The Super Bowl as a national holiday

Often, after the nationally celebrated Sunday when tens of millions of Americans gather and rally for the sport in which quick plays and arduous impacts diverge the course of an entire game (also known as the Super Bowl for the Mines students who may not recognize the indirect reference), individuals loathe going to school, work, or any other responsibility they might encounter during the start of the American workweek. Why do they endure such struggles? Because the day after the Super Bowl refuses to saunter despite the lack of motivation present on the day following such an exciting and sometimes exhausting event. The Super Bowl essentially performs as a national holiday at this point in American culture. It involves a major event on a specific day of the year, gathering with friends and family, and, most importantly, lots and lots of snacks and refreshments that will often have everyone’s too-excited uncle napping in the reclining chair around two minutes into the post-game discussion. The public may even agree: another three day weekend could not harm the overall efficiency of the year.

Dating back to the 1960s, the Super Bowl has been one of the most watched events in the history of the United States, always ranking at the top of the viewership charts at the end of the year. Competition for highest viewership has come in the form of major series finales such as M.A.S.H., Roots, and Seinfeld, but, with each broadcast being the impactful finale to years of storytelling, none may ever claim the consistency the big game has held since its inception. Every year, at least one third of the nation’s populace decides to sit down–or stand screaming–in front of their televisions for a game that will most likely not affect their life in the slightest. That is, unless they happen to bet their life savings in the Las Vegas sports book circuit. In that case, someone’s spouse and immediate family could be praying down to the last timeout that they do not lose the house or the television they are watching the game on.

Although recent generations may not take as much care with the Super Bowl in terms of the stakes or just football in general, the gatherings still stand as strong as ever. Many traits of the broadcasted material outside of the game itself have become sources of entertainment for the less captivated, for the networks and advertisers running the Super Bowl have always realized that the whole event should retain viewers not just during the game. These include the increasingly extraneous commercials, the star-studded half-time shows, and even the blunders of choking players that cost the game in the last quarter (the San Francisco 49ers truly relinquished an accessible victory just because of a few interceptions and quarterback mishaps). Limiting the scope to just this past Sunday, one will see the overwhelmingly warm reception for both the collection of jocular ads and Shakira & Jennifer Lopez’s flamboyant half-time performance that provided formidable dance choreography and unintentional comedy. If this extra content does not provide enough enticement for some, then they will just have to relax and witness the rest of their community enjoying the holiday the same way some have to sit back and watch their impulsive friends partake in too much partying on St. Patrick’s Day.

One could argue that the Super Bowl will eventually die out due to the expansions of other interests and increasingly uninvested demographics. Just this past Sunday, several Mines students did not even realize the big day had arrived, opting to just go about their schedules as usual. Despite this, the tradition will still persevere because it has transformed into the largest unrecognized national holiday for most Americans. Just the mere mention of the Super Bowl in the present leads one’s thoughts to early February and large congregations with food and cheers and pauses with bated breath. Without said awareness, there are still football fans that will watch every game. There are still supportive friends and family members of said football fans that will sit adjacent to them and enjoy their company. There are still children that will grow up in households that watch the Super Bowl and pass the tradition on to their own children. The Super Bowl has transcended the realm of sporting events into the realm of national celebration, regardless of whether or not scheduling authorities recognize it as so.


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