By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Back on Jan. 15, 1967, a game was played between the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers that would give birth to a national phenomenon.
The American Football League vs. National Football League World Championship game was won by the NFL’s Packers that day in the Los Angeles Coliseum. There were plenty of seats still available, clear to see on the duel broadcast of NBC and CBS.
Fast forward to 2019, Super Sunday’s broadcasting rights cost billions for one network each year. Tickets are impossible to find although they cost thousands of dollars. And after the fourth installment of the game, the Roman numeral classic is easily identified as the Super Bowl.
From your grandma to the star quarterback of the peewee football team, everybody knows what the Super Bowl is.
Feb. 3 in Atlanta, the NFL will have its biggest party of the year with Super Bowl 53. It has been more than half a century since Vince Lombardi was the first coach to win the game. Now the trophy has his name on it.
While the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots battle for the shiny football, I am here to use The Best Sellers’ List to argue why the Super Bowl should be an official national holiday. Actually I’m fighting for the Monday after the Super Bowl to be a day for nationwide recovery. Whether you indulge in alcohol, food, the game or avoiding the hype, we all need a day off the following 24.
What are my top 10 reasons for making the Super Bowl an official holiday?
- Super Bowl babies
There are two types of people who fit into this category. Those who are born in late January or early February. Then you might be a Super Bowl baby if your parents created you the night their favorite team won or lost the big game. Winning cities see a large spike in children about 9 months later.
For a comedic look at this phenomenon, listen to the video at bit.ly/SuperBowl50-Babies.
The first type of Super Bowl baby means your birthday could fall on Super Sunday. My first lady, Lisa Starnes, was born Jan. 31. We used to call her our Super Bowl Baby back in high school. Then the NFL decided to move the game to the first Sunday in February, starting with Super Bowl XXXVIII. Lisa still says she’s a Super Bowl baby. That’s how important that moniker is to a person.
- Some people avoid the day
It’s sad to see this but there are website to help people avoid Super Sunday. They have suggestions like leave the country, go to the movies, go to dinner, do some grocery shopping, do your taxes and binge watch a non-football product.
Networks like Lifetime offer options away from the game. They make a point to give it a cute name celebrating the fact you are not into the Big Game.
Have you ever met that person who takes pride in not knowing who is playing in the game or which Super Bowl it is? It takes hard work and dedication not to know about the biggest festival of football each year.
I just want you party poopers to know your contribution to Super Sunday is appreciated. You’re like the person who doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day. You stick out like a throbbing thumb stumped by a boot. But your negative sentiments make the rest of us appreciate the day even more. Keep on being an MVP … Most Valuable Pooper.
- TV specials
Did you know “Family Guy” debuted on FOX back in January 1999 after the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl XXXIII? Every year the network that buys the rights to the games uses it as a launching device for a new show.
You will see advertising for the program throughout the game saying, “Stay tuned for the premiere.” That is one form of a Super Bowl TV special. Other categories are the anti-big game programs, NFL Network shows, official league-related programming and all the pregame specials.
MTV would grab musicians back in the day and make them compete in football-related competition the Saturday before the game. ESPN used to run all the Super Bowl highlights leading up to the game. It was must-see TV for me about 5:30 p.m. each day — miss you, Steve Sabol.
Now we have Puppy Bowl XV airing Feb. 3. Can’t lie, I do enjoy watching the adorable doggies battling for my heart. The Puppy Bowl rivals the legendary Bud Bowls.
- Fellowship meal
Whose Super Bowl Party will you be attending this year? Will you be the person throwing the shindig? If so, you will need to hit up your local grocery for all the goodies. There are the basics like chips, soda, cookies and pizza.
But the big dogs know you can fire up the grill for Super Sunday for some barbecue. Chicken wings and a variety of dips are essential for fellowship meal.
There is a sub category of next-day stomach pain with chili, deep dish nachos and big festive dips. Other classics are ham and cheese sliders, brownies, smokies, pig in blankets and spinach artichoke dip.
Any veteran of the Super Bowl Party has a specialty. They have an item they make every year that their partygoers absolutely love. I make a Super Bowl Grilled Cheese. It’s Texas toast with sliced ham, pepperoni, tomato slices, three Italian herbs and mozzarella cheese. Butter up the skillet and toast on both sides. The last ingredient is enjoying the sandwich.
- Social impact
The Super Bowl is the meeting place for the U.S. market. Industries like beer, sodas, cell phones, Hollywood, communication and even Corey B. Trotz make sure they grab some air time on Super Sunday to see a profit. If you want to make a splash on the market, invest in the NFL showcase. The most viewed program each year is a great place to influence future trends and get a jump on the competition.
On a larger scale, the city that hosts the event sees a boom in economics. The NFL gives back to those communities as well.
In our armed services, the men and women get a few hours to relax from their work to enjoy the game. Super Sunday can serve as a family reunion centerpiece or perfect time for a proposal. Several meaningful life stories have began with, “On Super Bowl Sunday …”
Even in the music industry, an artist tries to validate his career by performing at the Super Bowl. Legends use the Super Bowl halftime as a chance for a comeback.
As I just alluded, commercials are a vital part of Super Bowl Sunday. During Super Bowl 50, a 30-second commercial cost $4.5 million.
The billions of dollars spent on advertising each year is worth the entertainment. We’ve all got a few friends who watch the game for the commercials.
Here are just some of the most iconic Super Bowl commercials of all time: Mean Jo Green (1979), Apple (1984), Wassup Budweiser (1999), E-Trade Baby (2008), Cindy Crawford Pepsi (1992) and countless Bud Light spots.
Unlike Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving, Super Sunday is supposed to be commercialized. So which ads will be the most memorable of 2019? Will any of them reach the best of all time status? I can’t wait to see.
- Special sales in stores
We can all agree that an indicator of a national holiday is walking into stores, seeing displays for the upcoming day. If you walk into a grocery, hardware store or appliance store, you will see “Big Game” deals, “Super” specials and floating footballs to indicate there is something on sale for Super Bowl Sunday.
We’ve already listed a bunch of foods you can buy for the day. Other items you can catch for a deal are big-screen TVs, blenders, couches, La-Z-Boy recliners and much more.
My Mom is not a fan of football but she loves to stock up on Rotel, cheeses, chips and other snacks throughout January. We can all take advantage of the holiday.
- Historical meaning
There are some people walking around who can tell you who won Super Bowl XXI. By the way, it was the New York Giants over the Denver Broncos 39-20 in Pasadena.
In the football history books each game is crucial to the story of the game. But on a larger scale there are many Super Sundays that have made a lasting impact. Super Bowl I was the first. Super Bowl III was Joe Namath’s guarantee leading to the merger of both the AFL and NFL. Super Bowl XXII had Doug Williams’ historic victory as the first black quarterback. Then the classic between the Giants and Buffalo Bills took place in Super Bowl XXV in Tampa. The Gulf War was just underway and Whitney Houston delivered the best national anthem of all time.
Super Bowl XXXVI was the first installment after 9/11. It was a moment in U.S. American history to symbolize the country moving forward.
Super Bowl 50 celebrated half a century of games and the impact on America.
- Joe Montana
Every major holiday has a symbol or mascot. Christmas has Santa Claus. Thanksgiving has the cornucopia. St. Patrick’s Day has a leprechaun. Easter is celebrated with bunnies. So for Super Bowl Sunday we should have Super Joe.
I can see him now. He has on his red jersey with a glowing No. 16 on the center. With his gold helmet and pants, Super Joe proudly displays his four Super Bowl rings he won with the San Francisco 49ers.
The reason Joe wins over other greats like Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw, Charles Haley, Adam Vinatieri and Ted Hendricks is because he was perfect in the Big Game.
He also holds Super Bowl career records for most passes without an interception (122 in four games) and the all-time highest passer rating of 127.8. Montana won Super Bowls 16, 19, 23 and 24.
He is the ideal face for the day as a three-time Super Bowl MVP. Therefore all children growing up and dreaming about playing in the game one day can watch Montana in action (I strongly recommend Super Bowl XXIV). Then those youngsters will have the proper inspiration to be the next Joe Montana.
- It falls on a particular day
What is the first Sunday in February? What was the the last Sunday in January up til 2004?
The answer is Super Bowl Sunday. You can mark your calendar every year for the big day. No matter the teams, location or venue, you know when it is Super Sunday.
So come on U.S. government, let’s make the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday a holiday so we can rest up from one of the most important days of the year. That will give us time to go shop for all those goodies. We can watch YouTube all day to see our favorite commercials. There will be time to reminisce on the new show that debuted after the game. And there will be time for recovery from all the food and drink.
THOMAS SELLERS JR. is the editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for Journal West 10 Media LLC. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.