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Super Bowl 2022: Should the Monday after the big game be a national holiday?

  • February 12, 2022
  • Last year, an estimated 8 million or more said they would take a pre-planned day off on Monday after the Super Bowl.
  • A petition to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a holiday was launched in 2013 on the “We the People” section of WhiteHouse.gov.
  • A survey says nearly half of U.S. sports fans would give up another work holiday to have the day off after Super Bowl Sunday.

There’s plenty of hype and anticipation for Super Bowl Sunday. But the Monday after the big game can feel like a letdown – whether you had a team to pull for in the event or not. 

Super Bowl parties can spill over into late Sunday night. And that can leave revelers – as well as those who traveled to the game or traveled to gather and watch with friends – scrambling to make it to work on Monday.

Over the years, many have had a game plan of making the Monday after the event a national holiday, handing off a three-day weekend to football fans.

That would also benefit children and teens who want to watch the game – and the commercials, of course – even though it could push up against bedtime on a school night.

many more Cincinnati-area school districts have canceled school the day after the game.

The move by the Cincinnati-area schools has revived the idea of making the Monday after the big game a national holiday, said Martin Conway, an adjunct professor in the sport industry management program at Georgetown University. “While it hasn’t risen to the official status of a national holiday, there has been research done to conclude that it is one of the most ‘unproductive’ days on the calendar,” he said. 

Last year, an estimated 8 million or more said they would take a pre-planned day off on the Monday after the Super Bowl. Overall, a total of 16.1 million said they might punt on  work that day – suggesting many would call in sick, according to a survey of more than 1,000 employed Americans, conducted by The Harris Poll for The Workforce Institute at UKG.

Combine the millions who plan to skip work after the Super Bowl with potential Valentine’s Day absences and you get a national fumble of as much as $3.5 billion in lost productivity, estimates Challenger, Gray Christmas, an outplacement company.

Still, there’s been no serious momentum behind any drive to elevate the post-Super Bowl Monday to holiday status, although 4for4 Fantasy Football site owner and editor Josh Moore launched a petition for the holiday back in 2013 on the “We the People” section of WhiteHouse.gov. But it didn’t score enough signatures to warrant a response from the Obama administration.

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Do fans want the day off after Super Bowl?

Some do. Of course, some would celebrate any reason for a paid day off. Back in 2014, Budweiser, with the help of Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, supported a White House petition to make Major League Baseball’s opening day a national holiday. The Biden administration has not kept the “We the People” petition feature up and running – could it be because of this very reason?

Nearly half of U.S. sports fans would give up one of their current work holidays to have the day off after Super Bowl Sunday, a survey from two years ago found. More than 40% said they would rather work Presidents Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Columbus Day than the Monday after the Super Bowl. About one in 10 said they would even prefer working Christmas or Thanksgiving.

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Looking for more signs of love for a prolonged Super Bowl weekend? Change.org, a different petition site, has gotten more than two dozen petitions since 2017 asking Congress, the president or the NFL to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday. One wants Presidents Day moved to the day after the Super Bowl and others suggest no school the day after the game.

More than 14,000 have signed a petition started in 2018 asking Congress, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Virginia’s General Assembly and governor to make the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday.

“Most people like to watch the Super Bowl with family and friends, and sometimes those people live far away from you,” the petition reads. “Most people would love to go visit them to watch together but can’t because they have school and work the next day. So if we have a national holiday on the Monday after the Super Bowl, we can have time to get back home and still not miss school and work.”

In the newest Super Bowl holiday petition entitled “School off day after super bowl,” Jason Marmer of Loveland, Ohio, asks Loveland High School for the day off after the game, especially because the Cincinnati Bengals “will be participating for the first time in 30 years,” he wrote in the petition started after the Bengals won the AFC championship game. Nearly 1,900 signees agree. “I think everyone should get a chance to watch it without having to worry about school the next morning or not getting enough sleep.”

What would it take to make Super Bowl Monday a holiday?

Congress and the president, over the years, have enacted 12 federal holidays, including New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Christmas, and most recently, Juneteenth. In June 2021, Congress passed a bill making June 19 a federal holiday commemorating the symbolic end of slavery in the United States and President Joe Biden signed the bill.

Even though these are considered federal holidays, they are not “national holidays,” and are only applicable to federal employees and the District of Columbia, notes a Congressional Research Service report updated in July 2021. Each state gets to determine its legal holidays, the report states.

As an example, at least nine states have made Juneteenth an official paid holiday for state employees, while several other states have laws that make federal holidays a state holiday. But the majority of states may simply observe or recognize the holiday.

Realistically, creating a Super Bowl Monday federal holiday faces plenty of hurdles, even if hospitality and leisure industries would get a bump around the celebration, said Columbia Business School professor and corporate strategy expert Rita McGrath. “The paid day off holidays tend to be very contentious, and it is extremely hard to get one through,” she said.

For instance, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (the third Monday of January each year) only came into effect in 1983 – signed by President Reagan – only after the late Rep. John Conyers Jr. “introduced it during every session of Congress for the better part of 15 years,” McGrath said.

While football fans would “obviously love to have a paid day off to recover from the celebrations,” she said, “those who have to foot the bill are likely to be a lot less enthusiastic.”

And once pro football is held up as holiday-worthy, other sports could seek the same treatment, McGrath said. “I don’t think it makes sense as American football isn’t even the world’s most popular sport,” she said. “It also diminishes the seriousness of other national holidays which are about truly pivotal people or events.”

And, realistically, the intensity of the interest is in several markets in the country – the cities from which the two teams come from, plus, a few other sports intense markets on the coasts and in states such as Florida and Texas, Conway said.

“Today, for an event, or commemorating an individual, to rise to the level of national holiday status, I think there would need to more universal support around the country, which by about 12 noon the day after the game, that interest has dissipated,” he said. “To test that theory, ask someone, ‘Who was in the Super Bowl last year?’ You’re not likely to get too many correct answers.”

Well, how about the NFL move the game to Saturday? That way most would have Sunday off. There’s a petition for that, too.

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.

Article source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/681934520/0/usatodaycomnation-topstories~Super-Bowl-Should-the-Monday-after-the-big-game-be-a-national-holiday/

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