by Ryan Meehan
Before I even get started here, I’d like to acknowledge the fact that what I’m about to say is not going to win me a lot of praise from hard partying sports fans. This is one of our holidays as sports fans, so I can definitely understand why it would be desirable to want a day off following the biggest game of the year in the country’s most popular sport.
Last night I was watching “The Five”, a roundtable political discussion show on Fox News Channel. (Yes, Fox News Channel. Stop rolling your eyes and fucking deal with it.) They brought to my attention that there are a group of individuals from a website called 4for4.com who have started an online petition to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday. These clowns want a federal holiday specifically designed for people to be hungover and stay home praying to the porcelain God. This holiday would be treated with the same dignity as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. Organizers of the petition drive hope to gather 100,000 signatures in the next few weeks to present to the White House. 13,200 signatures have been collected so far.
No. Simply put, no.
Now, that’s not to say that I don’t understand why they would want to do so. A lot of unproductivity occurs as a result of the day after Super Bowl, and I’m not just speaking of the standard diarrhea and vomiting that have made Super Bowl Monday so famous in the past. here are some quick stats:
1.5 million Americans who aren’t ill call in sick on the day after the Super Bowl
$73 million in lost wages paid to the 3.9 million in Chicago’s workforce alone
Employers around the nation will pay football fans $162 million for every 10 unproductive minutes they spend discussing the game or reading about it online
Those are just a few statistics from a study conducted by Harris Interactive for Workforce Institute at Kronos, and they are a little bit dated as the study was done in 2008. It’s hard to quantify something like “unproductivity”, but you get the point here. The statistics are used to allow us to wrap our heads around just how much the Super Bowl affects our work on the day after it goes down.
All that said, making the day after the game a federal holiday would be turning our back on the very attitude and principles it took to get America on its feet after the Great Depression so that we could enjoy things like the Super Bowl. So here are just a few reasons why I think the idea of making the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday is a garbage idea with no merit whatsoever:
1. September 11th is not even a national holiday
Since a vast majority of our readers were alive on that day twelve years ago when we found out just how pissed off certain people in the Middle East really were, we know the seriousness of the events that transpired on that day. Around this time, we were hearing a lot from President Bush and other politicians saying that we shouldn’t do certain things because if we do “then the terrorists win”. A lot of it was total bullshit, but the one thing they were right about was not making the day we were attacked into a national holiday. They were right about that because if we were to take a whole day off for the sake of remembering such a horrid event, then in that case the terrorists DO win. 5/7ths of the time, they would be robbing the American workforce of continuing with the capitalist model that they seem to hate so much. We made the right decision by making sure they didn’t have the pleasure of doing so. And while I’m on the subject, do you remember what day Osama Bin Laden was killed on? Of course you don’t, because that’s not a national holiday either. So if neither of those events have been earmarked by the federal government, what in the world makes you think that a whole day should be set aside so that Joe Cellphone Sales Manager can stay in bed and “Dutch Oven” his dog with stale beer farts?
2. Although it provides a lot of employment opportunities, the NFL has very little to do with the American workforce
Professional football players, owners, and trainers are not an accurate representation of hard-working Americans. You can look at it anyway that you want to, but that’s just not the case. They are in the entertainment industry, and even though entertainment is a huge part of our economy it doesn’t represent the people who are working hard in factories to build the products that we use to till and plow our fields. I come from John Deere country – Moline, Illinois where John Deere Harvester is located and where that man built his company from scratch. Over the past 150 years, he has provided the area with an array of different jobs which span from assembly line worker to chief financial officer of their health insurance company.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that the NFL as an institution is much different. The players and coaches who make up the teams of the league are relatively comfortable from a financial standpoint, and most certainly aren’t three paychecks from bankruptcy and losing their house. They do help us take our minds off of such things for the time being, but they are basically entertainers who play a competitive sport. There is a high risk of being injured on the job, but a lot of the non-union people who are busting their ass in a factory don’t even have insurance to begin with. The differences are astounding.
3. We already have a holiday reserved for people being hungover, it’s called New Year’s Day
The biggest problem I have with all of this is the Super Bowl is held just a little over a month after New Years’ Day…which is already a federal holiday. Is it a holiday because of a certain religious belief? No. Because a certain historical figure was born on that day? Wrong again. New Year’s Day exists for one reason and one reason only: So that the night before people can get drunk out of their minds, no question about it. And you want another holiday for the same reason less than a month and a half later? No…You might as well just call both of them “Seasonal Affective Disorder Day” and chalk it up to everybody needing two days off in five weeks strictly for the purpose of self medicating.
I can understand having more than one holiday to recognize war veterans for their service. I can’t rationalize doing the same thing just so somebody can sleep in. If we’re going to get back to being a global threat in the marketplace and keep pace with China (who is presently kicking our fucking ass at the moment) maybe we ought to get rid of the idea of hangover day altogether and skip New Year’s Day too.
So, you’re probably asking: “Meehan, how can I assure that I won’t find myself in the position where I become a part of the statistics that you mentioned earlier?” It’s a good thing that I was able to make up a world where you’d actually care to ask such a question, and an even better thing that I can in fact answer the question that you now know I set myself up to answer in the first place. Here are some tips for future Super Bowls that can help you avoid making such mistakes.
1. Don’t Drink the day of the game
Although this appears much easier said than done, it’s also the only foolproof way to ensure that you won’t wake up with a hangover on Monday. What I’ve found works well (you’ll find a lot of these are based around planning ahead) is since a majority of people are off work on Sunday anyway, just go ahead and get your drink on Saturday night and then you won’t need to worry about getting so tore up the night of the game itself. (And if you do, you might have a problem) Another reason why this works best is because you will remember more of the game, and it will provide you of a better memory of whichever Super Bowl you are watching.
2. If you are going to drink, drink early
The Super Bowl starts at 6:30PM EST. Most people average between six and seven hours of sleep a night, depending on how many step children their significant other has. Most of those same people are 9 to 5ers, so that means they would need to be in bed by one or two AM providing they need at least an hour for showering and/or commute. That means if the game ends at 10:30PM you still have almost three hours to chill out before hitting the sack. Need more than that? No problem…NFL stadiums stop serving alcohol by the fourth quarter, and you know they’ve done research to ensure that’s the smartest way to avoid drinking-related deaths when fans leave the stadium. That buys you another hour right there. Still not enough? Then stop at halftime. Watching the third quarter of any NFL game simulates sobering up anyway, so it can’t hurt. If that’s still not enough, then quit before the game starts and then you have twelve to thirteen hours to recuperate.
3. You can’t make it to work from jail
What this means is, if you are going to drink – designate a driver. As stupid as it sounds – calling in sick the day after the Super Bowl and having your boss give you the stink eye the rest of the week is way better than driving home smashed and getting knocked with a DUI or an OWI. As I’ve done in past years I will probably watch the game at my parents’ house, which is located ten blocks over and four blocks down from my condominium. Even in that small stretch of road, I can guarantee with 100% certainty that I will be stopped on my way home. Therefore, there is no possible way that I can get back to my crib to do my wrap-up without speaking to an officer of the law. Sounds like more of a hassle than anything else. I’ll just gorge myself on chili, chips and salsa.
If you have a designated driver, live above the bar you hang out in, or are in a position where you can drink yourself stupid without repercussions, go for it. I am by no means trying to discourage you from enjoying yourself. (Hell, drinking is one of the few things we can still do correctly in this country) But a national holiday for all of this? No way… That would be a very disrespectful gesture to all of our brave men and women who have served to protect our freedom, not to mention Martin Luther King who inspired an entire race of people to rise up and demand to be treated as equals. To put taking the day off because you woke up in the bathroom of your apartment having shit your pants in the same boat as the days that are reserved for commemorating those who are true heroes is complete nonsense.
And if that day ever comes, then the terrorists HAVE won.