March Madness a National Holiday?

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament started today. Instead of sitting at your desk — obsessively checking your ESPN app or trying to watch games on your computer while your boss isn’t looking — wouldn’t it be nice if you could enjoy it at home, on your couch, beer in hand?

SportsCenter wants to make that happen for you. ESPN’s marquee show recently started a petition to make March Madness (the first two days that is) a national holiday, and it’s currently trending on

So far, more than 2,000 people have signed the petition.

The five states with the most signatures are Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, Illinois, and New York. Four of those states have universities seeded in the top 10:  University of Kentucky (4); Michigan State (2); Baylor (5), UT (6), and Texas A&M (3) in Texas; and Syracuse University (10) in New York. Illinois doesn’t have universities in the tournament, but neighboring Indiana has Purdue (5), Notre Dame (6), and Butler (9).

SportsCenter isn’t just citing the prospect of another federal holiday in its petition to President Obama. Even though the President would probably like the day off also (since he’s an avid fan), the petition makes an economic argument:

“The opening weekend of March Madness cost American companies an estimated $1.9 BILLION in wages lost to distraction and unproductivity. More than 60 million Americans fill out brackets, and this petition is for those 60 million as well as the companies that employ them.”

Here’s SportsCenter correspondent (and comedian) Reese Waters to explain further:

People are confirming SportsCenter’s argument that not a lot gets done while the tournament is on in the petition comments (click to expand):

Would you like to see March Madness become a national holiday? Sign the petition and tell us why you need those two days off in the comments.


Here are some other sports petitions that might interest you:

Written by
Mallory A. Russell
March 17, 2016 5:51 pm