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The US only has eight public holidays in 2020. Why not add a ninth?
One of the most egregious ongoing injustices in the pantheon of American culture is the fact Super Bowl Monday still isn’t a public holiday. This is a problem we should — Nay! — must correct.
A survey shows an estimated 17.5 million American workers already have plans in place to skip work Monday, with over 11 million getting permission to have the day off and the remainder intending to call in sick. This is proof alone that we as a country believe Super Bowl Monday is an occasion worth staying home for.
For decades we’ve pretended this isn’t an issue, but the time has come for us to accept just how much the big game captivates the nation.
The issue isn’t just confined to the cities competing in the game, either. Of course, the winning city is crippled by fans taking the day off to celebrate, but millions around the US are recovering from parties and coming together to enjoy a national institution.
Not only would fans prefer that Super Bowl Monday be a holiday instead of just moving the game to Saturday:
But it’s something players agree with the fans on too.
“Why not [make it] a national holiday?” Chiefs long snapper James Winchester told SB Nation’s Jeanna Thomas at Super Bowl 54 Opening Day. “I feel like it kind of is anyway. It’s kind of a hangover Monday. We’re already there. We might as well make it official.”
There’s no religious or social significance beyond what it is: a game. That means everyone can enjoy Super Bowl Sunday and should then be able to have Super Bowl Monday off to come down from that high. Except sports writers, because this is the life we’ve come to expect.
The case of making Super Bowl Monday a holiday.
There are currently eight public holidays observed by the federal government in 2020. Personally, I think we should make it an even 12 and get a long weekend every month, but we have to crawl before we walk.
The core issue with the current public holiday structure is that it’s all over the map. We get two in January (New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day), then have a drought until Memorial Day, which is all the way in May. That is too much languishing downtime that would be perfectly filled with another holiday in February. This means the longest wait we would have between holidays is two months, with March and April being the only two back-to-back non-holiday months.
That is appealing. That is special. This is something we need.
Having more public holidays means more four-day work weeks. Four-day work weeks are good. Not because of laziness, but because it’s been proven that people are more productive with this balance. Microsoft experimented with a four-day work week and found that productivity jumped 40 percent. Since we currently have eight holidays, it means that using this metric we get generate an additional 3.2 days of additional work a year, purely by giving people these days off. If we bump that to nine, we’ll end up with almost an extra day of work.
Considering all these factors, we would be foolish as a society not to adopt an additional four-day week during the year. Yes, every week should be four days, but making Super Bowl Monday a public holiday would be a necessary and valuable half-step to get closer to a better America.