Michele Janiszewski is concerned that all of her personal items will be on display with nothing but the new Miami Dolphins logo to hide behind.
Scott Pustizzi is more concerned about being seen toting the new NFL-sanctioned clear plastic tote bag around at Dolphins games.
Both are long-time season-ticket holders who this week received the standard-issue bag that will be de rigueur at Sun Life Stadium beginning with Saturday night's Dolphins exhibition against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Backpacks, fanny packs, diaper bags and purses larger than your hand are now forbidden at the stadium. If you want to bring binoculars or a camera, leave the case at home and haul it in the clear bag that will sell for $5 in the team store. Containers that conceal their contents will no longer be admitted.
"It's a little feminine, if you ask me. I just can't see many of the male fans carrying that bag around," Pustizzi said of the team's clear tote with black handles. "I'm just going to make do with shoving stuff in my pockets, I guess."
Fans throughout the NFL are having to adjust to the league-mandated public-safety policy that should also speed up stadium access for fans.
Todd Boyan, senior vice president of operations at Sun Life Stadium, said the bombing at the Boston Marathon in April was a catalyst for the bag ban.
"The mission here is to provide a safer environment for all involved," Boyan said. "The positive feedback we've had from other teams that have already hosted home preseason games is a good sign. I think fans understand that there are security needs."
The policy, which also will apply to other events at Sun Life Stadium, including Miami Hurricanes games and the Discover Orange Bowl, permits each fan to have a bag that is clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and does not exceed 12 by 12 inches and 6 inches wide. In lieu of the team bag, fans can bring a 1-gallon plastic zip-top freezer bag.
Fans may also bring a clutch purse no larger than 4 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches with a wrist or shoulder strap. For all details about the policy (note that seat cushions are also banned), visit NFL.com/allclear
Boyan said feedback from Dolphins fans has mostly been inquiries seeking clarification on the policy. That does not mean they are happy about the restrictions.
"I think I'm more annoyed at the privacy issue than anything else. I don't like the idea of everybody seeing what I'm carrying," Janiszewski said. "I don't know if they are trying to deter somebody's tampons and lipstick."
Similar complaints from women have echoed across the Internet. On Twitter, @GuysGirl wrote, "Hope the NFL is ready to ban bras. Because I'm about to shove all kinds of items in there just to get through security."
A hash tag #MyPurseMyChoice was created after a hilarious video of that title appeared on YouTube with two women dressed dramatically in black somberly detailing all the ramifications of not being able to bring all of their belongings to games. One laments, "You can't see if you have anything in your teeth, because you don't have at least three Sephora mirrors you got with gift cards."
Tila Levi, another long-time Dolphins season-ticket holder, said there are practical concerns with the bag restriction, particularly for families with small children.
"I want my kids to be safe. I also want them to be comfortable," Levi said. "I don't know that I can fit everything I need in there. It's a long, long day. I try to bring everything that I can so I can stay to the very end."
Regarding the needs of children in diapers, Boyan points out that each person is entitled to a 12-by-12-by-6-inch bag, and the belief is that should provide adequate carrying capacity for the duration of a game.
Clearly, the clear bag will take some getting used to. The Dolphins will have personnel outside the stadium Saturday to provide information about the policy and hand out plastic freezer bags to anyone who needs them. There will not be a place to leave impermissible bags and pick them up later.
"We don't want people to leave their parked vehicles with improper bags. If they do, we want to try to get them as soon as possible before they make the walk in toward the stadium gates," Boyan said.
Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after inspection at a designated station outside Gate E.
The Dolphins hope any inconvenience will be offset in part by a more rapid screening process when entering the stadium, since security personnel will not having to search large purses and backpacks anymore.
But issues won't necessarily end at the turnstiles.
"I had a bag that had a shoulder strap, it was easier to maneuver and walk around with. Now you have a [tote] bag and have to try to carry a hot dog and soda. You're juggling a few more things," Janiszewski said.
Serious fans said the new policy won't keep them from going to games, but Janiszewski said: "I want to see if it changes what they allow me to bring in. If I can't bring my pistachios in or my bottle of water and things like that, then you know that it's aimed more toward purchasing than security."
Levi believes the security concerns are legitimate, noting that similar measures have extended to other aspects of modern life.
"In the United States, already everybody is a target. It's a sign of the times," she said. "It's unfortunate that at a fun sporting event we have to be worrying about safety, but it's a reality." ___
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