Monday Has Become An Unofficial Holiday

OHIO - Monday has become an unofficial holiday with governments moving meetings, high schools rescheduling basketball games and workers taking vacation days or testing flex time policies to avoid missing the national title match between No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Florida.

"Anybody who didn't change for this game might need a little psychological exam," said Donald Jenkins, a trustee for Bath Township in northeast Ohio. The board met Thursday instead of Monday.

City councils in Gahanna and Reynoldsburg near Columbus canceled their Monday meetings so as not to miss the 8:30 p.m. kickoff. Other local governments and school boards moved start times a few hours earlier or rescheduled for the next day.

"Missing out is hard for sports fans, because sports are a shared social experience," said Kirk Wakefield, who studies sports fan behavior at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. "If you missed the game and your friends are talking about a great play, you're an outcast; you're left out of the dialogue."

Akron City Council did not budge from its 7 p.m. Monday meeting. President Marco Sommerville predicted members and the public will get home on time.

"We're going to stick to the plan and not have much debating," he said. "The city comes first. But we should be fine and after we're done, we can watch the game."

Warren City Schools in northeast Ohio completely bucked the trend. Because of a conflict for one member on Tuesday, the school board earlier voted to move their annual organizational meeting to Monday - forgetting about the big game.

"We are all kicking ourselves, but we have business to attend to, so we will be there," member Linda Metzendorf said.

Plenty of Ohio workers are on vacation, with so many having traveled to Arizona for the game, and those left behind are trying to adjust schedules to make sure they can watch it on television.

Kathryn Stough said she will employ the federal government's flexible work schedule policy, leaving early from the Defense Supply Center in Columbus on Monday and going in late on Tuesday, after taking "a couple of Excedrin to ward off those nasty post-game headaches."

Some businesses are trying to find a way to still get work done. Honda Motor Co. has said it will broadcast the game on closed-circuit televisions usually reserved for news and weather reports for second-shift workers at its Marysville plant.

Not everyone gets a break. Time Warner Cable has scheduled extra workers in central Ohio to make sure service doesn't get interrupted during the game.

-Associated Press