Good Guys Do Finish First. Even if Overshadowed by the Worst.

Beamer, Benz or Bentley? Mazda.

Beamer, Benz or Bentley? Mazda.

So this week the Baltimore Ravens finally released Ray Rice for literally knocking the flipflops off his fiancée in a casino elevator (and TMZ became a reputable news outlet).

This after months of other NFL suspensions for pot, PED’s, and a little Percocet promenade by a team owner. NOT to mention Roger Goodell et. al. imposing sentences for these infractions that would give you whiplash (2 games-4 games-6 games-8, what don’t fans appreciate? Arbitrary penalties, that’s what.)

So for some relief, I asked my Facebook friends to tell me their favorite football players—no, any athletes—who demonstrate the good, honest, charitable side of sports–and just human nature. And they delivered (pro wrestlers! Woot!).

By the way, I’m focusing only on the fellas here, not because women athletes don’t have legal issues (Hope Solo, come on, honey), but it’s the gentlemen who have dominated the police blotters of late.

So here, in no order, are just a FEW gallant guys who are using their athletics platform (or just plain old good hearts) to make the world a place of shiny, happy people holding hands, not punching women with them:

Grapplers Giving Back
The longtime WWE favorite “Mankind,” Mick Foley, now donates hours lobbying against sexual assault with the group RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). John Cena has granted more than 400 “wishes” for the Arizona Make-A-Wish Foundation, making him the current record holder.

Stop or I’ll Shaq!
Countless NBA players have or support charities—James, Jordan, Battier… But as the kid of a homicide detective, I find it quite touching that Shaquille O’Neal has applied to become a reserve police officer in Doral, Florida—a job he did once before in Miami 2005. That’s 7-1, 325 pounds of serving and protecting.

Feel-Good Football Players
I’ve written before about St. Louis’ Scott Wells and his three adopted Ugandan children. Now I have to give a nod to my Redskins, particularly Darrell Green, whose name was mentioned a LOT today. Not only an amazing athlete and Hall of Famer—maybe the best the nation’s capital has ever seen—but a true philanthropist, founding or supporting children’s charitable organizations, September 11 relief, education efforts and numerous boards and councils.

That said, I find running back Alfred Morris pretty awesome just for driving, still, his 1991 Mazda 626 that he bought for $2 from his pastor. OK it’s been fully restored, but it’s nice to see a player keepin’ it real.

Many friends like Holly Peterson Linder and Michelle Burstion Young pointed out not just one player but the entire Bengals organization not only for keeping defensive lineman Devon Still on the practice squad after being cut, but donating all proceeds from the sales of his jersey to pediatric cancer research. His daughter Leah is in Stage 4 with a 50-50 chance of survival. The good news is at this time his jersey is the highest selling Bengals jersey ever.

Don’t Mess With Widows
As for hockey, a classic name came up today. Mark Messier has served on a number of boards, including the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, and the Tomorrow’s Children Fund, as well as helped bring more ice rinks to the city. The NHL created the Mark Messier Leadership Award in his honor.

But most important, says my friend H. Paul Brandes, “Leading the Rangers to their only Stanley Cup in my lifetime should be considered a charitable act in and of itself.”

Children’s Home…Runs
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw received rousing votes today from Vin Scully cousin Patti Shea and others, and it’s easy to see why. He and wife Ellen raised money to build an orphanage in Zambia and he recently hosted a massive ping pong tournament on the field of Dodger stadium as an ongoing part of “Kershaw’s Challenge.” He has already received the Roberto Clemente Award and the Branch Rickey Award for his humanitarian work – Cy Young is probably next, for, you know, like garden variety pitching and stuff.

The Phillies’ Chase Utley and wife Jennifer work closely with animal causes like the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and encourage people to adopt pets, not buy.

The Rays’ Evan Longoria is a downright superhero here when he saves a reporter from a stray ball.

I also still love how the Mets’ Daniel Murphy missed opening day this year for the birth of his son, despite some announcers’….different (dumbass) views of paternity leave and C-sections.

And finally, my friend Jeff Jackson sums it up: “Real athletes don’t tell everyone the good things they do, they just do it! Derek Jeter!”

Yes indeed, Shortstop, Number 2, Derek Jeter. Number 2.

PS – some of the honorable mentions today: Tiger Woods; Ole Miss’ Deterrian Shackelford; Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf; Brandon Marshall; Russell Wilson; Warrick Dunn; Caron Butler; Andrew Luck; Mary Lou Retton; Joe Torre; Albert Pujols; Serena Williams; Ryan Zimmermann; Ted Williams; Stan Musial; Mario Lemieux; Jacob Tamme; Brett Keisel; Kenny Perry; Vincent Lacavalier; Brooks Laich; Nicklas Backstrom; and duh…OVIE!


What Manziel and Morris Day Have in Common

It was amazingly easy to find a volunteer for this photo. Thanks?

It was amazingly easy to find a volunteer for this photo. Thanks?

Well Johnny Manziel, after being fined $12K for flipping the bird to MY Washington Redskins during Monday Night Football this week, you can take heart that you are in some pretty historic company making that gesture.

And I must admit, having tossed up a few “salutes” myself over 20 years of Washington DC traffic, I got to thinking “What does the bird mean anyway?” (Besides a really awesome Morris Day and the Time song.)

Dating back to ancient Greek and Roman cultures, not surprisingly, “the finger” means a phallus, and the two fingers on either side, the testicles. In fact, whether Latin, Greek or otherwise, the etymology almost always means sexual affectations.

In other words, with the exception of those who showed the sign as a way to thwart evil, you silly boys haven’t changed one bit in 3,000 years. Classical scholars such as Aristophanes, Erasmus, and Diogenes Laertius referred to it; today, Madonna, Ronald Reagan, Johnny Cash, Ron Artest and Justin Bieber have publicly let their finger flag fly.

The gesture is reputed to have arrived in America after the Civil War, likely through Italian immigrants. It wasn’t long, however Johnny, before athletes found it useful. The first documented use of “read between the lines” appeared around 1886 by baseball player Old Hoss Radbourn, a pitcher with the Boston Beaneaters—he definitely did it in a photograph (top row, far left); allegedly it was to send a message to their rivals, the New York Giants.

So that’s something you can think about, Johnny Football, as you’re sitting the bench in the #2 spot for Cleveland. You are in good company, sure, but next time, when you have yet to take a single snap in a real NFL game as a starting quarterback, put your money where your finger is.

Oh wait, you just did.

High Five Headlines: A Crap-Ton of Football. And a Little Men’s Figure Skating.

1–Like most kids, I was a very logical little girl. So I never could understand why our U.S. service academy football teams always seemed like sort of an afterthought. They were America’s smartest, bravest, and fittest young men, weren’t they? So why didn’t we see them in the sports headlines, like, every single day? I didn’t grasp that the academies don’t have as much flexibility in recruiting like other schools, and these soldiers were also tasked with the tiny burden of defending our country and that football might not be their top priority.

Can somebody help me up, please?

I’ve fallen since last season, and I can’t get up. (No, really, lil’ help here?)

Except for one day a year—the annual Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia, when the U.S. Military Academy and the Naval Academy square off in what is considered by many to be college football’s greatest rivalry. Unfortunately, the last decade or so, it really hasn’t been. Navy has won every year since 2004, including Saturday 34-7 over an Army team that has averaged fewer than three wins a season since 1998. Navy’s Keenan Reynolds set a Division I record for quarterbacks when he rushed for his 29th touchdown of the year and will lead the 8-4 Midshipmen to the Armed Forces Bowl against Middle Tennessee State. As for Army, well at least they will always be our heroes, long after their football careers end.

2–Speaking of struggling programs, I usually try not to focus on my local Washington Redskins, but they were the NFL’s top story last week, so…

OK, so Coach Mike Shanahan “shut down” quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season, ostensibly to rest the knee he blew out in last year’s playoffs. He won’t play at all, while backup Kirk Cousins has taken the helm. RGIII was literally in the national sports news every day the last year—fans and non-fans alike wanted to see the affable, witty, Subway Sandwich-loving Offensive Rookie of the Year return to full strength. He did not. Challenged by his knee, a weak defense and a shaky relationship with Shanahan, RGIII’s sophomore year was middling at best, with a bunch of icky stats I don’t even have the heart to go into.

Then there is the Family Shanahan: Coach Mike, who by most accounts seems to be lobbying to be fired so he can depart his Skins losing legacy fully paid. His son Kyle is the offensive coordinator—therefore having a direct hand in RGIII’s performance. Would he be fired too? Or follow Dad if he quits? Or stay on and try to atone for the “RedSins” of the father? To be continued. Wish *I* could authorize a shutdown.

3—Florida State freshman quarterback Jameis Winston was named the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner by a landslide Saturday over five other players, including last year’s winner Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) and Alabama’s A.J. McCarron–who I calculate got about 1/16 of the camera time as his girlfriend (you know it by now, say it with me) Miss Alabama Katherine Webb in the audience. Winston thanked his family and coaches ebulliently, noting several times his gratitude for the “truth” being on his side. Winston was cleared last week of potential rape charges from a 2012 incident, and will lead FSU into the national championship game against Auburn January 6. The alleged victim, meanwhile, has had to withdraw from FSU. I’ve said it before—no one knows what happened but the accuser and Winston. There are unscrupulous people out there of both genders. It’s just sad to me that one party is starting a great career, while the other is likely launching one at Taco Bell. But the law has spoken, so we move forward.

4–Sometimes good just isn’t good enough. Head football coach Mack Brown resigned from the University of Texas Saturday, but will stay on to coach the Longhorns against Oregon in the Alamo Bowl. Texas went 8-4 this year, but detractors still have questioned Brown since the program began declining—despite double-digit win seasons from 2001-2009—after its 2005 national championship. Coaches come and go every year, but if you know “Friday Night Lights,” you have some inkling of what football means to the Lone Star State. Brown’s departure is major news because he has had what is, in his words, “the best coaching job at the premier football program in the country” since 1998.

Another reason football fans’ antennae were up over this one was the possibility of Alabama coach Nick Saban coming aboard, and he’s won the last two national championships. But the hope didn’t last long—Saban signed a deal last week to remain with the Crimson Tide for roughly $7 million a year, a raise of about $1.5 million a year and more than that of most NFL coaches.

5—American 2010 Olympic figure skating gold medalist Evan Lysacek will not be able to defend his title at the Sochi Winter Games due to ongoing issues with a torn labrum in his hip. Lysacek hadn’t competed since his win in Vancouver four years ago, but had remained optimistic for Sochi. During his comeback attempt last year, he experienced an abdominal tear, followed by the hip injury, which doctors feared could be permanent if he did not stop.

But in happier news, skier (and Tiger Woods paramour) Lindsey Vonn returned to the snow for practice runs in Colorado this weekend for the first time in the nine days since she reinjured her right knee. She had torn it completely February 5 of last year. Vonn hopes to return to competition next weekend and keep her Olympic hopes alive. She is the defending downhill gold medalist, holds four World Cup titles and is considered the most accomplished Alpine skier in American history.

High Five Headlines! A Painting Pony, Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Prayer Answered, and Archery “Catching Fire” with Girls

1–I hate—hate—cleaning the kitchen. Which is why I am especially glad I skipped it Saturday or I would have missed what is being hailed as one of the greatest college games played in recent memory. Fourth-ranked Auburn topped undefeated and top-ranked Alabama in a closely contested “Iron Bowl,” 34-28 Saturday, locking Auburn into the SEC championship next week over the current national champion Crimson Tide.

The game also saw:

–Alabama’s longest-ever receiving touchdown (T.J. McCarron to Amari Cooper for 99 yards)
–An emergency sewing machine brought out in the fourth quarter to repair Auburn defensive end LaDarius Owens’ ripped jersey (normally there would be backups, but maybe an equipment manager stayed a little too late at the Sigma Chi house Friday?)
–A missed but valiant 57-yard field goal attempt by Bama redshirt freshman kicker Adam Griffith, which was…
–Returned 109 yards by Auburn’s Chris Davis for the winning touchdown
–And an “I’m sorry” kiss to McCarron from his girlfriend and former Miss Alabama, Katherine Webb—an Auburn grad.

Ecstatic Auburn students flooded the Jordan-Hare Stadium field so densely the team could barely move, and the Tiger mascot enjoyed crowd surfing as stunned Alabama fans could only wait it out. The famous rivalry began being played primarily in Birmingham, and dubbed the Iron Bowl as a nod to Birmingham’s role in the steel industry. (As for my kitchen, well I can eat off paper plates for a few days.)

Dames hunger for archery lessons.

Dames hunger for archery lessons.

2–Normally I eschew movie blockbusters, but I freaking loved “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” A flailing dystopian society. Liam Hemsworth. My girl crush Jennifer Lawrence at her REAL WOMAN, kickass bodily best. My admittedly-weird guy crush Woody Harrelson. (Did I mention Liam Hemsworth?) The best part is how the movies have caused a wild increase in archery nationwide—especially for young girls hoping to emulate hunting heroine Katniss Everdeen. Apparently the franchise has caused a huge burst in the sport’s popularity—so much that equipment makers can’t keep up, and USA Archery, the sport’s Olympic governing body, can’t train instructors fast enough. May the odds be ever in their favor—because there are still two movies to come.

3–A horse is a horse, of course, of course—unless he is a former racetrack champion who now paints pictures raising money–not just for treatment of his own life-threatening knee condition, but to save the lives of other racetrack rejects. Meet Metro Meteor, a retired Maryland thoroughbred whose adoptive owners taught him to use his bobbing head motion to paint and raise awareness of injured and unwanted former racehorses (he’s raised more than $45,000!). The story from legendary sportswriter Frank Deford (who reminds me a little of Grandpa from “The Munsters”) played as part of a Thanksgiving series on NPR.

4—The NFL regular season is nearing its end, so every game now—at least for some teams (not my 3-9 Redskins, sadly)—really counts. Tonight, 9-2 New Orleans meets the 10-1 Seattle Seahawks for an NFC Monday Night Football battle. In another highly-anticipated matchup Sunday, the AFC West’s Denver defeated Kansas City 35-28. Yet even teams like Philadelphia and Detroit, both 7-5, and Green Bay (5-6-1) have a little life left depending on their division’s “wild card” scenario. Regardless, if you don’t watch the NFL, now is certainly a fun time to start.

5–And finally, from a kid with maybe the best holiday name ever, Huntington (Ind.) University senior Shane Merryman stunned a crowd possibly bigger than his school’s 1,000-student enrollment with this three-quarter court buzzer beater against Marian, winning with one second left, 61-59.

High Five: Serena Is Thirty-One-derful, Puppies, and Robert! Griffin! The Third! Returns!

From quarterback brilliance to tennis upsets to the Ottoman Turks, what a week it’s been for sports. Here are five of the biggest stories for the office, the other half, and the offspring…

1) The first week of the NFL season did not disappoint–well, unless you’re a Baltimore fan. Here are a few highlights based on headlines you might have heard in recent months:

–The reigning champion Ravens fell, hard, 49-27 Thursday night to Denver quarterback Peyton Manning (seven touchdowns!) and pint-sized powerhouse (and super-adorable) receiver Wes Welker, formerly a Patriots legend.

–The New York Jets defeated Tampa 18-17—not particularly noteworthy except it gives rookie quarterback Geno Smith a 1-0 start after two years of daily discussion over starter Mark Sanchez, who injured his shoulder in a pre-season game. Sanchez versus backup Tim Tebow (traded to New England, now released and seeking a new team); Sanchez and the “butt fumble.” We’ll see what happens when he returns.

Colin Kaepernick threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Green Bay, whose Aaron Rodgers is pretty much agreed to be the NFL’s best quarterback. But the better story was Anquan Boldin—traded in March to the 49ers from their Super Bowl opponent, Baltimore. Boldin finished with 208 yards receiving and a 10-yard touchdown.

On behalf of pit bull puppies everywhere, you know who we're pullin' for tonight!

“On behalf of pit bull puppies everywhere, you know who we’re pullin’ for tonight!” (Rudy and Roxy, Humane Society foster pup-leaders) 

–Sunday night’s Cowboys-Giants matchup saw New York’s Eli Manning (brother of Peyton) throw Victor Cruz (the one who “salsas” after each score) three TD passes—yet the Giants fell 36-31 after six turnovers.

But the BEST is yet to come tonight (and yes as a DC resident, I am a tad biased)…

2) That rumbling sound you’re hearing is thousands of Washington Redskins fans geeking out to finally finally watch our quarterback Robert! Griffin! The Third! return tonight against the Philadelphia Eagles, new coach Chip Kelly, and QB Michael Vick (of the pitbull-fighting-ring infamy) in the first game of Monday Night Football.

Griffin was named 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year despite a soul-crushing knee injury in the Skins’ first-round playoffs loss to Seattle. Now after daily media debates, blame-gaming (who decides if a hurt player can play—the athlete, the coach, or the doctor?), surgeries, speculation, and, oh, his July wedding to his college sweetheart Rebecca Liddicoat, RGIII is set to be the Washington starter–and hopefully stay there, but fans and detractors alike wonder if his brashness will re-injure him.

Tonight’s second game features the Houston Texans and AFC Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt (see him “SHUT YOU DOWN!” in a Yahoo! commercial below) versus the San Diego Chargers, who will be without rookie linebacker Manti Te’o of the Facebook-fake-girlfriend scandal. T’eo is out with a sprained foot.

3) Serena Williams, 31, won her 17th Grand Slam title Sunday, defeating Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 to defend her US Open title. The win puts her only one Grand Slam title behind Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert all-time. And she’s done it after two retirements and a near-fatal blood clot. She has now played in 21 Grand Slam finals, winning all but four.

"First Istanbul, now Constantinople, then it's Istanbul..." No wonder they lost.

“First Istanbul, now Constantinople, then it’s Istanbul…” No wonder they lost.

4) As for the men’s U.S. Open final, world #1 Novak Djokovic will play in his fourth straight final tonight at 5 p.m. ET against beloved hottie Rafael Nadal of Spain. It will be the third time the two have met in the final in four years. “Rafa” sat out last year with a hurt knee. Scotland’s Andy Murray won in 2012—and famously Britain’s first Wimbledon title in over 70 years this year—but was eliminated in earlier play.

5) Tokyo beat out Istanbul and Madrid Saturday in a vote for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games, despite worries over radioactive water leaking from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe personally promised Tokyo’s safety. Personally, I loved my Turkey visit and would have loved to see Istanbul win—a modern, Muslim city (well, today – Turkey has been occupied by so many cultures, its Hagia Sophia cathedral bears markings of Ottomans, Christians, and even Vikings) with fantastic transit and welcoming citizens. Not to mention the Grand Bazaar’s six centuries of shopping—clothing, spices, art, and…even leeches. Oh well, maybe 2024.

High Five! Jellyfish, Johnny Football, and Jerseys That Fit

Welcome back, fans, to my slightly belated Labor Day week edition of High Five—five sports stories you should know for the office, the offspring, and the other half…

1) Don’t Mess with Swimmin’ Women
Through countless currents, storms, sharks, and jellyfish stings to her tongue, 64-year-old endurance swimmer Diana Nyad finally succeeded in becoming the first person (not “woman” — person) to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective shark cage. The 103-mile journey took 53 hours and a 35-person team to keep critters clear before she set foot in Key West on her fifth try in 35 years. Kinda makes my laps at the community pool seem pretty pitiful…

Tiny dog sold separately.

Tiny dog sold separately.

2) Fan Fashion That Fits
With fan clubs like WOW Women of Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens PURPLE women’s club, there’s never been a better time to be a female football fan—including what we wear. It was fun in high school to sport your boyfriend’s football jersey, but being Mature Grown-Up Gals now, we like our fan fashion to fit. Luckily, the NFL has heard us. Gone are the days of boxy, unflattering jerseys—now Target sells gridiron gear for girls: shirts that are sporty and even sexy. But before you accessorize, remember that model won’t pass muster with the NFL’s “All-Clear” bag policy.    

3) Texas Two-Step Continues
After weeks of uncertainty around his partying and alleged autograph sales, can we finally focus on Texas A&M quarterback “Johnny Football” Manziel’s arm? Maybe. The sophomore served his one-half-game suspension in a 52-31 defeat of Rice Saturday. It was an agreement between the Aggies and the NCAA (which becomes more dubious by the day for seemingly unfair policies, as in my previous posts about player images in video games and the Marine who can’t gain football eligibility). But despite throwing for three touchdowns, Manziel was benched after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Man up, Manziel—the “eyes of Texas are upon you.”

4) Tennis’ Teen Queen
There were no major upsets in the first week of college football, but the U.S. Open saw several, including 17-year-old Haitian-American Victoria Duval—269th in the world—over 2011 champion Samantha Stosur. Unfortunately, Duval, who is coached by longtime prodigy-producer Nick Bollettieri, lost to Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets. Still, the teen relies on God and the inspiration from her father’s near-death experience during the Haitian earthquake as she strives to be the next U.S. tennis sensation. Meanwhile, Roger Federer—owner of 17 Grand Slam titles—fell Monday in the round of 16 to Spain’s Tommy Robredo.

5) Finally, here are two guys so nervous about upsets, they’ve choreographed a pre-game dance to avoid them. Check out the San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence performing their popular superstitious salsa below.

Nothing Says Football Like Kotex in a Plastic Bag!

I really thought I was prepared for the NFL’s new “All Clear” bag safety policy at Saturday’s Redskins game. I packed only critical supplies in a small purse; my friend Nicole used a gallon plastic baggie, per instructions with our tickets from the amazing Women of Washington Redskins (@WOWRedskins) fan club.

Hot in Maryland!

Hot in Maryland!

Our seats were forehead-slappingly good: front-row on the 50-yard-line where we enjoyed free food, sodas, and water with our new girlfriends. We blew kisses at the players and listened in on injury reports while taking in those special little details that really make a game great: a butterfly landing on a tailback’s shoulder, the glint of a Super Bowl ring, and lots and lots of scratching.

But soon, I had a problem: Maryland sun is surprisingly intense at 4:30 p.m.—and I had no sunblock. Where would I store it? We had to put our WOW freebie t-shirts under our seats, where they endured ketchup, spills, and our shoe soles. My phone, which kept falling out of my pocket, became so hot lying on the concrete I had to hold it the entire time. And so on…

I used to lament placing my purse under my seat at sports events where gosh-knows-what was sloshing around, but at least it was cool in there, with all my swag in one place.

Now I found myself fumbling around for common items that couldn’t be safely consolidated because the NFL, in an attempt to speed safe entry into stadiums, has implemented strict standards on container size–or you will be watching from the parking lot.

I enjoyed the game, but I couldn’t pay attention, worried something might slide off onto the field (Excuse me, RGIII, could you hand me those Ray-Bans?). I just couldn’t fit it all in my “small clutch bag, approximately the size of a hand,” as directed by the NFL.

A hand? Hold out your hand. What can you fit in it? A credit card, ID, a lipstick. Maybe a cellphone or car keys. And now you’re set to cheer for your favorite NFL team!

Unless you also need: sunglasses, regular glasses, hand sanitizer, contact solution, business cards, rain ponchos, pens, chargers, Tylenol…and that’s just the adults. For kids there are diapers, bottles, toys…You can bring your feminine products—which, by the way, are not supplied in stadium bathrooms—but for all the world to see.

To be fair, the NFL seems to sort of understand the difficulties the new policy presents, (these bags offer “quite a lot of storage space!” says the website). It emphasizes the policy is not against the items you bring in, but their containers, so blankets and binoculars are allowed. And every individual, including children, is allowed one bag (which, conveniently, you can now purchase for $11.95 with your team’s logo from the NFL website!).

But if that expensive new camera doesn’t fit, prepare to wear it on your neck the whole game, because its case is not allowed.

I get the need for expediting entry, and bags have been searched at sporting events for years. But when you’re going to be packed in with a 100,000 of your fellow humans all day, it takes a few more supplies than your Chap Stick. And since one-third of NFL fans are women—a strong showing but still the minority—I have to wonder how well we were represented on the Task Force of league, club, and stadium executives” behind the new policy.

I don’t think I’m being a “girl” here—ask any guy about the George Costanza “stuffed wallet” episode of Seinfeld, and he will understand. Only so much will fit in your pockets.

But we’ve all stood in line behind the moron at the airport wearing too much jewelry or a rodeo belt buckle; or missed a great play because of a drunken jerkwad, or the Victoria Beckham-wanna-be blocking your view, chatting on her phone in the aisle as your favorite quarterback/goalie/point guard/outfielder makes a spectacular play.

If only the NFL could regulate people’s behavior. Til then, Mama’s got a brand new, very tiny, bag.

(What are your thoughts? Is the “All Clear” policy necessary and fair, or a way to make money? Will it help with speed and safety? Let me know! And don’t forget to LIKE US on Facebook for fun and contests!)