National holiday

Feb 3, 2013 By Steven R. Peck

Official or not, Sunday fills the bill

Try this idea on for size: The holiday season isn't over yet.

Presidential proclamations and Congressional resolutions notwithstanding, logic builds a case for defining the holiday season as beginning with Halloween and ending with today: Super Bowl Sunday.

This study of the nature of holidays has become something of a holiday tradition in itself, newspaper-wise. (And fear not: the annual extension of the Super Bowl poem is here as well).

First, however, ask yourself what makes a holiday a holiday of national proportions. And what part of Super Bowl Sunday, other than the aforementioned formality from the government, doesn't fill the bill?

Here's another question, and be realistic when you answer. Which day do you anticipate more, Thanksgiving or Super Bowl Sunday? All hail tradition and pumpkin pie, but most of us probably would rate Game Day ahead of Turkey Day, or at least score it a tie.

In fact, for many millions of Americans, Super Bowl Sunday might be awaited just as eagerly as Christmas, and the Monday after can resemble the start of a new year.

The day probably has many more "observers" than Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Presidents Day, and that might go for Memorial Day as well. And unlike, say, Labor Day, there is no doubt about how today's holiday is supposed to be celebrated.

Looking for an altar to gather around, a place to worship? The giant flat-screen TV awaits. And if it's something glorious you seek, it's hard to beat NFL football in high-definition color.

This is more than wise-cracking drivel. Economic and social analysis has shown that more people get together for a specific, common, positive purpose on Super Bowl Sunday than almost any other day of the year. It's a day off work for most of us, and while Super Bowl Sunday isn't the holy day that Easter Sunday is, we all know that many fans invest a measure of devotion and faith into their football teams that bears a strong resemblance to religion.

And Thanksgiving? Just talk to a fan of the winning team on Monday. You'll see lots of thanks being given.

Six years ago we began a decidedly non-literary poem about Super Bowl Sunday. With the big day at hand again, we offer the following update -- with, as always, deepest apologies to actual poets:

There have been 46 Super Bowl games before today, each with a winner -- Packers, Packers, Jets, Chiefs, Colts, Cowboys, Dolphins, Dolphins, Steelers, Steelers, Raiders, Cowboys, Steelers, Steelers, Raiders, Niners, Redskins, Raiders, Niners, Bears, Giants, Redskins, Niners, Niners, Giants, Redskins, Cowboys, Cowboys, Niners, Cowboys, Packers, Broncos, Broncos, Ravens, Patriots, Buccaneers, Patriots, Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Giants, Steelers, Saints, Packers and Giants..

And there have been 46 losers before today as well -- Chiefs, Raiders, Colts, Vikings, Cowboys, Dolphins, Redskins, Vikings, Vikings, Cowboys, Vikings, Broncos, Cowboys, Rams, Eagles, Bengals, Dolphins, Redskins, Dolphins, Patriots, Broncos, Broncos, Bengals, Broncos, Bills, Bills, Bills, Bills, Chargers, Steelers, Patriots, Packers, Falcons, Titans, Giants, Rams, Raiders, Panthers, Eagles, Seahawks, Bears, Patriots, Cardinals, Colts, Steelers and Patriots..

We've seen Lombardi's D, Starr to McGee, Broadway Joe's brash guarantee. Stram the ham, the Unitas watch, Cowboy cool and Garo's botch.

Bradshaw, Swann and Mean Joe Greene, Steelers among best ever seen. San Fran's rise, Miami's fall, Riggo's run was tops of all. Marino bows to Frisco's Joe. A TD for Fridge, but Sweetness? No.

Elway falls three years in four, while Montana takes two trophies more. Norwood's miss a cruel fate, and Bills go on to lose four straight.

Young gets his, and Emmitt, too. Who'll forget Favre's wild yahoo? The Pack was back for one great year. Elway's two wins sealed his career.

Warner's Rams were a sight to see. The Ravens won with crushing D. Tampa Bay sent Oakland down, and Brady's Pats thrice won the crown.

The Steelers rode the Bus to theirs, and then the Colts beat down the Bears. The Giants had been left for dead, but Tyree pinned the ball against his head. The Steelers put 'Zona on the mat, and then the Saints called out 'Who 'Dat?'

In '11 the Packers won another, then Eli passed his famed big brother.

This year the bettors like San Fran, but the Ravens want to spoil that plan.

Forgive the doggerel. Enjoy the game. And happy holiday.

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