Last Sunday we told you about a new ticket policy foisted on fans by the Cleveland Browns: The only way you can gain admission to a home game this season is to display an electronic ticket on your smartphone. No physical tickets are available.
Now comes Cuyahoga Falls reader Beth Sharpe, offering up another incredibly dumb policy that is causing needless suffering among female fans — and anyone who accompanies them.
She hadn't been to a game for a long time and was all pumped up to attend the first exhibition game against Washington using season tickets from her husband's company.
“As I usually do before attending events with thousands of people,” she wrote, “I changed from my regular purse and took just a few items in a bag that measured about 5 by 7 inches.”
She has taken the same bag to Cavs and Indians games without incident. But this time, apparently, she was a potential threat to society.
“When we reached the entrance, the guard/attendant told me that my purse was too big and I was not allowed to enter.
“Not having done the (evidently) requisite research prior to attending the game, we were unaware of this rule.
“We were instructed to walk to a tent on the lake side of the stadium, where I could lock up my purse for $10.
“We made the trek and got in a line of about 50 people. When we finally reached the front of the line, I had taken everything out of my purse and put it in my pockets, so I simply handed over my purse and my $10 and got a claim ticket.”
The Browns say that this and the mobile ticket policy are compliments of NFL headquarters and are being done in the name of safety and security.
They also say they have tried their best to keep patrons informed of the changes. Perhaps they ought to try a little harder to inform their own employees. To wit:
“Now, I am a rule-follower,” Sharpe continued. “It was my mistake for not knowing about their rule. However, I do expect that the rules be enforced fairly. Instead ...
“When we walked to the nearest entrance, three women were ahead of us in line. Two of them had purses TWICE the size of mine. One of them had a purse that was nearly the size of a saddle bag. All three were waved right in.
“Just as bad, once we got into the stadium, I saw the woman who had been directly in front of us at the 'dangerous purse tent.' In her left hand she was carrying a clear plastic bag with all the items that had been in her purse. In her right hand she was carrying her NOW EMPTY PURSE!
“Because of all this, we missed all but the last two minutes of the first quarter.”
And how, exactly, is this enhancing security? If the contents of a bag have already been checked, what's the difference if people can see the contents or not?
If we get any damn safer, we'll have to walk around naked — carrying a cellphone.
I thoroughly enjoyed receiving this highly professional invitation (cough), which arrived in my inbox less than 24 hours before the event:
“Hi, Bob. My name is Rachael and I work with Fortis College's PR team. The Cuyahoga Falls college is hosting a graduation on Saturday and I wanted to reach out to see if this is something you'd be interesting in covering for the Sun Press.”
Reach out a little farther, Rachael.
A Cuyahoga Falls couple paid particularly close attention to my recent column about the making of the movie “Woodstock.”
Kathy Johnson called to tell me her husband, Ed Wickline, actually appeared in the film.
His star turn occurs at 16:20 into the three-hour movie, in the right panel on a split screen. He didn't exactly steal the show — he was just walking along with a friend. But seeing yourself on the big screen in a movie that became a smash hit is pretty cool.
He was 19, living in Kenmore, and didn't know what he was getting into. A buddy asked him if he wanted to go see a "folk music festival" in a small town about 100 miles northwest of New York City.
They flew into Newark, intending to rent a car, but they were too young to qualify. They lucked into finding a bus driver who knew the back roads and got them relatively close to the remote venue.
When the festival wrapped up, they looked for Ohio license plates to hitch a ride home.
That was back in the day when you could probably hitchhike without being killed, and you could probably pick up a hitchhiker without being killed. In other words, a long, long time ago.
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or email@example.com. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.31