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Should Super Bowl Monday Become a National Holiday?

It's the morning after the Super Bowl, but where are your co-workers? Oh, that's right: they're at home recouperating from their game-related hangover! Now the question is, why are you at work?

This question has surely crossed the minds of prompt employees like a Doug Flutie Hail Mary pass thrown in the last seconds of a big game. In fact, statistics show over 16 million people call in sick or just don’t show up to work the day after the Super Bowl. Don't worry, your co-workers will show up in a few hours -- just as soon as the fluorescent lighting no longer hurts their eyes.

Monday, SMunday
As you may have heard, condiment-maker-to-the-masses Heinz has anticipated the consequences and is marching this employee issue straight down the field and into the end zone by designating Super Bowl Monday as a day off for employees!

But Heinz is slathering on the HR goodness by also starting a petition on to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday for everyone. If Heinz can get 100,000 signatures, they'll send the petition to Congress. (When I last checked, the petition had slightly more than 50,000 signatures.)

Heinz, which has dubbed the Monday after the Super Bowl as "SMunday," starts its petition by declaring: "At Heinz, we believe in never settling. Never settling with food. And never settling in life. We can all agree that going to work the Monday after the 'Big Game' on Sunday is awful. So as far as we're concerned at Heinz, we as a nation should stop settling for it being the worst work day of the year…"

Now let's go to the videotape:

2-4-6-8, who do we appreciate? HEINZ!

Like everyone else, I've experienced the football fan co-worker who doesn't show up for work the Monday morning after the Super Bowl. The general view of it seemed to be "Oh, Dave's** not here? He's probably still recovering from the Super Bowl. Give him a call to see when he's coming in today." His lateness was just sort of...accepted? When Super Fan Dave staggered in later with uncombed hair and five o'clock shadow, nobody batted an eye. Co-workers just gave him crap about his team losing, and told him to shave.

I'm not sure if this is how the Super Bowl is still played in corporate America, but that's been my experience. Sports fans get a few workplace mulligans here and there, as long as they're generally hard workers and a fan favorite around the office.

In the event you're a fair-weather sports fan like me (if the Oregon Ducks aren't running their passing offense or UNC isn't crushing Duke in basketball, then I have other things to do...) then perhaps I should mention that Super Bowl Sunday is this coming Sunday, February 5. But you know this already, because you're busy betting against Tom Brady. If New England loses, you will need all day Monday, February 6 to gloat on Facebook. (PS: the Oregon Ducks have the best mascot in the entire country. They just do.***)


And why isn't the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday? It's a great question. The Super Bowl is that big of an event for millions of Americans. Besides, an Office Team survey finds 11% of employees admit to being less productive the day following a major sports event. (Slightly more than two-thirds surveyed (67%) said sporting events have no impact on their work productivity, while 21% said their productivity actually increases the day after a big sporting event.)

I'm a fan of Heinz's decision to give employees Super Bowl Monday off. I think it could be a slam dunk for improving employee morale. Who would say "no" to another three-day weekend? Anyone? Anyone?

In our 24/7, smartphone-enabled economy, employees could use the day off to come down from the big game. If anything, offering a day off shows that the employer understands, which can go a long way with tired employees. Enjoy the game!

** Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

*** I went to grad school at Oregon, so I'm biased.


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