The Super Bowl Sunday Situation


Source: NFL

It’s hard to think of a more unique day to American culture than Super Bowl Sunday. While most traditional holidays in the U.S. are rooted in history and nationality, there is but one unofficial national holiday that is strictly a result of the commercialization of professional football. And while most holidays are set to be a specific day of the year such as Christmas on December 25 or Valentine’s Day on February 14, the Super Bowl, being a holiday controlled basically by the enterprise that is the NFL, can be any day of the week in February if they so choose.

But as is tradition, the Super Bowl is on a Sunday, a mistake which muddies what could and should be a day of fun and excitement spent with friends and family. So, what is the problem with Sunday, anyway? Well, quite a few things.

Sunday, for most, is a day of relaxation and a day to get work done as the weekend closes out. This means people go to bed earlier with school or work the next day, and, at least for me, it is a fact that tends to linger in my mind the entire day. One might have to pay attention to the clock, manage time, or make sure to relax after Friday and Saturday’s endeavors; but on the day of the Super Bowl, we have to put that aside and pretend it is Saturday again.

Sure, not everyone may feel the same way about Sunday or feel the same weight of the upcoming week on their mind during the day, but regardless, everyone has to go back to their routine the next day and this is a deep flaw at the placement of the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Although it may seem like an issue only felt on the viewing level of the Super Bowl for the millions of Americans watching, but the problem extends further up the chain to the network and the advertisers.

It’s no secret that the Super Bowl is the biggest day in advertising of the year with commercials sometimes feeling more frequent than the actual football game. Not only that, but TV networks use the Super Bowl as a way to push their new or popular shows which air after the game. But of course with the football game generally ending around eleven at night, most people who had been watching the television or listening to it in the background leave their respective Super Bowl parties or turn off their televisions and, if they want to watch whatever show is airing afterward, have to stay up until midnight at least.

Due to the responsibilities, the start of the week, the Monday of work and school the next day, people turn away from their televisions much sooner than they would on say a Saturday. And with this, advertisers are limited in the amount they could be profiting from the immense viewership the event yields year after year.

But for the everyday American citizen, one must face the dilemma of enjoying the excitement of the day while also dealing with the responsibility and realization that comes with every Sunday. Those who pass on the party-going during the Super Bowl may be better prepared for Monday however they miss out on what makes the day so unique (a gathering of friends, food, and overall fun). And those who treat it like a Saturday (staying out late, eating unhealthy food late into the night, pushing aside all thoughts about Monday), are at a serious disadvantage the next inevitably unproductive day for actually trying to enjoy the unofficial holiday.

For this, football fan Andrew Candino ‘18 explained his position on the issue of the Super Bowl’s timing. “I feel that the Super Bowl being on a Sunday is a good thing,” he explained, “because then everyone has a chance to watch it.” But he understands the problem of having school the next day continuing, “We could have a delayed opening or something the next day.” Candino expressed that while he agrees with the Super Bowl being on a Sunday he recognizes it puts viewers in a difficult position and that he does not like having to go to school the next day either.

Everyone knows that feeling on Sunday night as the game ends and the network shifts to some television series they are trying to promote, that sense of immediate dread knowing that you should be going to bed soon because there is work or school tomorrow. It is an unfortunate status quo that hurts everyone involved from the viewers, to the advertisers, to the network itself; and worse, it is a self-made and self-branded holiday whose misplacement is the fault only of the NFL.

Whether you are an avid fan of the sport or not even a fan at all, football is undeniably at the heart of American culture. Everyone knows of our unique sport and the importance it holds in our country, and while it may not have the significance nor the historical recognition of other holidays, the Super Bowl has become one of the most widely recognized and celebrated events of the year. However, the Super Bowl’s placement on a Sunday is a serious mistake and both viewers and advertisers would be much better served if it were on a Saturday.