Every year on the Monday after the Super Bowl, students and employees, alike, return to work bleary eyed. The biggest game of the year has been played and our sleep schedules suffer for it. It’s no wonder that every year articles are published debating the same question I pose today: should the Monday after the Super Bowl be a national holiday?
The Super Bowl was watched by over 100 million people each year between 2010 and 2018, making it the most-watched television broadcast in the United States. Despite being a football game, drawing fans of the sport, the Super Bowl has broader appeal for the commercials and mainly, the HalfTime show. Ask even your friends who hate sports and chances are they plan to watch some of the game. The vast viewership is one of the main arguments for making Super Bowl Monday a holiday.
If most people are celebrating, that means most people will be staying up late. Staying up late can lower productivity at school or work, which can also spiral into a week of being behind on tasks. According to the fantasy sports company, DraftKings, 43% of sports fans want to have Super Bowl Monday off so much that they would be willing to give up another one of their work holidays. 45% of the people surveyed said they would likely take Super Bowl Monday off if their preferred team wins. Keep in mind, those statistics just cover sports fans. When accounting for casual Super Bowl viewers, it’s possible those percentages (or at least the first one) would rise.
Above all, the Super Bowl is a national event, bringing friends and family together for food and a good time. Making the day after a holiday would solidify its position as the American sporting event and augment the mood of celebration on the day of.
That being said, the other side poses an equally compelling argument. Making the day after a sporting event a holiday seems frivolous. Think about the other holidays we stay home for: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day, etc. Those days are significant to a much broader part of the nation than the Super Bowl and have roots in the nation’s history.
Making Super Bowl Monday a holiday opens the gates to making every remotely important day a holiday: Valentine’s Day, Halloween, the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, etc. Not to forget, the important day, the Super Bowl, is already a holiday. People are given the chance to celebrate by virtue of it being on a Sunday. Nothing about the nature of the celebration warrants taking extra days off, as would be the case with holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, which extend beyond the actual day of the event.
And, is it really so bad if people are a little tired the next day? They chose to stay up late, knowing they had responsibilities the next morning, and having already relaxed for the entire weekend. Fatigue and a single sport do not hold enough importance to America to warrant disrupting the current school and work calendar.
Whether you view this as a serious question to be considered by the government or a laughable attempt to get more days off, the question is still posed like clockwork in early February, so might as well be informed on both perspectives.