It's the biggest celebration in the country, and yet, it isn't a federal holiday. Super Bowl Sunday has long been one of the biggest days of the year, uniting diehard football fans with those who couldn't pick a football from a golf ball.
Far and wide, friends and family gather annually on this day to celebrate one of the most unique events in the world, the Super Bowl. This year, it just so happens that the New England Patriots are in it and will face the rival New York Giants.
But that's not what we're here to talk about (although if you're looking for straight football talk, visit our Super Bowl 2012 stream). The Super Bowl has become an event bigger than just the game itself, one that draws people together.
Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter and Independence Day are certainly great, and it says a lot about our nation that we hold a day of football higher than true holidays such as these. Last time I checked, 100.9 million people weren't tuning in nation and worldwide to watch masses, services or parades on any of those other holidays.
So let's put the religious days aside, because they are in their own class. Although some people may declare football as their religion (OK, not just some people, a lot of people), it just isn't in the same class as religion. Sorry, pigskin lovers.
As far as a holiday is constituted, the Super Bowl is about as close as you can get to the definition of the word, which is defined as such: A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.
Outside of schmucks like me and the rest of the sports media world, not much work is getting done.
Is Super Bowl Sunday a day of festivities? Uh, yes. So we've already covered that definition well.
But what about the definition of a federal holiday? As defined by Wikipedia, a federal holiday is "a public holiday recognized by the United States federal government. Non-essential federal government offices are closed. All federal employees are paid for the holiday; those who are required to work on the holiday sometimes receive holiday pay for that day in addition to their ordinary wages."
I'm sure most of us could do without the government workers getting paid extra, but Super Bowl Sunday should be a day that is recognized by the federal government, as it is an event that is unique to our country and is widely celebrated.
Give that it is a Sunday, those "non-essential federal government offices" are already closed. The federal employees are probably getting paid for it anyways. And I can't speak for every company, but I bet some workers are getting a little extra money in their paycheck for working today.
Furthermore, you could ever make the argument that Super Bowl Sunday could be declared a National Day, which by definition is a celebration of independence, establishment or an otherwise significant event (via Wikipedia).
OK, so Super Bowl Sunday isn't as important to our nation as Independence Day. Nobody fought and died on the first Sunday of February so that we could be free. But it certainly does meet the mold for the other two qualifiers.
The NFL is an establishment. An American establishment. Baseball is great, too, but football is the national pastime today. Why wouldn't the USA want to embrace its roots and celebrate one of its most successful entities?
And we've already established that the Super Bowl is a significant event. Haven't you paid attention?
Plus, if you were a politician running for office, you could probably pick up a good chunk of votes by proposing this idea. Not that we should be decided our representatives based on football (we really, really shouldn't). I'm just saying.
All we're missing now is the official title. So let's get on this, America. Make Super Bowl Sunday a federal holiday and a national day. Whatever gives it the respect it's due. It has certainly earned it.
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