Should the idea of a Super Bowl played on Saturday gain steam?

PHOENIX. Last week, a pair of lawmakers in Tennessee proposed a bill that would make the Monday after the Super Bowl a public holiday.

The theory is that the Super Bowl is already an unofficial American holiday. Since people love to spend their holidays with family and friends (sometimes this requires travel), why not have a long weekend like Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July? Specifically for the Super Bowl, many people watch the game at a party and tend to indulge.

So why wouldn’t the state of Tennessee celebrate the above with a travel/recovery day?

“With more than 16 million Americans expected to miss work the day after the Super Bowl, and about 8 million expected to ask for a day off early, we’re talking about a major blow to the workforce,” Rep. Joe Towns Jr. said. Memphis said in a statement to Sportzshala Sports.

“My bill just wants to consider giving the rest of us a day off,” Townes said. “Let’s face it, nothing more American than the Super Bowl is becoming more and more the norm to skip work the next day.”

Who knows if it will pass. And even if it is, who knows if most private employers would comply with it, which would limit the impact. Since the Super Bowl, local markets have occasionally given the day off — last year, a number of public schools in the Cincinnati area gave kids the day off after the Bengals played a game.

Of course, Tennessee is just one state, and the Super Bowl is a national phenomenon no matter who plays. It is estimated that more than 100 million Americans will watch the Fox broadcast on Sunday. To cover everyone, we will probably need federal legislation.

The easiest thing for the NFL is to move the Super Bowl from its traditional 6:30 pm ET Sunday start to the same time on Saturday, allowing fans to travel/play back on the day they already have. Eat a petition asking for just that, which gained nearly 150,000 signatures.

The Super Bowl has already become an unofficial American holiday.  Should the NFL do more than it can to get people to celebrate?  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Super Bowl has already become an unofficial American holiday. Should the NFL do more than it can to get people to celebrate? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Super Bowl was always played on a Sunday. In 1966, this day made sense because all NFL games were played on Sundays. However, by 1970, Monday Night Football had premiered, and regular season games are now also played on Thursdays and Saturdays. Playoff games this year were held on Saturdays, Sundays and even one on Monday.

So the league still has to stick to Sunday?

“What [idea] has been around for a long time, people have been talking about it,” Roger Goodell said back in 2018 on Kyle Brandt’s podcast. “The reason we haven’t done this in the past is simply from the audience’s point of view. Sunday evening is much more. Fans want to have the best opportunity to see the game and we want to give them that, so Sunday night is the best night.”

Is that really true? The NFL gets higher ratings for games played on Sunday nights than on Saturday nights, which makes sense since people have other entertainment plans on Saturdays. However, if Super Bowl played on a Saturday night, wouldn’t that replace almost everything else? Can’t the Super Bowl beat the day of the week? could more do people even stop watching?

“Look, you can play a Super Bowl at 3 a.m. Tuesday and have 80 million people watching,” said Mike Mulvihill, executive vice president and head of strategy and analytics at Fox Sports, which is broadcasting the game. this year.

This does not mean that Mulvihill supports him. Like others, he enjoys the history and traditions of the time.

“The Super Bowl is more than a sporting event, it’s an American holiday,” Mulvihill said. “You don’t move Independence Day from July 4th, you don’t move Christmas from December 25th. I don’t think you’re going to reschedule the Super Bowl from Sunday. This is what we have had all our lives, it is convenient for everyone.”

Mulvihill is not alone in this opinion. “I think it’s crazy,” said Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks. “The Super Bowl just has to be on Sunday.”

There are no known NFL moves to consider playing a game on Saturday instead of Sunday.

And considering what a phenomenon this is already, why mess with success? Forgoing a build-up and party Saturday will likely cost the host city’s revenue. And while you can sympathize with the plight of those who can’t answer the phone on Monday because they ate too many chicken wings or drank too much beer, do they really deserve federal law or a break from a nearly sixty-year-old tradition?

Again, the idea of ​​Saturday’s Super Bowl holds some exciting possibilities. The start can be pushed back an hour or so if the league wants. Parties may take place later. The opportunity to travel to spend time with family and friends may be open. You can create new traditions.

The NFL is the largest entertainment complex in the country. In 2022, he delivered 47 of the top 50 TV shows of the year. Throw in halftime shows, gambling, and commercials, and you’ve got modern America in a four-hour package.

Maybe it deserves a holiday. Or maybe instead of relying on the political process, the NFL, which will break any tradition in pursuit of a few more dollars, might rethink the whole thing.

Super Sunday was the perfect choice back in 1966. By 2023, perhaps not.

Maybe Saturday is worth a try.


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