By Dave Wischnowsky –
(CBS) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.
Why in the name of Joe Flacco are we working today?
It’s Super Bowl Monday, after all. The day when no one in America really wants to be working, but pretty much all of us are.
Or are supposed to be, at least.
For all intents and purposes, Super Bowl Sunday is now a national holiday in the U.S. It’s a day when millions of us get together with friends and family to overeat, drink a few too many and shout at the TV while watching football. It’s like Thanksgiving in February.
So, why don’t we just treat it that way?
It’s time to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday – just like the day after Thanksgiving is. And I’m not the only one who thinks that way. Josh Moore is the latest red-blooded, football-loving, holiday-wanting American to pipe up about this topic.
“This has been an issue that my friends and I have been talking about for years,” Moore, the owner of the fantasy football website 4for4.com, told Business News Daily last week. “It seems like every year we talk about how many people watch the Super Bowl and how many people don’t feel like going to work the next day.”
The difference this year is that Moore is actually trying to do something to change that. Last month, the Detroit Lions fan established a petition at WhiteHouse.gov that calls or the establishment of a Super Bowl Monday holiday. As of this morning, the petition has More than 14,400 signatures (including my own) and if it reaches 100,000 by Feb. 23, it will warrant an official response from the Obama administration.
“I think we have a chance,” Moore told Business News Daily last Wednesday. “Obviously, we are a long ways away, but I think it seems to be picking up steam and has a chance to start snowballing. I have had hardly any negative feedback. One old lady emailed me and said she didn’t like football, but that’s about it.”
To back up his petition, Moore said he’s working off the assumption that the day after the Super Bowl is one of the least productive days of the work year, along with Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and that “having that day off would not make the workforce lose too much productivity.”
Last February, regarding this same topic, I wrote about how a website called GoPetition.com reported that in 2011 an estimated 1.5 million Americans didn’t show up for work the day after the Super Bowl, and another 4.4 million people showed up late. The GoPetition.com initiative – similar to Moore’s current push at WhiteHouse.gov – didn’t go anywhere since we’re still working today.
But if Moore’s petition does force the White House to acknowledge it, I’ll propose, as I did last year, that the easiest way to make this holiday happen is to simply move Presidents Day from the third Monday in February to the first Monday after the Super Bowl.
For a bit of background on Presidents’ Day, also known as Washington’s Birthday, the holiday was originally established in 1880 by Congress to honor our first president’s birthday. But since 1971, when the government moved the holiday to February’s third Monday, Presidents’ Day has always fallen between February 15 and 21. That means it never lands on Washington’s actual birthday, February 22.
During every year since 2004, the Super Bowl has fallen during the first week of February, which means that the Presidents’ Day and Super Bowl Monday could make for the perfect marriage.
Now, I’m aware of course that not every American gets Presidents’ Day off from work. And not every company would have to give its employees Super Bowl Monday off, either. But, hey, it sure would be nice if they had the easy option to do so, wouldn’t it?
And before anyone says that tying Presidents’ Day to the Super Bowl somehow diminishes the meaning of the holiday, I’d first remind you that Presidents’ Day is mainly known today for stores – especially car dealerships – to hold blowout sales. It isn’t exactly a day when we sit around and ponder the guys who have worked in the Oval Office.
This year, Presidents’ Day will fall on Monday, Feb. 18.
It’s a shame it doesn’t fall on this Monday, instead.
Perhaps Moore’s petition can finally make it happen.
If nothing else, Dave Wischnowsky is an Illinois boy. Raised in Bourbonnais, educated at the University of Illinois and bred on sports in the Land of Lincoln, he now resides on Chicago’s North Side, just blocks from Wrigley Field. Formerly a reporter and blogger for the Chicago Tribune, Dave currently writes a syndicated column, The Wisch List, which you can check out via his blog at http://www.wischlist.com. Follow him on Twitter @wischlist and read more of his CBS Chicago blog entries here.