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America, Let’s Move Labor Day

Super Bowl LI caused over 16 million Americans to call in sick to work the next day. PHOTO/ Flickr Creative Commons
Super Bowl LI caused over 16 million Americans to call in sick to work the next day. PHOTO/ Flickr Creative Commons

By Adam Zaki

Published: September 14th, 2017

After July and August pass, Americans begin to crash back into reality, into what might be one of the worst months on the calendar—September. From the anniversary of the attacks on September 11th, to Green Day’s catastrophe titled “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” the ninth month on the calendar comes with dread and weariness. The mass exodus back to school for children and young adults comes right after many have cashed in sick and personal days to soak up some last-minute summer sun.

September is supposed to serve as a transition from summer to fall, and this process is interrupted by Labor Day. The first Monday of September has been a national holiday since the late 1800s, when children and parents alike enjoyed their summer vacations working in factories. It was a day in which workers could rest. According to the United States Department of Labor, the day is dedicated to the “political and socioeconomic achievements” of hardworking Americans.

So what’s the fuss? An annual recurrence of a day off to relinquish summer hangovers doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. The problem is that the day to celebrate the hard work of Americans should be moved to another date in particular—and with the help of the almighty National Football League (NFL), this movement may become more than just an idea.

Super Bowl Sunday is as American as a day can get. For many people, it draws the same type of atmosphere as New Year’s or the Fourth of July, with television ratings that are astronomically higher. The Super Bowl is not only an American pastime, but it symbolizes what most Americans enjoy doing—spending time with friends and family while being accompanied by multimillion dollar entertainment and food.  

According to multiple studies cited by the Atlantic Journal Constitution (AJC), during the Super Bowl, Americans collectively consume over one billion chicken wings, 30 million slices of pizza, 325 million gallons of beer, 9,000 tons of chips, and approximately three million pounds of nuts. It makes sense that a study released by the Workforce Institute at Kronos claimed that over 16.5 million Americans called in sick to work after Super Bowl 50. That is, one in every ten Americans decided to skip out on work after the big game, according to Kronos.

So this is where Labor Day comes in. Besides making the going back to school process that much more difficult by throwing in an extra day off or beginning on a short week, the awkward placement of Labor Day is one that is just weeks away from Columbus Day and months from Thanksgiving weekend. As being the rough halfway point between Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, Americans should toughen up for the ugliest month of the year and power into Thanksgiving weekend.

This would take cooperation from the NFL. As of right now, the day of the Super Bowl is the first Sunday in February, a tradition which has stood since 2004. In order for this plan to work, the NFL would need to formally commit to this so the same Monday could be honored every year.

With the NFL only making commitments to things that earns (or saves) them money, depending on them to assist government in this matter is not the best option. If Labor Day was to be moved, the NFL would look to make as much money off of this as possible. Whether it’d be a Black Monday shopping day for NFL attire or a grand look into the next season via the major sports media outlets, the NFL would only be interested in assisting the process if they saw some financial benefit from doing so.

This isn’t political, ideological, or partisan—it’s logical. Let’s put our bureaucracy to the test and start an effort to get this wasteful holiday changed to its rightful place, the Monday after the Super Bowl. Or, Americans can continue to work on their best sick voice as they shovel beer and junk food down their throats.

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