Rejoice, Tennessee Titans fans, you might not have to "call in sick" the next time your favorite team takes part in the Super Bowl. Tennessee introduced a bill Wednesday that would make Super Bowl Monday a real holiday.
The bill was filed for introduction Wednesday by Senator London Lamar and Representative Joe Towns Jr., both Democrats. The initial version of the bill proposed axing Columbus Day as a legal holiday in the state and replacing it with the first Monday after the Super Bowl.
However, Towns released a statement to Yahoo Sports on Friday indicating the final version of the bill would keep Columbus Day as a holiday while making Super Bowl Monday an additional holiday:
“In the upcoming final version of the bill, we won’t be replacing any other holidays. But with more than 16 million Americans expected to skip work the day after the Super Bowl and about 8 million expected to ask for the day off in advance, we’re talking about a major hit to the workforce. My bill simply wants to examine giving the rest of us the day off. Let’s face it, it doesn’t get much more American than the Super Bowl and it’s becoming more and more the norm to miss work the next day. So maybe we should just codify it…or at least just talk about it.”
Debates over making the Monday after a Super Bowl a national holiday have occurred for years now, and for good reason. There's research suggesting it's already one of the most unproductive days in the United States.
That checks out. The game is such a massive event in the country. Thousands upon thousands of parties are held so people can overindulge themselves on chicken wings and chili-cheese dips. Kids stay up far later than usual to be a part of the spectacle. Even those who don't care about the game might watch for the commercials or the halftime show ... or just to be a part of the conversation.
If you happen to be one of the many who stayed up way too late, ate one too many wings and don't exactly feel motivated to roll out of bed and sit at your desk the next morning, that's understandable.
The push to make Super Bowl Monday a national holiday, however, hasn't picked up much traction. Sure, it sounds great, but it isn't high on the list of priorities in the country. A 2013 petition asking the White House to declare the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday fell well short of the necessary signatures required for the White House to respond to it. Making it a state issue might be more successful. Cincinnati Bengals fans got a taste of that last year, when school was canceled the day after the Bengals appeared in the Super Bowl.
While the new version of the bill keeps Columbus Day as a holiday, it still isn't recognized as an official holiday in many states. A handful of states don't acknowledge Columbus Day at all, and instead refer to it as "Indigenous Peoples' Day," or a variation of that name.