All Clear: An NFL Purse Review

Nov 18, 2013

We’re more than mid-way through the football season, which begs a review of one of the more controversial new NFL rules. We’re talking, of course, about the NFL’s decision to allow only see-through purses into NFL stadiums nationwide. Here’s a field study of stadium bag theory.

You guys may not have noticed, but bags carried into the Superdome these days can only be made from clear plastic. Clear, as in see-through.

So tell me this: What woman would want the world to be able to see inside her purse? It’s like putting a glass door on the refrigerator. Or lingerie drawer.

I mean, really? To let any stranger eye that vial of concealer, guilty candy bar, romantic novel, eyebrow tweezers, the hand lotion you snagged from the hotel bathroom?

Yet that’s exactly what the guys — and surely they are guys — of the NFL have done.

Of course, in New Orleans, we’ve never been particularly averse to, well, letting it all hang out. No, we don’t flash at Carnival time — that’s for tourists. But we have been known to skirt the boundaries of propriety in lots of other ways.

So, for some local creative types, the all-clear mandate has become a game to see what outrageous accessories they can pack into their plastic to raise security personnel eyebrows. A friend tucked in handcuffs and Vaseline, just for fun. The guards didn’t react at all, but the woman behind her tapped her on the shoulder, leaned forward, and whispered in her ear, “Dear, did you know that your handcuffs are showing?”

Another friend packed her window-to-the-world container with mini pralines and tiny Tabascos. All clearly on view for fans of the opposing team, to make friends if they behave or… umm, well, I’m not sure what she did with the Tabasco.

So maybe the see-through purse rule has its up side here.

In this historically mom-and-pop-business town, turning adversity to financial gain has never been a challenge either. Remember all those Chocolate City and Free Sean Payton t-shirts?

Already a number of local entrepreneurs have been busy creating their own fashionable Ziploc-style carryalls for the Saints crowd. One Magazine retailer has a trademark bag made from heavy plastic strips — you know, the kind that hang in front of grocery freezers. A local publicist quickly whipped up a clear clutch with a detachable cross-body chain that’s selling out all over town.

Restaurants, banks and law firms are churning out their own logoed giveaways for the Dome crowd.

It’s all so much more chic and personal than the ho-hum short-handled shopper offered by the NFL (please spend your $10 on the alligator sausage instead). At Soldier Field in Chicago a few weeks ago, I didn’t spot a single Bears fan with a statement bag. Are Saints fans the only ones to have fun with this new mandate?

I don’t know, but I have been peeking into purses to see what fans are packing at the Dome. I’ve caught glimpses of fleur-de-lis hand towels, cherry lipsticks, sequined coin purses, and, in one bizarre instance, a pair of chopsticks. At the San Francisco game Sunday, I spotted personal koozies and a voodoo doll (whatever works...).

One woman passed by with a pint-sized Nina Ricci bottle stashed inside. Somehow, I doubted it held perfume.

So take that, NFL. You can make us reveal all, but we’ve nothing boring to hide.