Super Bowl Monday, the mysterious illness that caused 16 million absences from work

The Super Bowl should perhaps become a national holiday in the United States.

Well, not on the day of the game itself, but a day after. As the spectacle of the Super Bowl grows brighter, there has also been an increase in reports of people not showing up for work on the Monday after the NFL crowns its champion.

The call “Super Bowl Monday” is often considered one of the least productive days on the calendar. It is expected that around 16 million people are absent from work this year after the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in overtime, according to an estimate based on a survey by the UKG Workforce Institute.

People are going to call in sick.”said Jarik Conrad, president of the UKG Workforce Institute. “They probably won’t be very honest.”

So what to do about the Super Bowl ‘flu?

One solution proposed last year, in a bill by two Tennessee legislators, was that the Monday after the Super Bowl was a holiday. There has also been speculation about the possibility of moving the game a week later, to the President’s Day holiday weekend. That would mean millions of workers would have Super Bowl Monday off as a scheduled holiday.

Dan Patrick, the former ESPN sportscaster who now has a popular radio show, recently made some headlines when he argued in favor of moving the Super Bowl to a Saturday. Teams would still get nearly two weeks off after their conference title games, and fans would avoid the Monday malaise after a night of nachos, wings and booze, he said.

“Wouldn’t it be great to have all this time?” Patrick said to his audience. “Both teams rest a lot. Saturday is the Super Bowl and on Sunday you can recover.”

On the other hand, the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodellhas said that Sunday is the ideal day because it is when the game will have the most spectators.

That doesn’t leave business owners much hope. Shauna Bryngelson, a consultant with workplace management group Mercer, explains that to avoid problems, companies could hire more staff than necessary and call employees in advance to confirm that they will work on Super Bowl Monday.

However, the impact of the sporting event on the workplace goes beyond absenteeism. Around 45 million people will be less productive on Monday, UKG survey data estimates.

That represents approximately one third of the workforce full-time from the United States.