02.01.14 10:45 AM ET
Move the Damn Super Bowl to Saturday!
Well, it’s Super Bowl Saturday, and boy am I… not excited.
I am doing absolutely nothing to prepare for the big day. Tomorrow, I’ll go load up on the artery-busting repast of my choosing and a few libations. But I should be doing that today, because they should be playing the damn game on Saturday.
This is as open-and-shut as cases come. The Super Bowl has become one of the biggest social events of the year. It’s a party. You want to have fun, you want to drink. What you don’t want to be doing is looking at your watch as you’re cracking open that fourth beer and thinking about that presentation you have to give tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Even as we celebrate the Super Bowl, football fans can’t ignore the violence and danger of the sport, especially when it extends beyond professional stadiums.
It’s just ridiculous. The game starts at 6:40. With the number of commercials sold, a half, which usually takes 90 minutes on a typical Sunday afternoon, runs to maybe 110. Halftime comes at 8:30. Normal halftime: around 12 minutes. Supe halftime: 30 minutes. The second half kicks off around 9. Then it ends close to 11. And it’s kinda late, for a Sunday night, and you’re kinda drunk, for a Sunday night, and you have to go to work the next day.
What about the kids? Think of your typical 9- or 10-year-old fan. He or she normally goes to bed at 9 or 9:30 on a school night? So these children have to miss the potentially most exciting part of the most important game of the season? That’s something close to sadistic on the NFL’s part, particularly when there’s no good reason for it.
Change the game to Saturday! Then, a 6:40 kickoff is fine. Kids can stay up til 11 on a Saturday. The grownups don’t have to worry about going to work with all those little people roller-skating in their stomachs. The grownups who are bosses don’t have to worry about all those people calling in sick.
This comes up every year, and the people from the NFL always say the same stupid thing: We’ve done it on Sunday for nearly 50 years, and it works fine. Gee. That’s about as stupid a reason for doing something as you could imagine. And it doesn’t sound true. It sounds like corporate bullshit. So what would the real reason be?
Couldn’t they sell those overpriced advertising seconds for even a little more money on a Saturday night? Couldn’t they make more from TV on a Saturday night? There’s just far more moolah to be made in this country on Saturday night all the way around. It’s really, really, really, really hard to believe that the National Football League, of all human institutions, would not seize an opportunity to make one more dollar.
So maybe it really is that traditionalists don’t want change. The NFL has probably at least informally polled former players on the question, and undoubtedly almost all of them say no, we play on Sunday. Period. Of course, this is nonsense, too. Football is played every week of the season on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays. They used to toss in a few games on Saturdays after the college season ended, in December. Maybe they have something against Saturdays.
It’s stupid. I have a nice setup for watching a game. A really big TV, two couches, right smack in front of the fireplace. And now I even have a big dog. I’d like to have a few friends over and get a little loose (or, as Evelyn Waugh used to put it, confusingly, tight). But I’m not gonna do it on a Sunday. I just don’t feel like partying on Sunday. I realize others do. But I feel pretty certain that even they would much prefer a Saturday.
NFL, get your sheetrock together. You’re breaking tradition this year by playing outside in a cold-weather location. I’m all for it. Having broken the space barrier and moved North, now break the time barrier and move to Saturday. You’re going to someday anyway. So please, save yourself time and listen to me.