Super Bowl Monday is business as usual

The day after the big game, millions come to work unfocused and hungover. Some just call in sick.

The big loser? The nation’s economy.

At kickoff on Super Bowl Sunday, more than 90 million Americans tuned in to the festivities in Detroit.

The following morning, however, leaves Super Bowl partygoers feeling far less festive. And for employers focused more on the bottom line than the final score, this leads to a not-so “Super Monday.”

Nearly 1.4 million adults said they planned to call in sick the day after the Super Bowl, according to a survey commissioned before last year’s game by Kronos, a Chelmsford, Mass.-based workforce-management firm.

And that does not include time wasted by employees who do show up but spend all day discussing the game by the water cooler or to reading the sports section of the paper.

Even just a few minutes spent on the pigskin instead of work can add up.

The economic effects of Super Bowl Sunday are well publicized.

For this year’s game, Detroit officials estimate that more than $300 million will be pumped into the local economy-money spent on hotels, food, transportation and other attractions.

Across the nation, more than 20 million Americans will throw a Super Bowl party, and consumers are expected to spend a total of nearly $5.6 billion on everything from food and drinks to entertainment centers and team apparel.

Employees may wake up Monday morning with bad hangovers and bloated stomachs, but the employers who have to deal with absences and low productivity are the ones who end up with the real headaches.

The Seattle (as in the home of the coffee house) Seahawks made their first-ever Super Bowl appearance this year, and Dan Moffat, manager at Dillards braced for at least some post-game disruption. “They show up with the hangover, we give them lots of Starbucks.”

Steven Marks, distribution manager for Coca-Cola, acknowledges the unique circumstances, but expects business as usual from his staff. “As excited as everyone here is, when Monday comes, there will still be a lot of work to be done,” he says.

Some human-resources experts recommend that bosses take a realistic approach when major (and distracting) events come along, to carry favor with employees, rather than fight the tide and end up looking like the proverbial “bad guy.”

Pete Chase, Seahawks fan and office manager at Spherion in Columbia, S.C., knows his employees have waited a long time for the NFL’s biggest game, so he is giving them the green light to live it up on Sunday. “If they come in sometime near the mid-afternoon, I guess it is justified,” he says. “This year they get a late pass.”

Marc Kinley, vice president of nMotion Technologies, is taking things a step further. Rather than face the reality of some employees skipping out on work, Kinley is pushing for legislation that would make the Monday following the Super Bowl a national holiday.

Kinley, along with three friends, launched in August 2005, to petition congress for the new three-day weekend.

The Super Bowl is truly an American holiday says Kinley, who already gives his employees a half workday after the big game.

Contact Kasey Wahrum at