Why do some football players wear 'fanny packs' during games?

Joshua Rogers January 15, 2022
Why do some football players wear 'fanny packs' during games?
Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

During Super Wild Card Weekend in the NFL, fans wondered ‘why do some football players wear ‘fanny packs’ during games?’ Here’s what they actually are and how they help players.

It’s Super Wild Card Weekend in the NFL, with the Raiders and Bengals getting things underway first in Cincinnati. Following that, we have the Bills vs the Patriots, in what’s expected to be a chilly affair.

The game will be held at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York – home of the Bills, near Buffalo – and things are going to be extremely cold. As per the Action Network, temperatures are expected to dip into the single digits.

With temperatures set to plummet, fans are asking why some football players wear ‘fanny packs’ during games.

Man in the Arena: Tom Brady | Official Trailer | ESPN

Man in the Arena: Tom Brady | Official Trailer | ESPN

Why do some football players wear ‘fanny packs’ during games?

With the weather getting decidedly colder, many players in the NFL wear what appear to be ‘fanny packs’. However, they are not fanny packs at all – they’re actually hand warmers. Not only do they warm players’ hands, but they also dry them as well, making it much easier to handle the ball without fumbling it.

They are typically worn by quarterbacks

These hand warmers are typically worn by those most likely to be handling the football i.e. the quarterbacks. The last thing a QB wants at this crucial stage in the season is to be dropping the ball in clutch moments, and the hand warmers allow for better grip.

That’s what you’ll often see QB’s putting their hands in these ‘fanny packs’ as often as possible in between plays.

Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

However, they’re not exclusively worn by QBs

While it’s mostly quarterbacks who use the hand warmers, wide receivers are also known to use them from time to time. WR’s typically catch the ball at high speeds and need to be able to pluck the ball out of the air in order to get to the end zone.

This would be much more difficult with cold or wet hands, so making sure they’re warm and dry will only help with performance. WRs have to be ready for action at any moment and making sure their hands are in good condition ready to catch the ball is essential.

Of course, the hand warmers do represent an opportunity for opponents to grab and use to make a tackle, however, if the referees are officiating properly and spot it, they’ll call it.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.