Super Bowl Saturday
The mustached American is a broad and varied breed. Where in the 1970s we were newsmen, politicians, and members of the Village People; today we are carpenters, steel workers, motocross riders, and the current line-up of the Village People. In short, we are everyman.
But through this diversity, mustached-Americans also share great consistencies. We are men of purpose, we are the Marlboro man, we eschew thin crust for deep-dish pizza, we choose beer over martinis, and we prefer Hardees’ aptly named “Monster Thickburger” to McDonald’s questionably monikered “Big Mac.”
Most of all, we love football.
Sport in America – and specifically football – has become a significant part of our national fabric. Athletes are heroes to the young and old. The games they play, and we watch, are American traditions as essential as driving unnecessarily enormous SUVs while talking on cell phones; or on Thanksgiving watching a relative ingest a portion of turkey fit for tables of eight in most nouvelle cuisine restaurants (or so we’re told).
The National Football League’s Super Bowl has arguably evolved into the pinnacle moment on America’s sports calendar. It is a spectacle of hard-hitting tackles and even harder-hitting capitalism – with $4-million-dollar 30-second television commercials and host cities reaping hundreds of millions in tourism dollars.
The game is a great American tradition – from touchdowns to takeaways, from “Broadway” Joe to “Mean” Joe, from talking frogs to an office full of monkeys, from lip synched national anthems to wardrobe malfunctions – we watch every moment.
It has become a sports holiday, and if you weren’t “lucky” enough to spend $7,500 on a nosebleed seat, you very well may be throwing a big party in your home, while the corner bar will be filled with patrons eager to spend a few bucks on cold beer and chicken wings.
But like most great traditions, is there a way to make it even better? In the name of bringing the hairy upper lip back into fashion – the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” The NFL should to move the Super Bowl to Saturday.
Purists may argue it would be heretical to hold the Super Bowl on any day but Sunday, but it’s hardly unprecedented to alter a sports tradition.
To wit: Major League Baseball’s World Series was for decades a daytime event that has since been banished to a time-slot somewhere near Letterman and Leno so that 10-year-olds can’t watch their heroes past the second inning. Baseball also added wild card teams, giving its playoffs a dimension that creates excitement for every fan other than the mustache-deprived Bob Costas. We have it on good authority that Barry Bonds won’t be using steroids next season. Can anything be any more revolutionary than that?
Additionally, the time-honored names of several collegiate mascots have changed to respect the heritage of Native Americans, and the Super Bowl itself has survived the scheduling shift from being played exclusively on the last Sunday of January to occasionally on the first Sunday in February.
It’s clear that great sports traditions can be altered if there is value in doing so. Indeed, a recently completed utterly unscientific poll of heavily mustached restaurateurs, sports fans, non-sports fans – as well as one man claiming to be a “leprechaun” from Mobile, Alabama – overwhelmingly suggests that there is not only support for moving the Super Bowl to Saturday, but that both the American culture and economy would benefit.
Consider that Super Bowl parties would become grander events, providing more social interaction, which often gets left behind in today’s hurried American society. Party hosts would buy more food and beverages to accommodate a greater number of guests, thus benefiting grocery stores and other merchants. Like the ridiculous social scene that is a Miami Heat basketball game, more non-sports fans would attend these parties, enjoying greater social interaction with their friends, because they would no longer have to work the next day (with the exception of Christian clergy). And without work the next day, hosts could relax a bit more, enjoy the game and good company of their guests, feeling less pressure to clean up that night.
Plus, if more non-football fans are watching, the networks gain more overall viewers, translating into their ability to charge more for advertising (think how much better $10 million commercials would be!). Restaurants and bars may have a steady flow of business on Sunday nights, but just imagine the immense traffic and revenues from a truly Super Saturday.
Finally, we must consider the issue of productivity in the workplace; employers won’t have to deal with employees strolling in late for work because they stayed up late watching the Super Bowl.
Mustached Americans believe the premiere showcase of America’s pastime would be well-served – as we believe would all of our bare-lipped brethren and the business community – to move the entrenched tradition that is the Super Bowl to Saturday.
Much like holding a playoff for the NCAA Division I college football national championship, it would seem like one of those changes that is such an obvious improvement you wonder why it’s never been done before.