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I declare it a sports holiday

Why are we working on baseball’s opening day, the day after Super Bowl?

As I write this, I’m stuck in the office on the Tuesday after Labor Day. Considering I ended up working the holiday, I’m not exactly feeling refreshed.

But it was all to be worth it on Wednesday, when my “holiday” from the office was to come in the form of a day off. Now that I’m back in the sports department, I’d normally have to work afternoon and evening hours on a Wednesday. The holiday reconfiguration means I was off, and planned to be planted on my couch, for the NFL’s opening night.

In my opinion, both Labor Day and the NFL’s opening night should keep Americans home from work anyway. We can all use a few more holidays, and the sports world offers plenty of reasons to add some to our calendars.

Here are just a few of the days I’d make federal holidays, starting tomorrow, if I were president ... and we’re only eight years away from me being old enough to run, in case you want to clip and save this column.

Super Bowl Monday

Every year, millions of Americans coincidentally come down with some grave illness that prevents them from coming into work the morning after the Super Bowl. Millions more show up rubbing bloodshot eyes and fake their way through eight hours.

Why bother? Give everyone a day to recover from their big-game parties and start fresh on Tuesday. And it should be mandated that non-essential businesses be closed on Super Bowl Monday in the cities in which the teams playing in the game are based. Those fans really need a day to recuperate following a night of celebration or a night of crying their eyes out.

March Madness Thursday

The first day of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is probably my favorite in all of sports. Games tip off at 11 a.m. our time and run two, three and even four at a time until late in the evening.

On the March Madness Thursdays I’ve spent at work, the newsroom television generally attracts a crowd as every close game winds down. Countless employees nationally have live Internet broadcasts occupying most of their attention on their computer. Productivity is way, way down across the country. It wouldn’t be if we all just took the day off.

Opening Day

Because Major League Baseball schedules its Opening Days so inconsistently these days, holidays can be planned on a city-by-city basis based on when the local team plays its home opener. In Chicago, we can always make it the day of the Cubs’ first game at Wrigley, since nobody cares about the White Sox.

March Madness Friday

Actually, I forgot all about the fact that there are two days with wall-to-wall first-round action in the NCAA Tournament. A four-day weekend sounds a lot better than spending the second of those days not getting anything done anyway, doesn’t it?

The aftermath of the Cubs winning the World Series

If it ever happens, not only should employees nationally be given the following day off, Chicagoland should shut down for a week. Of course, none of us will likely be thinking about work anyway, what with the end of the world and all.


When Mark Johnson is not home watching sports, he can be found in the MDH’s sports department.

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