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What would it take to make Super Bowl Monday a public holiday?

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Or, people can just keep taking sick days.

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots

The Monday after the Super Bowl can feel like the biggest unofficial public holiday in the United States. In 2018, an estimated 14 million Americans took a sick day on the Monday following the game, with 25 percent of the country believing it should be a public holiday.

So what would it take to actually get the Monday after the Super Bowl recognized as an official holiday and added to the calendar?

Where it begins.

Creation of federal holidays began in 1870 with congress passing the “federal holiday law,” which mandated the observance of New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day as the first four recognized federal holidays.

By 1894, more holidays were added to the federal holiday law, bringing the number of holidays to seven, with Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, and Labor Day being recognized by the federal government.

However, only three holidays have been added in the last 100 years — Veteran’s Day (1938), Columbus Day (1968) and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday (1983), with Inauguration Day being recognized every four years in Washington D.C.

Why are new holidays rare?

Adding holidays to the already existing law isn’t a difficult process and can be passed by an act of congress. However, as the federal workforce has swelled congress has been more reticent to add federal holidays to the docket. A report from 1999 stated that each federal holiday costs taxpayers $200 million, which is the primary reason cited against adding more.

In recent years, there have been efforts to add new holidays, all of which have failed. In 2011, congressman John Conyers introduced legislation to make Election Day a federal holiday in an effort to in increase voter turnout, but it ultimately failed after being passed to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Similarly, an effort to make Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday a federal holiday also failed.

Is there a process citizens can use to advocate for federal holidays?

Yes, but it isn’t generally effective. Using the “We the People” site, petitions can be created in an effort to be noticed by representatives. Then, presumably, a petition request would be brought before congress. However, it should be noted that the site has become a dumpster fire of outstanding petitions ranging from grinding axes against online retailers, to advocating for elected officials to be removed from office.

This is to say that while the “We The People” site had a lofty goal of connection citizens to lawmakers, it’s unclear whether any action is ever taken on petitions.

What are the odds the Monday after the Super Bowl could become a holiday?

Next to none. Realistically if Election Day is getting voted down then a football-based holiday has no chance of making it though. For now, it seems the day will always be America’s biggest sick day, and little more.