Sunday is the national holiday that does not come with a day off although more than 17 million people are expected to take Monday off, the majority calling in sick.

Another 3+ million will come in late, more than 6 million will leave early and when it’s all said and done distractions and absences will cost employers up to $4.4 billion this year.

Super Bowl LIII (53) will be played Sunday in Atlanta’s $1.54 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. by the way Mercedes-Benz paid $324 million for those naming rights.  The New England Patriots will be making their 11th appearance in the game (9 of them with Tom Brady & Bill Belichick) while the Rams are in the Super Bowl for the fourth time…two while calling Los Angeles their home and two when they played in St. Louis.

This game is always a big one, although it’s special when a local team like the Giants or Eagles is in it. Oh, I almost forget the Jets did play and win it in 1969 but it was so long ago it wasn’t even the Super Bowl.  Some 70,000 will be in the stadium while more than 100 million will watch it on CBS with Marlboro High School graduate Jim Nantz and former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo calling the action.

If you’re watching on TV you are likely not alone as 24% of Americans plan to attend a Super Bowl party. The average one is made up of 17 people.  I will watch with my wife Jane. I’m interested in the game and not socializing.

Sunday is a big day for food and drink.  More than 14 tons of chips will be eaten, some dipped in the 8 million pounds of guacamole that will be consumed.  It’s the biggest pizza day of the year. Pizza Hut and Domino’s alone will sell about 30 million slices.   Then there is nearly 1.4 billion chicken wings, 10 million pounds of ribs, plenty of chili and more.  It’s all washed down with over 51 million cases of beer which is why antacid sales will be up by about 20% on Monday.

There’s a new angle this year: legalized sports betting in New Jersey.  About $100 million is expected to be wagered in sportsbooks here, including the William Hill one at Monmouth Park.

There’s also those Super Bowl box pools in offices across the country which will result in many not rooting for the Patriots or the Rams but rather the numbers they have.  With that in mind I think and hope New England will win 30-16.

Enjoy the game. By the way I’ll be here on Monday either way.   `