Over the last 53 years, the Super Bowl has grown in stature in our national fabric.
Initially, a game that brought the two best teams from the American Football League and the National Football League to compete for the “world” football title and attracted some 50 million viewers has grown to a national sports phenomenon that at its peak had more than 110 million viewers for Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 when the New England Patriots knocked off the Seattle Seahawks for their fourth Lombardi Trophy.
For many people, the Monday after the Super Bowl should be considered a national holiday where employees have the option to miss work to recover from their excessive reveling the day before.
A survey by The Workforce Institute at Kronos, where employees were interviewed for their Super Bowl watching habits and their day after work attendance, found that 16.5 million employees were planning about missing work on Super Monday in addition to the 10 million that “were smart enough to plan ahead and request the day off in the first place.”
The survey also points out that “Super Bowl Fever” or similar symptoms don’t just happen after the Super Bowl itself.
Fourteen percent of American workers say that they have missed or been late to work because of a late-night sporting event. Eight percent of viewers of the Oscars or Emmys or some other awards show admitted to be affected the next day.
Even people who are deeply involved in the political game admit to missing time at work the day after a televised debate.
Heading in to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, aka March Madness, the damaging effects on workplace productivity go way beyond just the amount of missed production for the “day-after” hangover that you get from Super Bowl fans. As opposed to one-day event, albeit a huge one-day event, March Madness is an event that plays 67 games over a three-week stretch with 68 teams competing on an almost daily basis, with a dwindling pool of teams battling for the privilege of cutting down the nets as national champion.
March Madness drags on pulling even the casual fan in to the fray.
People who haven’t watched a single college basketball game during the year are drawn in to the excitement that comes with the Madness. Even the most casual fan can become a participant in the madness by joining an office pool. Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas predicts that businesses lose approximately $2.1 billion each hour wasted on employees’ engagement in March Madness.
Another study estimated almost half of employees admit to spending at least a half hour on their brackets during work hours, and 27 percent say they spend at least an hour on the clock focused on their bracketology.
Establishing a national holiday on the day after these events would not eliminate all workplace inefficiency on those days, but it would significantly reduce the amount of hours lost in missed work and low productivity of the post-event Walking Dead. In addition to the obvious “day-after” holidays that should follow both the Super Bowl and March Madness tournaments, I have another suggestion of holidays that should be automatic, although affect only a small amount of our population.
My friends in the coaching profession understand the feelings that accompany the day after the end of the season. At the club level, oftentimes the season just continues or moves to another surface (outdoor to indoor, indoor to outdoor) so the impact isn’t as great, although I have had many day-after’s walking around in a fog from the end of a club season.
Coaching a high school sports team brings a completely different challenge. There are so many factors that weigh in to the role of a high school coach and player that it seems the feelings that accompany the crashing end of the season can be overwhelming.
It’s a bit of a tradition that the seniors (and sometimes underclassmen) miss the school day immediately following the end of their season, whether it ends by a devastating playoff defeat or a state championship.
I’ve always plugged through and come to school the next day to set a good example for my players, but what kind of example am I really setting? I know my productivity on the day after our soccer season is less than post-Super Bowl Monday. My thoughts aren’t on business and marketing as they should be, but rather on the decisions I made the night before, the opportunities missed, and the mistakes that led to our demise.
The feeling that drains me the most is the understanding that this is the last rodeo with my senior class each year and the relationships that you’ve built over the last four years come to an abrupt end.
I’m not asking for anything special — just an extra day of recovery before having to come back to work.
As author and publisher Ralph Marston once said, “Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.”
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