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June 16, 2013 3:45 PM   Subscribe

The NFL announced a change to its bag policy Thursday and beginning with the 2013 season, only clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags will be permitted inside NFL stadiums.

"Our fans deserve to be in a safe and secure environment," NFL vice president and chief security officer Jeffrey Miller said in a statement. "Public safety is our top priority. 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. We appreciate our fans' cooperation."

One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar) are permissible.

I have just one question: What man thought this up?

"Besides safety, the organization stands to gain merchandise sales. The report also states: "Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12." (Official NFLteam logo clear plastic tote bags are available through club merchandise outlets or at nflshop.com.""
posted by whyareyouatriangle (121 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank goodness the NFL now sells tote bags with official team logos that will pass inspection!
posted by telstar at 3:49 PM on June 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


They should just ban fans altogether, as WAY more Americans killed each other this year than terrorists.
posted by Brocktoon at 3:49 PM on June 16, 2013 [43 favorites]


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.

This is security theater at its worst. This is not a minor inconvenience that is required. In all likelihood this won't make anyone safer. I'm tired of this pointless fucking War On Terrorism™.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 3:49 PM on June 16, 2013 [40 favorites]


Small clutch bags are still permitted, as long they're no bigger than "the size of a hand."

Awesome. So I can still sell crank in the stands.

GO BEARS!
posted by hal_c_on at 3:50 PM on June 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


If there's a heaven, Bin Laden is sitting on the edge of a cloud, looking down at us, swinging his legs, clapping his hands and laughing.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:54 PM on June 16, 2013 [21 favorites]


You know what, NFL? You've got plenty of archive footage of fans in the stands. Let's just drop the pretense that they're anything but an inconvenience. Focus on luxury box owners and the TV audience, and just replace all the "seats" with green screens. Project old audience shots onto those, add sound to the broadcast, and no one will even know the difference.
posted by Etrigan at 3:56 PM on June 16, 2013 [14 favorites]


Is it the norm in the NFL to search people going into stadiums? It seems to be the case at the Metrodome (they have 'male' and 'female' signs affixed above the gates). And why is this when it's not the norm in baseball or, well, any sporting event I've ever gone to aside from college football?

(I've been plenty of places that search bags, albeit somewhat cursorily, which, fair enough, if you're going to ban glass bottles, you kind of have to look. At Wrigley Field they used to squeeze bags and only look inside if they felt a bottle, but that's changed.)
posted by hoyland at 3:57 PM on June 16, 2013


My big-screen TV just got a little more valuable to me.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:58 PM on June 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


So will Wembley Stadium be included in this policy? It sounds like madness to not allow women to take handbags, and I for one will be pretty annoyed if I can't take my small rucksack in next year.
posted by salmacis at 4:03 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Small clutch bags are still permitted, as long they're no bigger than "the size of a hand grenade."

FTFY
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:05 PM on June 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


Nearly fifty years... thousands of ballistic missiles, flight after flight of manned strategic bombers, dozens of nuclear missile submarines, rank upon file of battle tanks, and a slow and smouldering war.

More than twenty five thousand warheads betwixt all the powers during the height of our collective insanity.

And we somehow managed not to immolate ourselves... despite all the close calls.

We also didn't compromise our freedoms in the face of the Soviet Union of old...

But 19 motherfuckers with box cutters...

Why do we bother with the sham of republic anymore?

Fuck this noise... and to Hell with the "professional" sports rackets.

FEAR. FEAR. FEAR.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 4:09 PM on June 16, 2013 [40 favorites]


New York Road Runners implemented this policy right after the Boston bombings, and it's worked out very well. Obviously, race baggage is a little different from what you'd bring into a stadium, but having a clear bag is a very, very minor inconvenience.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:11 PM on June 16, 2013


Well I think this is a good policy! I like people to be safe in massive crowds and am willing to suffer minor inconveniences in aid of this purpose!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:12 PM on June 16, 2013


I went to a major sporting event in Canada last week, and it was liberating to not be searched. Land of the free.
posted by yeti at 4:14 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why do we bother with the sham of republic anymore?

You really don't like transparent bags do you
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:16 PM on June 16, 2013 [31 favorites]


Nice use of the 'absurd' tag.
posted by box at 4:20 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow. So all these security guards will be better trained than the TSA. Looking into clear bags, they'll be able to spot anthrax and ricin and all the other WMD that menace us. I feel safer.

But wouldn't it be better if they included full body scans like they do at the airport? Surely it's possible for terrorists to kill more people in an 80,000 capacity stadium than in an airliner.

I DEMAND a higher level of safety!
posted by surplus at 4:20 PM on June 16, 2013


Will they also be selling NFL branded feminine hygiene products in the ladies rooms?
posted by Orb at 4:20 PM on June 16, 2013 [19 favorites]


So clear bags are allowed, but no backpacks, so clear backpacks are out?
posted by youngergirl44 at 4:21 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think this is primarily a way to reduce the amount of alcohol (and to a lesser extent snacks) people bring in to stadiums. Gotta keep growing revenue! Enjoy the $12 Budweiser!
posted by MillMan at 4:22 PM on June 16, 2013 [27 favorites]


We also didn't compromise our freedoms in the face of the Soviet Union of old...

Are you in your 20s and didn't read much US history?
posted by NoMich at 4:22 PM on June 16, 2013 [22 favorites]


Thank goodness the NFL now sells tote bags with official team logos that will pass inspection!

And the seat cushions they just banned. I'm just glad the bag ban will keep diaper bags out, the toddlers are more dangerous than the terrorists.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:22 PM on June 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Not that I'd be going to a football game anyway, but wow. One more reason for me to avoid ever going to one.

Maybe even to avoid anything that happens in a stadium, period. Because I wouldn't be surprised to find this becoming a standard stadium policy if it doesn't get shouted down.
posted by egypturnash at 4:23 PM on June 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I went to a major sporting event in Canada last week, and it was liberating to not be searched.

yeah but you had to wait literally months to get in to that major sporting event and also socialism
posted by elizardbits at 4:24 PM on June 16, 2013 [93 favorites]


I don't attend NFL, but I do have season tickets to an MLS team that plays in an NFL stadium. I wonder if the policy applies there as well? I have a Sounders-branded green backpack that I carry my giant rattle and comically large red card in, as well as whatever sweaters or rain ponchos seem advisable on the day; are they going to make me get rid of that?

Come to think of it, NFL fans typically show up with giant armloads of blankets and whatnot. In a ziploc?
posted by Fnarf at 4:24 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why do we bother with the sham of republic anymore?

I would love -- LOVE -- to hear the chain of logic that goes from professional football ticketing policies to the very fundamentals of Western civilization.

I'll bring the popcorn.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:25 PM on June 16, 2013 [13 favorites]


LOLJOCKS
posted by rhizome at 4:25 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder how quickly they'll reverse this policy if ticket sales plummet.
posted by ceribus peribus at 4:26 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of these days, we're going to FINALLY put in enough invasive safety measures and OUTSMART anyone who would do us harm in any situation EVER! It's coming soon, I swear! Just one more indignity, with which you will happily follow, because officials are always ONE STEP AHEAD of the bad guys!
posted by xingcat at 4:27 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Man I've been to plenty of games at the Old Meadowlands, and it is cold as fuck in the winter! I can't imagine going there when it's 17 and windy without a blanket. No thanks!
posted by Mister_A at 4:28 PM on June 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wonder how quickly they'll reverse this policy if ticket sales plummet.

The NFL could play to completely empty stadiums and still turn a profit on the TV money. We're fast approaching a point where the NFL is more popular in terms of television viewership than all the other professional sports leagues combined.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:28 PM on June 16, 2013


Mister_A, it says in the article that blankets are not part of this policy.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:29 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


They just want your football experience to be more like visiting the National Archives. Also, they're worried you might sneak in a pen.
posted by jb at 4:29 PM on June 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Also, I think this is much more about money than about actual security; they want people coming into the stadium to pay for as much as they can, because hell, the 75 bucks or whatever for the ticket just ain't enough!
posted by Mister_A at 4:29 PM on June 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


surplus: "Wow. So all these security guards will be better trained than the TSA."

That, er, may not be a particularly high bar, you know…
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:30 PM on June 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not gonna stop a suicide bomber.
posted by briank at 4:31 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fnarf:

I don't work for the MLS or Century Link Stadium, but I don't imagine that these same rules would apply to Sounders matches. With the exception of the Supporters Section, Sounders matches are generally lower key affairs than Seahawks games. Even though the share the same facility. Hell, they don't have the same search rules now - we don't have to go through metal detectors at Sounders matches, for instance.

Speaking of Century Link...they specifically allow outside food. I wonder how the new NFL rules are going to play with that.
posted by spinifex23 at 4:31 PM on June 16, 2013


blankets are not part of this policy

They'll be sorry when they see how many F-35s you can sneak in under logo-branded fleece blanket and/or giant foam finger.
posted by elizardbits at 4:31 PM on June 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


Damn you got some big blankets elizardbits.
posted by Mister_A at 4:33 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


New York Road Runners implemented this policy right after the Boston bombings, and it's worked out very well. Obviously, race baggage is a little different from what you'd bring into a stadium, but having a clear bag is a very, very minor inconvenience.

Thank god this is the end of it now. I pretty sure that I can't take any more minor inconveniences.
posted by mygoditsbob at 4:34 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


So the lesson here is that terrorists should just set their bombs off at the screening checkpoints?
posted by 1adam12 at 4:36 PM on June 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


This only seems fair since the players are ending up with their brains in clear jars filled with formaldehyde.
posted by srboisvert at 4:36 PM on June 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


So the lesson here is that terrorists should just set their bombs off at the screening checkpoints?

I'm seriously thankful this hasn't already happened at an airport. "What's that? I can't bring this wine bottle onto the plane? OK, I'll just set it right here in this bin next to this giant line of people waiting..."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:41 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would love -- LOVE -- to hear the chain of logic that goes from professional football ticketing policies to the very fundamentals of Western civilization.

Risk assessment and planning has reached the point of a hyper-responsive immune system; it is the response that disrupts the situation more than the original issue.

Excessive searches everywhere and paranoia is the mark of an unhealthy polity, and that is a disease that is shared across both the private and public sector. Indeed, it is a sign of the more fundamental shift in cultural norms that it occurs in both.
posted by jaduncan at 4:46 PM on June 16, 2013 [15 favorites]


So the lesson here is that terrorists should just set their bombs off at the screening checkpoints?

Among the thousands of other scenarios I can imagine that have never happened. There are often more people gathered there than on a plane. Almost makes you think someone isn’t really trying that hard, or that there isn’t really the threat out there that’s we’re sold.
posted by bongo_x at 4:48 PM on June 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Small clutch bags are still permitted, as long they're no bigger than "the size of a hand."

Oh, this is going to be written in to the Arrested Development movie as part of Buster's storyline.
posted by Elmore at 4:49 PM on June 16, 2013 [10 favorites]


Well I think this is a good policy! I like people to be safe in massive crowds and am willing to suffer minor inconveniences in aid of this purpose!

This is irony, amirite? Please tell me you're not serious.
posted by leftcoastbob at 4:52 PM on June 16, 2013


I haven't been to many baseball games this year, but the first one after the Boston bombings, they checked peoples' bags much more carefully than usual; at the second one, they were confiscating pocket knives and wanding people with metal detectors (I managed to hang on to my pocket knife by palming it with my cell phone and keys; I did not stab anyone before, during, or after the game). Bag check for more than just alcohol? Okay, whatever, you were kind of doing that already anyway. Pocket knives? Seriously? Fuck you.
posted by rtha at 4:53 PM on June 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


So the lesson here is that terrorists should just set their bombs off at the screening checkpoints?

Honestly, I think "terrorists" could probably just set-up an automated network of bots to randomly create suspicious com traffic for NSACIAFBI et.al to intercept, then retire to the Bahamas or somewhere and have grins and giggles watching the US scare itself to pieces. Another forbidden mai-tai, please.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:54 PM on June 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


I would suggest that this violates New York's Civil Rights Law, section 40-b, which reads in part
No person, agency, bureau, corporation or association, being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent or employee of any place of public entertainment and amusement as hereinafter defined shall refuse to admit to any public performance held at such place any person over the age of twenty-one years who presents a ticket of admission to the performance a reasonable time before the commencement thereof, or shall eject or demand the departure of any such person from such place during the course of the performance, whether or not accompanied by an offer to refund the purchase price or value of the ticket of admission presented by such person; but nothing in this section contained shall be construed to prevent the refusal of admission to or the ejection of any person whose conduct or speech thereat or therein is abusive or offensive or of any person engaged in any activity which may tend to a breach of the peace.
posted by mikelieman at 4:55 PM on June 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


There are often more people gathered there than on a plane.

It's a lot harder to kill them, though. When a bunch of people are packed in a closed space, setting off a bomb might kill a few and injure a lot (like in Boston) but the people closer to the explosion inadvertently protect those further away, so the damage is less than you might think. And medical attention is only minutes away, so injured people stand a good chance of surviving. On a plane, you don't even need to kill anyone with the explosion itself, you just need to do enough damage to the plane and gravity takes care of the rest.

If a bomb went off in the middle of a football game, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot more people were killed by the stampede of people trying to escape than the bomb itself.

And how's your Sunday going, NSA agent #01824?
posted by theodolite at 4:55 PM on June 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


"Security" policies get dumber and dumber. Did I mention dumber? Jesus.

I haven't carried a bag to a sporting event in years. When our local arena started doing bag searches, that's when I said "Fuck it" and bought a couple pairs of cargo style pants. That's more than enough room for my ID, debit card, and cash in a small binder clip, my phone, and my keys.

Confuses the hell out of the screeners.
posted by MissySedai at 4:56 PM on June 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Reading the text of the link on the front page, I originally thought that this was an environmental policy regarding plastic shopping bags. (Not that that makes that much sense upon reflection.) Call it relentless youthful optimism? Canadian optimism?
posted by lookoutbelow at 5:00 PM on June 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Anecdata: I've been going to shows a LONG time ( I Miss Jerry! ), and um... "I know" someone who owns one of these, and wears it into pretty much every show that they go to. NEVER ( um, He or She tells me... ) has anyone in all those years noticed (1) that a patron is wearing a fanny pack designed to conceal a firearm and (2) that's where the dope was...

So, given that anecdote, one must wonder what the point of the screening actually is, given "security" isn't even on the radar...
posted by mikelieman at 5:01 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


If there's a heaven, Bin Laden is sitting on the edge of a cloud, looking down at us, swinging his legs, clapping his hands and laughing.

Man, heaven has some pretty low standards if they are letting in this guy.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:02 PM on June 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


Excessive searches everywhere...

First, I flatly disagree that what a private entertainment venue does has any meaningful influence on public policy. I don't see the public, say, voting for a certain political candidate because it's making an unconscious connection between the candidate and their inability to bring a cooler into a football game. To argue otherwise means you think the public in general -- not just niche members of the public but the entire public -- is profoundly stupid and fundamentally thoughtless. That's wake up sheeple territory and I just won't go there with you.

Second, let's take a wider view. Bags were already being searched for contraband at NFL games. Moreover, bags were being searched not just at NFL venues but many, many public venues decades before 9/11. The idea that we used to enjoy an idyllic lifestyle before the TSA showed up just doesn't wash.

So, this isn't an example of a creeping Overton window -- a logical fallacy on its face. This is just crowd control. Which, by the way, is far more intensive overseas than in the U.S., because of the specter of hooliganism.

The paranoid ones are the ones that see this as evidence of widespread paranoia.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:02 PM on June 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


If this policy doesn't get reversed, I'm cancelling my spot in the waiting list for season tickets. Backpacks were already not allowed, so this mostly affects female fans. My purse and I will watch the games from home.

Also, this led to me saying to my dad, earlier today, "I really don't want to show my feminine hygiene products to all of Foxboro in a ziploc bag." Apparently, that was one of the first things he thought of too, because my dad is awesome and agrees this hurts female fans the most. And he doesn't want to see our feminine hygiene products either.
posted by Ruki at 5:04 PM on June 16, 2013 [14 favorites]


Pocket knives? Seriously? Fuck you

My favorite post-911 security episode involved a big beefy redneck guard, or whatever the equivalent of a "redneck" is in Australia, v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y bending the nail file on my wife's nail clippers back and forth until it broke off while flying from Sydney to Hobart. Security risk, you see. He carefully explained that in the States it probably would have been confiscated (never mind that we had somehow brought it from there already), and he was doing us a very serious favor in letting us keep the clippers. He looked like he was DARING us to say something about it so he could go for the full cavity search with waterboarding. The file was AT LEAST an inch and a quarter long; I can see why they were worried.
posted by Fnarf at 5:13 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, heaven has some pretty low standards if they are letting in this guy.

Depends on the heaven.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:15 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would suggest that this violates New York's Civil Rights Law, section 40-b

Only one NFL stadium would be affected by this, and nobody attends games there anyway.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:35 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Moreover, bags were being searched not just at NFL venues but many, many public venues decades before 9/11. The idea that we used to enjoy an idyllic lifestyle before the TSA showed up just doesn't wash.

I actually gave an example of a change in the policies, albeit not in the NFL. Bags (of a certain size, anyway, not purses, as I recall) used to be searched for bottles* at Wrigley Field by feeling them from the outside and asking to look inside only if they felt a bottle-like object.** They now insist on opening all bags.

*You're not allowed to bring in glass bottles or cans. You are allowed plastic.
**They've banned hard coolers for as long as I can remember.

posted by hoyland at 5:38 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


w00t, yet another reason to never attend a handegg match. Not like I did before, but this adds to my plausible excuses list whenever invited.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:38 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bag check for more than just alcohol? Okay, whatever, you were kind of doing that already anyway. Pocket knives? Seriously? Fuck you.

I'm speculating a bit here, but pocketknives are often considered concealed weapons and in many cities the standard for that is ridiculously low. For example, in Milwaukee, any pocketknife with a blade longer than three inches is a concealed weapon. That's..... not a lot.

There's a lot of weirdness in America's handling of knives, is what I'm trying to say.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:39 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


this hurts female fans the most

It's not particularly great for those of us whose significant others have to be begged to go to football games in the first place and for whom this is the last straw. I won't be going to any more NFL games as long as this policy remains in place.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:41 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


And when angry fans realize that ziploc bags make great urine bombs, the policy will change again.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:03 PM on June 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


Prior to the bombings, they were only interested in contraband alcohol. Nobody got their in-plain-view pocket knives or multitools confiscated, and now they do, judging by the basket of folding knives I saw under the screener's table. Not going to disagree about our cultural knife weirdness.
posted by rtha at 6:04 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you know what kills more Americans than terrorism? Playing football.
posted by Apropos of Something at 6:04 PM on June 16, 2013 [21 favorites]


ceribus peribus: "I wonder how quickly they'll reverse this policy if ticket sales plummet."

I don't know. My local NFL team has sold out every game since the early 70s and has a season ticket wait time of something like fifteen years. I'm not sure that there's anything that the team could do to cause fans not to show up.
posted by octothorpe at 6:14 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm shocked people have money for other possessions after paying NFL ticket prices anyways.
posted by phearlez at 6:19 PM on June 16, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yeah, you know what kills more Americans than terrorism? Playing football.

There has been a blog post floating about over the last week: more people have been killed by toddlers than terrorists in 2013.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 6:28 PM on June 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm just glad the bag ban will keep diaper bags out

The dignity of adults who wear diapers, though, may take a hit.
posted by hwyengr at 6:33 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


You don't need to put your tampons in a Ziploc bag. You can put them in an opaque clutch.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:36 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder how quickly they'll reverse this policy if ticket sales plummet.

They'll raise cable TV prices. NFL gets paid either way. The only way to win is to stop liking football.
posted by rhizome at 6:44 PM on June 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


They've been doing the clear plastic thing for years at Yankee stadium. Big whoop. They just wanna make it a little easier to see what people are bringing into games. Not that you couldn't still sneak in a bottle of Maker's Mark in your girlfriends pocket book.
posted by ReeMonster at 6:52 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many people I can suffocate with one of those bags
posted by Teakettle at 6:58 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Orb: Will they also be selling NFL branded feminine hygiene products in the ladies rooms?

NFL Tampons only come in two sizes: tight end or wide receiver. Value priced at only 75 cents. If you put in a dollar, you get a quarterback.
posted by dr_dank at 7:02 PM on June 16, 2013 [36 favorites]


Today, I've learned that part of male privilege is not having to consider the opacity of my clutch.
posted by Apropos of Something at 7:03 PM on June 16, 2013 [14 favorites]


Related: the Temporary Flight Restriction that prevents small airplanes from flying low over sports games. It's "temporary", only it's been in place for 12 years now. It covers baseball, football, and NASCAR; soccer fans are un-American and get no protection. And only stadiums with 30,000 or more people. The FAA doesn't publish a list of those stadiums, nor will air traffic control give pilots information on game schedules. So it's up to the pilot to know when and where games are, how big the stadiums are, and whether the game happened to go into extra innings.

The restriction is only 3000 feet above and 3 miles around the stadium. That's about 1.5 minutes of flight. In other words the TFR provides no actual security at all; anyone could still fly right over the game and do whatever they wanted to the stadium.

What this "temporary" "security" restriction does accomplish is it prevents banner tows over the stadium. Gotta keep those exclusive advertising rights, you know.
posted by Nelson at 7:09 PM on June 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


Well, any women who need more protection than could be carried in a clutch are probably never going to another football game.
***
Americans don't carry flares to games like you see in Bosnia and in Serbia.

Personally, I think the level of search is stupid. I do t attend any athletic events. Doesn't affect me.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:26 PM on June 16, 2013


They'll be sorry when they see how many F-35s you can sneak in under logo-branded fleece blanket and/or giant foam finger.

pssh...everyone knows F-35s don't work for shit. Only Canadians are still paying for those things.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:32 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope the NFL considers the danger that lurks above. Plot summary of the 1975 novel "Black Sunday", from wikipedia:

Michael Lander is a pilot who flies the Aldrich Blimp over NFL football games to film them for network television. He is also, secretly, deranged by years of torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, a bitter court martial on his return and a failed marriage. He longs to commit suicide and to take with him as many as possible of the cheerful, carefree American civilians he sees from his blimp each weekend.

Lander conspires with Dahlia Iyad, an operative from the Palestinian terrorist group Black September, to launch a suicide attack using a bomb composed of plastique and a quarter million steel darts, housed on the underside of the gondola of the Aldrich Blimp, which they will detonate over Tulane Stadium during a Super Bowl between the Miami Dolphins and the Washington Redskins. Dahlia and Black September, in turn, intend the attack as a wake-up call for the American people, to turn their attention and the world's to the plight of the Palestinians.

American and Israeli intelligence, led by Mossad agent David Kabakov and FBI agent Sam Corley, race to prevent the catastrophe. They piece together the path of the explosives into the country, and Dahlia's own movements.

In a spectacular conclusion, the bomb-carrying blimp is chased by helicopters as it approaches the packed stadium.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 7:39 PM on June 16, 2013


The NFL announced a change to its bag policy Thursday and beginning with the 2013 season, only clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags will be permitted inside NFL stadiums.

No problem, Ziploc makes these giant bags with a handle even!

. . .and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12"


Oh.
posted by mlis at 7:52 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


i'd greatly appreciate it if the NFL implemented a much more thorough search procedure. perhaps that will drive down the attendance and make my wait for season tickets from i dunno 20 years to 15.

don't like it, give it up for others who are willing to put up with the inconvenience of having someone inspect your bag.

what man thought up this policy? i call bullshit on this because if you reversed the sexes, i'd still say sorry, but the fact remains that fewer items to search = quicker searches and less time spent waiting in lines, regardless of your sex.

sensitive to displaying feminine hygiene products in your bag? i'm sorry for the trouble, please put it in your pocket. the probability that anyone else will notice them in clear bags is slim-to-none and as for the searchers, i hope that you can request a female if that is your preference. any person who'd call out "hey, she has a tampon!" is an idiot and should be ridiculed as such.
posted by kuroikenshi at 7:56 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is 100% about stopping fans from bringing in their own booze. The security angle is a covenient smokescreen.
posted by rocket88 at 8:13 PM on June 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Dear lord.
posted by Doohickie at 8:14 PM on June 16, 2013


Not that you couldn't still sneak in a bottle of Maker's Mark in your girlfriends pocket book.

Pocket books bigger than your hand are not allowed.

The Pittsburgh Pirates up and decided last week to start wanding everyone entering the ballpark. They started this (and announced it) the same day a much-hyped new pitcher was starting his first major league game. It went about as well as you'd expect.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:23 PM on June 16, 2013


My first thought was this was just an excuse to prevent people from bringing in their own drinks and snacks.

My second thought is clearly the person implementing this policy did not consider people who would prefer their medication, feminine products, what-have-you displayed out in the open for all to see.
posted by schroedinger at 8:27 PM on June 16, 2013


I understand there's a condition known as "Winter" wherein folk wear bulky opaque outerwear. But perhaps the NFL doesn't have a big fan base up north.

I'm all for knucklehead patrol. It's proactive and prevents problems before they occur.
But...

"Our fans deserve to be in a safe and secure environment," NFL vice president and chief security officer Jeffrey Miller said in a statement. "Public safety is our top priority.

And that's why we farm the operation out to the lowest bidding security firm who changes employees' payroll titles to event staff avoid legally mandated training for "security" personnel. Policies like this help us blow off actual security training while appearing to do something.

Is this a non-answer or what?:

Why did the NFL and its clubs adopt this policy?

The league and clubs review their public safety and stadium security policies every year looking for ways to improve them.... This proactive measure both will enhance safety inside and outside the stadium and speed the security screening process for all NFL fans. The public deserves to be in a safe, secure environment. This is about both safety and improving the overall fan experience.

So, the measure is proactive. Hnh. Guards don't have to be then, I guess.

The problem is, you can't say you're protecting people from a thing without advancing the idea there's a thing to protect them from.
And if the protection is predicated on reactive (not proactive) methods, which use rote behavior by poorly trained personnel, you're asking for panic if and when something actually does happen.
And it's the panic that is the problem in the first place. Caused by the feeling of impotence. Exacerbated by the ineffectual methods. Which make it easier to spread panic with less casualties. Which lives in the house that jack built.

It wouldn't be a problem if there wasn't the pretense.

Just: "yeah, too many people are smuggling booze into the game, getting bombed and causing a problem."

Ok. Well, it's not like you have to go to a football game. And I don't want drunken assholes messing up my fan experience, sure.

But instead: 'Danger! Terrorism! Ooooh!!!!"

And that degrades respect for actual terrorist threat response and elevates public sensitivity which is exactly what you don't want.

It's not just security theater it's fear mongering.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:31 PM on June 16, 2013 [15 favorites]


I honestly don't get the embarrassment thing where ohnoes someone might see my tampax in my bag. If grown men and women are so afraid of some cotton and a string then watch out world cause I'm gonna seize control of all the governments overnight with a box of OB.
posted by elizardbits at 8:33 PM on June 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


I like you guys and all but I'd trade a couple hundred of you in order to sneak booze into the game. Beers are like $10 bucks a pop,fuck out of here with that shit.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:42 PM on June 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, but last time I was at a game (Cleveland, night game, December 7th, game time temp 20 F and dropping in the stiff Lake Erie breeze) that $10 got me a Super Big Gulp of Bud Light. It was getting slushy before I could finish the damn thing.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:46 PM on June 16, 2013


I haven't carried a bag to a sporting event in years. When our local arena started doing bag searches, that's when I said "Fuck it" and bought a couple pairs of cargo style pants

Then the terrorists have already won
posted by nathancaswell at 8:50 PM on June 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


I went to a baseball game in Japan in 2008. They didn't allow glass bottles into the stadium for safety reasons. How did they stop people from bringing glass bottles into the stadium? They had people at the gates who would pour people's beer into plastic cups for them (with lids!).

Somehow I do not think that would happen at a major sporting event in North America, although I would like to be proven wrong.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 9:00 PM on June 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


More than twenty five thousand warheads betwixt all the powers during the height of our collective insanity.

And we somehow managed not to immolate ourselves... despite all the close calls.

We also didn't compromise our freedoms in the face of the Soviet Union of old...

But 19 motherfuckers with box cutters...


Changed the dynamic of terrorism.

When you've got country vs country threatening annihilation from the air, it's the army vs army. But guerrilla warfare screws up the divide between civilian and soldier. Back in the Cold War, the fear was The Bomb, and at worst, your commie neighbors were spying on you. Now, they could be building some rice cooker bomb or stuffing explosives into their underwear.

Tactics that are seen in the news happen on "home soil" and people say "We taught that dog to squat. How dare he do that shit in our own back yard!"
posted by filthy light thief at 9:02 PM on June 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I know I could make a snarky comment about security theater, but what sucks is that this will soon be normalized as acceptable behavior. And while the slippery-slope argument is sometimes a suspect one, why should anyone be allowed to carry a non-transparent bag ever? After all, they're now not allowed in football games, and a football game has yet to be attacked by terrorists! What have you got to hide in that bag that no one can see into, anyway?

But yeah, it's currently trivial to sneak booze into games and avoid the concession stands, so this is just killing an extra bird with the stone of "vigilance." The notion that absolute security can somehow be achieved, combined with the pressure to maximize monetary output of every fan, leads to this outcome.
posted by antonymous at 9:06 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I guess someone in the NFL finally got around to finishing Caprica. Great series. I was sad it ended, too.

...
posted by limeonaire at 9:38 PM on June 16, 2013


I'm just glad the bag ban will keep diaper bags out

Tony Siragusa is not happy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:40 PM on June 16, 2013


You don't need to put your tampons in a Ziploc bag. You can put them in an opaque clutch.


Or make teeny tiny tampon flasks in case your beer bra goes dry.
posted by tilde at 10:24 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gallon bag of Tampax next time my husband goes to a Seahawks game.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 10:26 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


If I were a sport event attendee, I'd start carrying bags with visible feminine supplies. Happy to explain the mooncup (shot glass!) & washable unicorn printed menstrual pads.

Then I'd have to carry a purse again, though .... Bummer.
posted by tilde at 10:27 PM on June 16, 2013


I just hope they make a public announcement explaining this new policy that ends with "OR ELSE..."
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:35 PM on June 16, 2013


I would suggest that this violates New York's Civil Rights Law, section 40-b, which reads in part

That suggestion will for sure to be noted by the city which introduced Stop-and-Frisk, right? In the meantime, NFL event staff will admit all 21-year-old and older ticketholders while confiscating their out-of-spec bags.
posted by mistersquid at 10:41 PM on June 16, 2013


Lets be honest here. The only way this could be a more gender biased policy is if the NFL banned bras.
posted by effugas at 1:04 AM on June 17, 2013


While this is profoundly stupid, I don't get the "must have been written by a man" angle. With the exception of tampons, which are small and of which you don't need a whole bunch for the duration of a football game, women don't need to carry anything more than men.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:17 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the same rule applies (or will be enforced) to the VIP's in the sky boxes?
posted by futz at 2:21 AM on June 17, 2013


Women have purses because they usually don't have useful pockets, Joakim.
posted by litlnemo at 3:49 AM on June 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Women going to football games? In my experience, women attending football games are dressed a lot like men going to football games. I don't have pockets when I wear a jersey dress (like today), but I've had pockets every time I've been to a ball park.

Not saying I like the clear bag thing, but "ladies need purses" is not, for me, the best argument.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 5:05 AM on June 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wonder if part of the reason for the rule is to limit liability. The sad thing is if there is any sort of incident far too many people want to turn tragedy - or even a minor inconvience into a lottery win by suing whoever has the deepest pockets.

Perhaps such a ruling will allow NFL to say we did all that we could to help prevent an attack.
posted by 2manyusernames at 5:07 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


They should just ban fans altogether, as WAY more Americans killed each other this year than terrorists.

Just allow them in, but only in securely sealed airtight containers.
posted by jaduncan at 5:47 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


In at least some states, does this mean you'd be allowed to bring your conceal-carry weapon into the stadium, but not your purse/murse/whatever? Because that's just... so special.
posted by nakedmolerats at 6:34 AM on June 17, 2013


So the lesson here is that terrorists should just set their bombs off at the screening checkpoints?

Among the thousands of other scenarios I can imagine that have never happened. There are often more people gathered there than on a plane. Almost makes you think someone isn’t really trying that hard, or that there isn’t really the threat out there that’s we’re sold.


If memory serves me correctly, a common target for suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan is the queue outside an official building.
posted by Gelatin at 7:19 AM on June 17, 2013


Speaking of tampons, my 3-year-old daughter found one (new, still wrapped). She pretended it was a doggie!
posted by Mister_A at 7:35 AM on June 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Gallon bag of Tampax next time my husband goes to a Seahawks game.

In my experience with various bag searches in DC, all you have to do is pick a male guard and when he asks what's in the bag, loudly and cheerfully say "tampons!" and see how fast you get waved through.
posted by JoanArkham at 7:42 AM on June 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


While this is profoundly stupid, I don't get the "must have been written by a man" angle.

In fairness, people who work for the NFL and people who do security planning are overwhelmingly men (in my experience). The Venn overlap of the two is probably more so.
posted by Etrigan at 8:14 AM on June 17, 2013


Heh... you had me until "a Super Bowl between the Miami Dolphins and the Washington Redskins." Glad we know this won't be happening any time soon.

Phew, that was a close one. However, this probably would have been a possibility in 1984. Boy, those were the days though, weren't they?
posted by Blue_Villain at 8:14 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Women have purses because they usually don't have useful pockets, Joakim.

I'm telling you, cargo pants/shorts. Best purchase I've ever made. No purse means I get into stadiums/arenas faster, it's easier to get beer, and I don't have to pay attention to where my purse has got off to, because I'm not carrying one.

It made standing on the field for Snow Patrol and U2 at Soldier Field SO much more of a delight!

Yes, the policy is stupid. I'm not arguing that. But we don't have to let stupid policies stop us from going to events we enjoy.
posted by MissySedai at 9:50 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


See, I interpreted that as you just carrying cargo pants with extra large pockets instead of a bag to loophole around the bag ban.

"These are my spare pants, there is no rule against bringing extra pants!"
posted by Drinky Die at 10:01 AM on June 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is Andy Ihnatko secretly a football fan in his Special Internet Pants?
posted by wenestvedt at 10:24 AM on June 17, 2013


Tried to take a thermos of coffee into a cold Boise State football game and no dice. I might use it as a "weapon". Idiotic rules abound for live sports, but only selectively. This safety is of no comfort to me.
posted by joseppi7 at 12:18 PM on June 17, 2013


I'm not terribly excited with the idea of having to buy special pants to attend a football game.

I do have a Scottevest trench coat with lots of secret pockets, though...
posted by litlnemo at 11:11 PM on June 17, 2013




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