A week ahead of the NFL’s premier event, state Rep. Joe Towns and Sen. London Lamar have introduced legislation that would make Super Bowl Monday a holiday in the Volunteer State. The idea, of course, is that the 100 million Americans who watch the Super Bowl every year could use a day off after football’s annual final swan song — and maybe some accompanying overindulgence.
In 2022, an estimated 99.18 million Americans tuned into the game — and that’s not counting those who were at the game, at watch parties, or publicly consuming the broadcast elsewhere. And while that number seems staggering, it’s not the biggest audience in the game’s history. According to Statista.com, in 2015 a record 114.44 million American viewers tuned in.
That’s a lot of spring holidays
The Tennessee lawmakers want to trade Columbus Day for Super Bowl Monday, which is now traditionally held on the second Sunday of February. While I’m all for holidays, trading Columbus Day (which celebrates a flawed man who didn’t discover America, after all) for Super Bowl Monday makes for an abundance of Mondays off in January and February.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the third Monday in January and Presidents Day is the third Monday in February. Super Bowl Monday would be the second Monday in February, leaving the fall with only one federal holiday between Labor Day and Thanksgiving versus four between New Year’s and Memorial Day. (Cesar Chavez Day in March is also a federal holiday.)
If Biden makes the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday: pic.twitter.com/UEBhsvUiFd
— Ben Natan (@thebennatan) February 5, 2023
There are some who would argue that the NFL should push the game one more week to that third Sunday in February, so the Monday off coincides with Presidents Day. I’ve vote against that, as it would require a massive shift in the NFL calendar and potentially prolong what is already a brutally long and physical season for players. Besides, Presidents Day is a reminder to consider our founding fathers, not nurse a hangover, which is presumably what many will be doing on the day after the Super Bowl.
Setting the calendar aside, why shouldn’t Super Bowl Monday be a holiday? There are few things left in America that bring people together like sports. Remember how the NBA galvanized us all in early days of COVID lockdowns? I’m not a huge NBA fan, but I couldn’t wait for games in the bubble to start.
We currently live in a country that desperately needs something noncontroversial to get excited about. I remember my grandfather telling stories about listening to World Series games on his “wireless” and whole neighborhoods would come together in the middle of the workday to hear — not even see — the crack of the bat over a portable radio.
Sports have long been among the positive threads in the fabric of our country. Why not make it official?
Enough with the cold water
In Allentown, Pennsylvania, The Morning Call reports that certain eastern Pennsylvania school districts have announced they’ll start classes two hours late on Feb. 13, the day after the Eagles play the Chiefs.
“As you prepare for the Eagles Super Bowl LVII victory over Kansas City on Sunday, February 12, Dr. Harner has scheduled a 2-hour delay for Monday, February 13,” according to an email sent to parents in the Quakertown district. “Enjoy the game, and if you’re traveling to a friend’s home, please stay safe. Go Birds!”
Of course, other school district superintendents in the area rained on that parade, pointing out that a late start would be “disruptive.”
Certain states do have holidays independent of or different from federal holidays — Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts and Maine comes to mind — and those Tennessee lawmakers are aiming for the same sort of situation in their state. But why limit it to just one state? The federal government could use a little positive press, and making Super Bowl Monday a holiday would create just that.