Millions Will Call In Sick After the Super Bowl: Here’s Why That’s a Bad Move

Diana Grytsku /

Although Super Bowl celebrations may be scaled down this year as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Feb. 7, that probably won’t stop many football fans from partaking in the heavy drinking and junk food eating that are typically par for the course for the annual sports event. The Super Bowl “tends to be a time for poor decision-making, poor self-control and over-indulgence when it comes to food and alcohol consumption,” Dr. Hanh Le, senior director of medical affairs at, told CBS Sports. That often leads to revelers feeling less-than-great on the Monday that follows, which means many American workers will call in sick.

Find Out: Companies That Traditionally Spend the Most Money on Super Bowl Sunday

In 2020, 17.5 million Americans reported that they planned to miss work the day after the Super Bowl, according to a survey conducted by the Workforce Institute at Kronos and The Harris Poll. But before you become one of the millions who will skip work on “Super Sick Monday,” consider these reasons why that may not be the best idea.

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Read: Should Employers Require Workers To Take Time Off?

You’re Putting Your Job in Jeopardy

Not every sick day should be seen as getting out of work by an employer, but there are certain events, like Super Bowl Sunday, that make the proximity to your sick day a wee bit suspicious. For the most part, it’s impossible for your employer to really know whether you’re sick or not. But if you’re calling in because you need to emotionally recover after your team loses, you might want to lay low for the day.

Your manager would have grounds to fire you should they discover your absenteeism. And it’s no wonder the Monday after is a hard time for employers to weather. Super Bowl 2020 was expected to potentially cost businesses $620 million in lost productivity, according to a study conducted by Office Pulse.

Know: 6 Career Mistakes To Avoid During an Economic Downturn

You’re Wasting a Sick Day

This might seem obvious, but why not save that sick day for when you’re actually sick? Individual policies vary, but not a lot of people get that many sick days. Then again, not that many people seem to take them. The average rate for absences related to illness or injury was 2.1 in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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However, the Super Bowl is not exactly conducive to a healthy lifestyle. So if you do seriously need a sick day, use it.

Be Careful: Common Ways Smart People Lose Their Jobs

You Might Have Bigger Problems

Look, no one’s judging — except your employer, obviously — and you can live your life the way you think it’s meant to be lived. But if you find yourself calling in sick over a sports game, particularly when that reason involves a hangover, it might be time to look at the other issues here and deal with them.

Read: The Cost of Super Bowl Commercials Over the Years

Will You Call In Sick After the Super Bowl?

Some other things to consider when calling in sick on Feb. 8 are your co-workers’ workloads, your manager’s perception of you and the work opportunities you could be missing. Calling in sick is probably not the savviest idea even under ideal circumstances, but the silver lining is that you’ll have the solidarity of millions who plan to do the same.

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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.

Last updated: Feb. 5, 2021

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About the Author

Sean joined the GOBankingRates team in 2018, bringing with him several years of experience with both military and collegiate writing and editing experience. Sean’s first foray into writing happened when he enlisted in the Marines, with the occupational specialty of combat correspondent. He covered military affairs both in garrison and internationally when he deployed to Afghanistan. After finishing his enlistment, he completed his BA in English at UC Berkeley, eventually moving to Southern California.
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