ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Monday, December 9, 2013

Curing the Super Bowl Hangover

     If I painted a picture of a living room filled with fans sporting oversized jerseys, consuming chips and salsa, wings, guacamole, and of course Budweiser, what day of the year would most Americans immediately think of?  No, I’m not talking about July 4th.  I didn’t mention fireworks.  I’m talking about the Super Bowl.  With a 48.1 Nielsen rating, a widely used system that measures audience size, the 2013 Super Bowl was the most watched television spectacle in American history.  Additionally, Americans chow down on 1,083,333 Football Fields worth of wings, while also consuming 325 million gallons of beer on this joyous day, according to a study done by the Huffington Post.  In fact, the Miami Herald reports that Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving as the largest food consumption day of the year in the United States. 

This is no ordinary day, ladies and gentlemen.  This is the day when the champion of the most popular American sports league, the National Football League, is crowned.  The day when old friends come together to bond over their mutual love of watching large, angry men tackle and trash talk each other on the battlefield.  The day when commercials are looked forward to!  Unfortunately though, the glory of this day is often hampered by the fact that American workers do not have Monday off to recover from the festivities.  The day after the Super Bowl must be declared a National Holiday. 
Unsurprisingly, the Monday after the Super Bowl is the least productive work day of the year for American workers, according to a 2008 survey published by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc.  An estimated 1.5 million Americans call in sick the Monday after the Super Bowl while 170 million dollars worth of productivity are allegedly lost from the people who even do show up, a survey from says.  Some employees cannot stop re-hashing the game.  Some are stuck in a perpetual food coma.  And, yes, many are hungover.  Firms may as well give employees the day off as paying wages for such an unproductive day of work causes businesses to lose money.
I have personally experienced the agonizing fight to be productive on “Super Bowl Monday.”  I recall that in my senior year of high school, I did not focus at all in school on Monday as my buddies continually distracted me with chatter about the game.  And who could blame them?  The Giants-Patriots Super Bowl of 2012 came down to the final play!  Eventually, I became so engrossed in the Super Bowl conversations that I was paying almost no attention to my classes.  Heck, I even showed my calculus teacher a picture of her students shoveling down wings from the night before.
With the Monday after the Super Bowl being removed from the work schedule, more people will tune in to the game.  Without the nuisance of work in front of them, more Americans’ eyes will be on the television screen come kick-off.  And you know what that means.  More money for advertisers.  For the 2013 Super Bowl, a 30 second spot cost companies an estimated 3.8 million dollars, reports online journal  The Super Bowl is known for its fantastic commercials; firms and agencies put out their best crafted ads for the enormous audience.  Of course, advertisers want as many eyes on the screen as possible, so they would certainly be in favor of Monday being declared a National Holiday.  Additionally, networks that broadcast the big game, through television or radio, will benefit.  Due to the larger audience, networks can charge advertisers a higher rate for airtime.  Making more money from ads, networks would undoubtedly be in favor of making Monday a holiday, as well. 
Sadly, drunk driving has become a problem on Super Bowl Sunday.  On Super Bowl Sunday in 2012, the state of Michigan, whose Detroit Lions were not even involved in the big game, had 166 people arrested for drunk driving.  “Of those arrested, 52 had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 or higher,” and there were two alcohol-related fatalities, according to a Michigan State police reportIf employees were given Monday off from work, young single people would be more likely to sleep out rather than drive home drunk.  As another option, party goers could take cabs home, leaving their cars for pickup on Monday at their leisure.  This option is not really feasible with the presence of work on Monday as most people need their cars to travel to their place of business.  If a partier took a cab home, it would be very inconvenient to pick up their car early the next morning.  Therefore, workers often attempt to drive home intoxicated, endangering their lives as well as the lives of others. This is a tragic trend that desperately needs to be dealt with.
Some would argue that since not everyone watches the game, Monday should not be declared a National Holiday.  However, not every American celebrates Christmas yet workers receive time off for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  The fact that not every single person watches the game does not change the fact that millions of Americans are partying and drinking before, during, and after the game.
Or, the Super Bowl could just be moved to Saturday.  Scratch everything I just wrote. 

No comments:

Post a Comment