Re: No Bags/Purses to Games
I don't have a strong opinion on this, we'll make it work whatever the rule, but I will summarize how my wife feels:
We've got a 2 year old and 5 year old. The oldest has been to every game (apart from pre-season) since she was 8 weeks old. The youngest has done the same, as well as the game at Denver last year. We bought our 4 PSLs before we had any kids, with the dream of having 2 kids and going to Texans games as an awesome family tradition.
Who does this rule really impact the most? Families such as ours. Diapers, wipes, and bottles... sure, those are what kids "essentially" need. However, realistically, it's so much more than that...
Potty accidents are very likely, which means a change of clothes for each. How about my boy, who's learning to eat and fighting through some gag reflex problems? He's got a menu of about 4 or 5 food items that he'll stomach, that's it. Reliant doesn't sell those, so I need to pack a few of those things. Maybe that's "medical exemption" worthy, but what does that require... a doctor's note? That's not something we would normally carry with us...
Is it realistic to think my kids will be watching the game for 3 hours? Nope.... a book here, an ipod there, maybe a few toys... And how about walking from the yellow lot? My oldest rides on my shoulders, I'm sure the youngest will this year too (mine or the wife's). It's much more feasible for me to strap on a backpack than to try and carry a 12x12x6 handbag.
I'm sure there are plenty of other things I'm forgetting. I'm a guy. I'm expressing some of what the wife mentioned (what I can remember).
I know this isn't the "typical" experience for most fans. Some of you, hell many of you may feel, "pssshh, leave the kids at home". I'll bet 8 years ago I woulda said the same thing.
The thing is, me and the wife love football and we love the Texans. Ever since the Oilers left, and I went out of state for school and eventually work, I told myself...if I ever find myself back in the Houston area, I'm getting season tickets to the Texans and I'm going to every damn game. Life changes be damned, we (as a family) are going to every damn game.
If that means doing something as absurd as bringing an iPod so that my 2-year-old can watch flippin' Caillou for 30 minutes to keep him happy... that's what we do. It's like a mini version of a home play area in our 4 seats. We try to minimize fan interference around us. It's an exhausting 8 or 9 outings a year (we tailgate before and after as well), different than most other fans' experience.
To wrap this up, what we do is crazy to many (often myself included). And I understand we are probably in the vast minority, and rules aren't made for the vast minority. Will we make this new rule work? Sure, we'll adapt. But it just seems like an unnecessary step for families with children, who often have to (choose to?) haul around a bunch of crap everywhere they go. Exempt medical. Exempt families with small children. (If there's another obvious special-needs group I'm missing, exempt them too.) Give us a special line that takes much longer to go through, if needed. Don't make doing something we love more of a challenge than it needs to be.