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February 07, 2016

Here's why Super Bowl Monday isn't a national holiday

Short answer: It costs a lot of money

Filling yourself with booze and fatty foods, screaming and cheering throughout the action and staying up until around midnight to watch all the post-game celebrations probably aren't things you should do if you have work the next morning.

Nevertheless, every year, millions of Americans participate in that routine. The Super Bowl is the designated American sporting event to watch even if you don't watch sports at all or your team didn't make the big game (Eagles fans know the feeling).

But considering the sheer number of people who watch the game -- last year, it was 114 million -- why isn't the day afterwards a holiday?

Petitions have been sent to the White House requesting a Super Bowl Monday holiday. Studies have shown millions are late to their job the day after and even more just end up skipping work.

So, what's the holdup? 

In order for a holiday to become a federal holiday, it has to pass Congress and be signed by the president, just like any other piece of legislation.

Many have tried to get a number of days recognized by the government -- more than 1,100 have been proposed over the years.

But the reason so few of those holidays actually get signed off on by our elected officials is because they cost an obscene amount of money.

A 2014 Washington Post article about federal holidays cited a report that found taxpayers end up footing a large bill on nationwide days off:

A Congressional Research Service report found that federal holidays cost taxpayers about $200 million per day (and that was back in 1999). This was part of the argument against the establishment of a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, which came into effect in 1983 only after Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) introduced it during every session of Congress for the better part of 15 years.

So, unless Philadelphia wants to start a trend by electing Angelo Cataldi or Howard Eskin to Congress, it's unlikely we'll be getting a Super Bowl Monday anytime soon, especially since other proposed holidays are for much nobler reasons.

Native Americans' Day, for example, has been pushed by some legislators. The NFL, meanwhile, does not have the best relationship with Native Americans.

Besides, a federal holiday can't force private businesses not to operate. So depending on who you work for, you might have to trudge into the office anyways.

Other ideas for how to make the morning after the Super Bowl have been thrown out. One PennLive reader wrote Sunday that the league should host the game on Saturday. That way, most people would have Sunday morning off and the game could be held later in the evening.

For now, however, you'll probably just have to suck it up.