Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 2.8.21

Today’s edition of Sunburn is a brief one.

That’s because, like my father, Peter J. Schorsch, would argue, the day after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday. Better yet, as our friend David Johnson suggests, the Super Bowl should be played on the Sunday of Presidents Day Weekend.

That’s insane, you say?

Not a bit. It’s already a de facto holiday anyway. The Workforce Institute started tracking work absenteeism on Slumber Monday following Super Sunday and, guess what? People already treat it as a holiday.

For this year’s Super Bowl, the Institute estimated more than 16 million Americans plan to take off today. That’s down from 17.5 million in 2020, but with so many people working at home now, it’s still a significant number.

David Johnson floats a pretty good suggestion about the Super Bowl’s timing.

A possible reason for the reduction is COVID-19 and the campaign against large Super Bowl parties. There have been multiple warnings for weeks about such gatherings’ potential consequences, but we also know that many people will ignore those.

About 4.7 million people say they will call in sick, even though they aren’t. More than half the absent workers say they’re taking a preapproved personal day.

The Institute doesn’t break this information down by location, but it’s a safe bet the absenteeism will be higher in the Tampa Bay area and Kansas City.

Employers may be a little more understanding in these locations.

Even those who do go to work might be a little, um, distracted. When your team is in the big game — or you just watched because it’s the Super Bowl — you have to talk about it on Monday.

And why not?

After months of polarizing water-cooler talk about Donald Trump, stolen elections, and mask mandates, people need a new topic.


Now, if you’ll excuse us, the staff of took Sunday (mostly) off to enjoy the game.

We’ll back in your inbox tonight with Last Call.


Daytona 500 — 6; Dr. Aaron Weiner webinar on mental health in the workplace — 10; ‘Nomadland’ with Frances McDormand — 11; The CW’s ‘Superman & Lois’ premieres — 15; the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference begins — 17; Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, with exhibition games starting — 19; 2021 Legislative Session begins — 22; ‘Coming 2 America’ premieres on Amazon Prime — 25; ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ premieres — 32; 2021 Grammys — 34; Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’ premieres on HBO Max — 38; ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ premieres — 46; MLB Opening Day — 52; ‘No Time to Die’ premieres (rescheduled) — 53; Children’s Gasparilla — 61; Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest — 68; ‘Black Widow’ rescheduled premiere — 88; ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ rescheduled premiere — 144; Disney’s ‘Shang Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings’ premieres — 153; new start date for 2021 Olympics — 165; ‘Jungle Cruise’ premieres — 172; St. Petersburg Primary Election — 197; ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ rescheduled premiere — 221; ‘Dune’ premieres — 235; St. Petersburg Municipal Elections — 267; Disney’s ‘Eternals’ premieres — 270; Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ premieres — 305; ‘Spider-Man Far From Home’ sequel premieres — 312; ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ premieres — 410; ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ premieres — 452; ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ sequel premieres — 606.


Tweet, tweet:

@OhNoSheTwint: They should have a Puppy Bowl equivalent for every sport. Puppy World Series. Puppy NBA Finals. Puppy Wimbledon. The Stanley Pup.

@ChrisTisch1: Judging by photos and videos from last night and early this morning, public health recommendations and orders fell on largely deaf ears the night before the Super Bowl in Tampa.

Tweet, tweet:

Tweet, tweet:

Tweet, tweet:

@Onikuno: If your Army unit was cool … you got a 9 AM work call Monday after the Super Bowl. No PT!

Tweet, tweet:


Nearly half of American sports fans would give up one of their other work holidays to have a day off after Super Bowl Sunday, according to a 2020 survey commissioned by the daily fantasy sports company DraftKings.

The survey, conducted by the polling firm SurveyGizmo, found that more than 40% would rather work Presidents Day, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, or Columbus Day than the Monday after the NFL championship game.

Many Americans would give up workdays to have the Monday after Super Bowl as a federal holiday. Image via AP.

About one in 10 would even prefer to work Christmas or Thanksgiving; even more would give up the Fourth of July, New Year’s Day or Memorial Day.

The poll also found that 45% are more likely to take Super Bowl Monday off if their preferred team wins the game. About three in 10 agreed with the statement, “I have called in sick on short notice after the Super Bowl in the past.”


The day after the Super Bowl costs companies half a billion dollars in productivity” via Forbes — A study from Captivate’s Office Pulse estimates companies will lose $484 million in work productivity on Super Bowl Monday.

16 million employees nationwide say they plan to miss work on the day after the Super Bowl” via Dan Trujillo of WTSP — About 16.1 million U.S. employees may miss work the Monday after Super Bowl LV, according to the annual Super Bowl absenteeism survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute at UKG and conducted online by The Harris Poll among more than 1,000 employed U.S. adults. Of that number, about 8.8 million employees will take a preapproved personal day/PTO this year. That survey found more than two-thirds of U.S. employees (69%) say they would feel guilty pretending to be sick to get out of work on the day after the Super Bowl this year when so many people are actually sick. Still, about 4.4 million employees admit they’re planning to call in sick to work even though they aren’t actually sick.

Sick day: Over 16 million Americans are expected to miss work on Monday. Image via AP.

— “‘Super Bowl Saturday’ would be so much better” via Barstool Sports

— “The Super Bowl should be on Saturday night, duh” via Andy Nesbitt of the USA Today

Flashback — “Roger Goodell explains why the Super Bowl won’t be played on a Saturday anytime soon” via John Breech of CBS — “That [idea] has been around for a long time, people have talked about that,” Goodell said of moving the Super Bowl to a Saturday. “The reason we haven’t done it in the past is simply just from an audience standpoint. The audiences on Sunday night are so much larger. Fans want to have the best opportunity to be able to see the game, and we want to give that to them, so Sunday night is a better night.”

We need this kind of leadership in Florida — “Ready for an official day after Super Bowl holiday? Texas state Rep. Art Fierro proposing just that” — Fierro, an El Paso Democrat, wants to turn “Super Sick Monday,” otherwise known as the day after the Super Bowl — into a statewide holiday. Fierro drafted Texas House Bill 371 to make it so.


David Fincher got his start directing commercials, and now he’s returned to the medium for Anheuser-Busch’s first-ever Super Bowl commercial. As you might expect from Fincher, the commercial looks great. It’s also surprisingly … sweet? I mean, look, we know this is a damn beer commercial, so let’s all try not to get weepy over here. But for Fincher, this is extremely sentimental. The commercial also features music from Atticus Ross, who has co-scored several of Fincher’s movies, along with Trent Reznor.

Watch Fincher’s Super Bowl commercial below:

Some of the other, um, interesting ads (h/t to Protocol):

— A lot of folks seemed to like GM’s electric vehicle commercial starring Will Ferrell. (I liked the concept but thought that, as with too many Ferrell bits, the humor is forced.)

— Amazon gave Alexa a body. A … sexy body?

Fiverr went to Four Seasons Total Landscaping, and thus won the super-topical award. (And we haven’t seen the full ad yet.)

Robinhood wins the ironic-timing award, with an ad about how “we are all investors.”

— Squarespace turned Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5″ into “5 to 9” to promote side-hustle life.


President Joe Biden says China is in for “extreme competition” from the U.S. under his administration, but that the new relationship he wants to forge need not be one of conflict.

In a traditional presidential Super Bowl Sunday interview for CBS, Biden acknowledged he has yet to speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office but noted that the two leaders had met many times when both men served their countries as Vice President.

It was the first network news interview he has given since his inauguration.

“I know him pretty well,” Biden told CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell. When they do speak, they will have “a whole lot to talk about.”

Joe Biden gives his first network news interview since taking office, in what has become a Super Bowl Sunday tradition. Image via CBS News.

Biden described Xi as “very bright” and “very tough” but without “a democratic, small D, bone in his body.”

As for his economic stimulus proposed, Biden also said he believed his push to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour from $7.25 probably have to be removed to meet Senate rules on budget reconciliation.

Biden and his team argue that a big economic package is needed to avoid the mistakes made in 2009 when the Barack Obama administration was unable to get increased support through Congress, resulting in a long, slow recovery after the 2008 financial crisis.


Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is enhancing her team by adding three experienced communications pros.

In the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Communication Office, Natasha Sutherland will serve as deputy director of Communications, María Carolina “Maca” Casado as director of Hispanic Media and Sarah Solomon will be digital director. All three will report to Communications Director Franco Ripple.

“Communicating all the ways in which our department helps keep Florida growing,” Fried said. “Promoting our $137 billion agriculture community, protecting our consumers from scams, fraud and abuse, advocating for energy efficiency and cleaner water, ensuring our children are fed at school, and touching the lives of Floridians every day — is so important.”

Congrats: Nikki Fried boosts her comms team with three pros — Natasha Sutherland, María Carolina “Maca” Casado and Sarah Solomon.

Before coming to FDACS, Sutherland was deputy director of Communications at the Florida House Democratic Caucus and the Minority Leader Office as a Legislative policy analyst. She began her service in the Legislature as a journal editor in the House.

Casado will lead the department’s outreach to statewide Hispanic media, based in Miami. Most recently, she served as regional press secretary for the Joe BidenKamala Harris Florida campaign. Previously, she served as press secretary for former Rep. Donna Shalala’s 2018 campaign, as Hispanic press director for the David Richardson for Congress campaign, and Hispanic press secretary for the Hillary Clinton for America presidential campaign in Florida.

Solomon served as Governance and Media production coordinator at the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and was the multimedia point person on digital, video and social media initiatives. Before that, she was lead videographer and editor at Unique Video Creations in Tallahassee and worked in the Panama City office of former Rep. Gwen Graham providing constituent services, in-district media relations and video. Solomon began her career as a general assignment reporter for WMBB-TV, the ABC affiliate in Panama City.


Happening today — House Minority Co-leader Evan Jenne holds a news conference, 11 a.m. Zoom link here.

Happening today — The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates holds an online event to talk about its opposition to bills attempting to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, 11 a.m. RSVP here.


U.S. Attorney Larry Keefe of the Northern District of Florida has charged a Pensacola man with taking part in the coup at The Capitol. Tristan Chandler Stevens, 25, was arrested Friday in Pensacola and his next court hearing takes place Wednesday.

Also, on today’s Sunrise:

— The number of COVID-19 deaths reported Florida Department of Health was down Sunday compared to the rest of the week — but it’s still in triple digits. There were 1,207 fatalities were reported over the past week and only three other weeks during the pandemic had a weekly death toll exceeded 1,200.

— The Tampa Super Bowl is now history, but it gave Agriculture Commissioner Fried a chance to talk about feeding hungry kids in the Sunshine State. Fried was part of a virtual event on game day called “Taste of the NFL.”

 — A discussion of Marjorie Taylor Greene and the two South Florida lawmakers who led the drive to strip the Georgia Congresswoman of her committee assignments.

— And finally, a Florida Woman is charged with having a three-year affair with a student that began in middle school, and a 75-year-old Florida Man is charged with exposing himself in New Hampshire.

To listen, click on the image below:


Best wishes to U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis.


Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, A.G. Gancarski, Renzo Downey and Drew Wilson.

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