INDIANAPOLIS — NFL football is synonymous with Sunday, but what if the biggest game of the year didn’t have to happen on Sunday? What if millions of viewers could enjoy the game without glancing at the clock and worrying about getting to bed in time for work?
Well, one high schooler has had enough. Casting aside the shackles of tradition, 18-year-old Frank Ruggeri of Palm Bay, Florida, has started a movement. A movement that is gaining steam. Changing Super Bowl Sunday to Super Bowl Saturday.
“I believe it’s a change that would benefit everyone,” one comment said.
“Either move it to Saturday or make the Monday after a federal holiday,” said another.
“It just makes sense to have the game on a Saturday.”
Ruggeri took his plea to television on Thursday, appearing on NewsNation’s Morning in America.
“It’s really, really important to me is because 17.2 million people miss work,” Ruggeri said during his appearance. “That’s 44 billion dollars less of productivity.”
But what about that tradition of Sunday games? NFL games have historically been played on Sundays because of the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961. The act was initially created to prevent the professional football league from competing with college football games, which are played on Saturdays.
But with college football long over, the NFL is free to move the Super Bowl to any day of the week. NFL Playoff games have used this freedom to expand to Saturdays and, just last week, even to Monday for the first time ever.
While Ruggeri’s petition may have been started two years ago. His campaign on change.org has continued to find new supporters who also wish for the Super Bowl to pull up stakes and move a day earlier to the start of the weekend. Even now the petition nears 100,000 signatures.
If the NFL will ever budge remains to be seen. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has previously said the potential TV audience is larger on Sundays. But Ruggeri disagrees.
”Commissioner Goodell, there would be more viewership. The people will be watching. Bigger party. And I think the economic impact would be easier to have it on a Saturday,” the high school senior said.
While the NFL moving the Super Bowl seems unlikely, Ruggeri’s petition gives the viewing audience a chance to weigh in and ask themselves what viewing experience they would prefer if given the choice.