HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – I am a woman and yes, I am ecstatic about the NFL’s new handbag policy. Like many women do, I also own many large handbags that could fit a small animal or portable appliance. Do I bring these bags to professional sporting events? Yes, sometimes I do. However, many, many times over the years, I have worried about the backpack and handbag contents of people around me.
As a Texans season ticket holder and a sports aficionado, I attend games with my husband and three boys regularly. As anyone with kids knows, no amount of makeup or money can take up the amount of space that diapers, wipes, bottles, toys, etc., can take up in one’s bag. Now that my oldest two are out of diapers, I still need to carry snacks, sippy cups, books (for those really long games when everyone wants to leave, except for one). If anyone should be complaining about the lack of bags into the stadium, it should be me: a season ticket holder, a woman, and a mom of small children. I lug around more stuff now than I ever did in my twenties yet, sadly, none of it is ever for my own cosmetic use. That being said, I worry more about safety than my lipstick and I worry more about armed lunatics than carrying a compact.
Reliant Stadium holds 71,500 people, not including employees, concession workers, players, and team officials. It has occurred to me nearly every time I go through stadium security with my kids, that it would only take one looney tune to bring a homemade bomb or explosive to target 71,500 people in an enclosed space. I am, by far, not a paranoid person who sits around watching 24-hour news channels all day long. Life is unpredictable and the world is changing. It’s sad but we need to deal with it. Don’t show me the stats (or lack thereof) on explosives at U.S. sporting events. I am sure that would not give the killed or maimed Boston Marathon victims any solace, and it does not give me any solace either. If someone on that marathon committee had suggested banning backpacks, fanny packs and running drink packs, perhaps many would have been in an uproar as well prior to April 15, 2013. Do we want to endure another national tragedy before acting? Airline passengers grumble but now willingly wait in extra long security lines after September 11. Just because our NFL stadiums have been safe up until now, does not mean a threat is not present. Putting our belongings in a clear bag or one that is the size of my hand may not be the all-encompassing solution to stadium safety, but it is certainly a start.
Some background on the NFL bag policy:
The NFL Committee on Stadium Security unanimously voted on a new policy limiting bags into stadiums in May. On Thursday, the Houston Texans announced that the new policy would be implemented at Reliant Stadium. Click here to read more and find out what items and bags are banned by the NFL.