Do We Need a National Holiday on the Day After the Super Bowl?
Even the most naive sports neophyte who doesn't know a touchdown from a tailgate will probably have some contact with the Super Bowl. No one can resist a good Super Bowl party -- inside where it's warm and cozy, with lots of great food and beverage, excited people and wildly creative commercials.
With all that partying and late night carousing on Sunday, the Monday after the Super Bowl has become one of the least productive work days of the year. Last year, 1.5 million Americans didn't show up for work the next day at all, and an estimated 4.4 million showed up late. Then there are all the people who do show up on time who are fuzzy, drowsy and blurry-eyed.
Let's make it official
He says the only sports-related event that is likely to cut down productivity even more is "the first two days of NCAA tournament. While NBA games usually happen at night, many of the NCAA tournament games are played in broad daylight while we're at work, and the tournament involves so many teams that anyone who follows college basketball is bound to have a dog in the fight, or at least money on some of them. All day long people check the Internet or other news sources for updates. And then there's the guy who's running the office pool; he and everyone else involved in that are especially busy that day."
But the Super Bowl is even bigger in some people's minds. Timothy Lavin of The Atlantic suggests, "Given that the average private-sector worker in the U.S. receives only six paid holidays a year, an extra day off would hardly dent our national productivity. But more importantly, Super Bowl Monday could serve as a rallying point for reorienting our public understanding of sports and fighting the scourge of obesity. Dedicate the day to a midwinter festival of amateur athletics, and use it for things like volunteering to help Special Olympics kids, playing in community basketball and flag-football tournaments, and competing in charitable 5Ks and triathlons."
It's almost a lost day, anyway
Diane Pfadenhauer of the website Strategic HR Lawyer.com says, "Let's calculate all of the people who will talk about the game on Monday, all of those who will surf the net to look for Web coverage and those who will call in sick. Then we'll add a calculation for lost productivity for discussions, football pools and the like which will take place prior to the game and tally that all up. Gee, with all this loss of productivity -- why don't just make it a federal holiday?"
The British claim that Oct. 26 is the least productive day of the year because depressed staff around the country struggle to come to terms with the dark nights closing in. They claim that researchers found productivity will drop by 50 percent that week, and 8 percent of their workers even admitted to phoning in sick because they were so depressed at the thought of going to work amid the shorter, darker days.
But what happens in Great Britain, with its population of a little over 61 million, on Oct. 26 pales in comparison to what happens in the United States, with it's more than 300 million inhabitants, on Super Bowl Monday.
What do you think? Should U.S. workers get a national holiday after the biggest game of the year for this all-American sport? What about banks and mail services? Should they get holidays too? Who knows? If enough people weigh in in favor, it just may happen.