The Super Bowl needs to be a national holiday. There is no question about it. The game should be moved to a Monday night, and the entire country should be allowed to devote an entire day to watching the NFL determine its champion.

Paul Wong


Close the post offices, close the banks, close the schools and close the factories. This is what it’s all about. It’s time to write a letter to your congressman.

Last night’s “Pirate Bowl” was much more than a football contest between the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The game wasn’t especially close or exciting, but that doesn’t mean much. Ten years from now, football fans will watch Steve Sabol and NFL Films make this game seem like one of the all-time classics.

It’s not just a day for football fans either. According to marketing researcher InsightExpress, nearly 40 percent of people watching the Super Bowl did so because of the ads, which this year cost $2.2 million for each 30-second spot. Who can forget “Bud … Weis … Er” in the swamp or Mean Joe Greene trading his Steelers’ jersey to a young fan for a Coke?

The Super Bowl takes men and women from all religions, all ethnic backgrounds and all socio-economic classes and engages them in one activity for an entire night.

No other single event can unite more people in celebration of all things American. Millions come from all walks of life to pay homage to consumerism, violence, competition, sex appeal and gambling.

What other holiday can say that?

Christmas and Easter, at least in theory, are Christian holidays. New Year’s and St. Patrick’s Day are nationwide drinking days more than anything else.

We have holidays to celebrate the lives of famous dead people (Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day and Columbus Day) and others that, in practice, merely mark the beginning of spring, summer and fall (Groundhog Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day).

Thanksgiving already set the precedent for holidays built on a football foundation. So why not follow the will of the masses – nearly one BILLION fans worldwide tuned in last night – and show the proper respect for the event that single-handedly taught generations of Americans how to use Roman numerals.

Last night there was an NHL game and a Michigan women’s basketball game that took place during the Super Bowl. That is a crime. I don’t care what the random number generator said the attendance at Crisler was. The Super Bowl deserves the undivided attention of everyone in America. Here are a few facts compiled by my crack research team that proves just how important this event really is.

n Six months after Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon, Super Bowl IV drew a higher television audience than that famous moonwalk.

n More than 130 million Americans tuned in last year to watch former Michigan quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots upset the St. Louis Rams. That’s about 35 million more people than voted in our last presidential election – give or take a few hanging chads.

n No weekend during the year will have fewer weddings than Super Bowl weekend.

n Sales of big screen televisions increase by 500 percent in the week before the Super Bowl.

n In 1984, the Super Bowl’s halftime was blamed for a water main break in Salt Lake City. While there are no hard facts, it was alleged to have broken because too many people went to the can.

n According to the American Institute of Food Distribution, the Super Bowl is second only to Thanksgiving in terms of total food consumption. In this one day, nearly 16 million pizzas will be delivered. More than 4,000 tons of popcorn and 15,500 pounds of potato chips will be consumed. And the California Avocado Commission issued a press release that claimed Americans would eat enough guacamole to cover the Super Bowl playing field with a five-foot deep layer from end zone to end zone. I’ll take their word on that one.

n In what might be a related note, sales of antacid tablets increase by 20 percent the day after the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl has everything except its own Charlie Brown special. It is a day that deserves to be marked with red letters on calendars across the country. The American people have spoken. The Super Bowl is destined to be this country’s next official holiday.

Steve Jackson is the leader of a one-man crack research team. He can be reached at sjjackso@umich.edu.

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