s Boston Marathon bombings. Funny, but I don’t recall seeing either Tamerlan or Dzhokhar Tsarnaev toting a purse in any of the photos or videos taken of them on that fateful day.
One of them did have a backpack, which has always been off-limits at every sports venue. So what does that have to do with purses?
Naturally, the NFL is touting the “providing a safer environment” argument as the primary reason for its new rule. And when you stop and think about it, perhaps the NFL people are right.
I don’t know about you, but the people I’m always most wary of in public settings are purse-carrying females. Particularly deserving of suspicion were those grandma-looking types who brandished crochet needles on planes before lawmakers dropped the hammer down on them.
In truth, I’m reasonably certain most women would prefer to not lug around a large purse, but do so solely out of necessity. I’m also pretty sure that none of them appreciates being told what to do by the NFL.
That was the basic feeling expressed by a woman named Melissa Jacobs on a website called TheFootballGirl.com. In a Rochester Democrat and Chronicle online story, Jacobs offered the following statement:
“The truth is, how much do we really need to bring to a game? It’s just the idea that, what if we did? Or what if we have a kid? Or, quite frankly, what if it was ‘that time of the month’? You’re just excluded from that.”
Jacobs noted the “changes affect female fans more than male fans, clearly,” and a poster on her website — one of several who voiced displeasure with the NFL rule — summed it up as “blatant discrimination.”
Uh-oh. I bet the NFL wasn’t banking on that kind of response to its quest of “providing a safer environment” for fans and its claim of “wanting to deliver a quicker and better experience at the gates,” a statement that appeared on an NBCNews.com blog.
Seeing as how women do a majority of the purchasing in most families and comprise a growing percentage of the NFL’s fan base, the league’s decision-makers may want to rethink their stance on this matter. And just in case they think all the guys are on board with the rule, those pooh-bahs may want to heed the sentiment of a male fan of the Cleveland Browns.
That man, who was quoted on the NBCNews.com blog and is a 36-year season-ticket holder for the Cleveland Browns, complained how the NFL and its teams “continue to complicate things over and over again.” He didn’t say if he’s frustrated enough to stay away in the future, but he clearly wasn’t happy.
So what comes next? Airport-style body searches? Car inspections before being allowed to park? How about IQ tests to determine whether we’re all smart enough to understand and abide by the myriad rules constantly being placed before us?
Of course, if we really were smart, we’d never step foot outside our houses on game day. Leave enough empty stadium seats each week, and the empty-headed individuals who keep insisting on doing things “for our protection” might eventually realize the folly of their ways.
And then they’ll have to purse their lips to blow everyone kisses of apology.