Super Bowl weekend has been an unofficial national holiday for centuries, surely, and as such, red-blooded patriots (lowercase “p”) already mail in the next day of work. Something like 6 percent of Americans take the day off, while something like 94 percent spend the day talking about commercials and watching highlights. The productivity lost to the Super Bowl doesn’t approach the gleeful sloth of March Madness, but economists with too much time on their hands this time of year (Browns fans, obvs.) measure its economic damage as comparable to obesity.
So why don’t we all just call Super Bowl Monday the holiday it was meant to be? Or, more plausibly, simply shift a holiday used mainly as an excuse for marking down furniture to buttress the Super Bowl? A group of gluttonous visionaries are grassing those very roots at movepresidentsday.org. The URL pretty much says it. They want to slide Presidents’ Day underneath your sour-cream-and-Bud-Heavy hangover like a state-sanctioned crash couch, and they’ve set up a petition to help make that happen.
“We’ve been saying, my buddies and I, that they really ought to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday,” says Chris Raih. Along with Brian Ford, he’s one of the founders of the Venice, Calif., creative agency, Zambezi, that imagined, built and posted the site across about two days this week. “As a younger guy in my career, I used to take (Monday) off anyway, because we used to go pretty big back in the day.”
Zambezi counts the Lakers, the Trail Blazers, TNT and Sprite among its clients, and before they set out on their own, Raih and Ford worked on Nike’s account, among others, at Weiden and Kennedy in Oregon; Ford was behind the “We Are All Witnesses” campaign. They know sports, and while it might not take a genius to sell the likes of LeBron, past success bodes well for helping to rescue President’s Day from the dim, dull clutches of late February.
“We’ve been blasting it to our people and what we’re finding is almost everyone says, Duh,” Raih says. “It’s an idea with no downside. It would be tricky to pull it off, but we don’t think it’s impossible or improbable. There’s a sports fans’ argument, there’s an economic argument, there’s a patriotic argument, there’s a drinker’s argument. It’s a wintertime 4th of July.”
Once it has collected a suitably mind-blowing quantity of signatures, Zambezi intends to toss the idea over to lawmakers. (Natural constituencies to help this along: restaurants, beverage makers, Big Snack, employers who pay for the time people spend gabbing about the latest VW commercial, Vegas tourism, this guy.) The ball’s on the ground, Congress, if anyone cares to pick it up and run with it. Just ask yourselves: What would Lincoln Kennedy do?
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