Saturday, February 02, 2008

Punxsutawney Phil vs. Staten Island Chuck: Battle of the Groundhog All-Stars

Unless you've been hibernating in a hole with a fat, fuzzy rodent-like mammal, you're aware that today is Groundhog Day 2008. The weather-forecaster-in-chief on this day has traditionally been Punxsutawney Phil, the seemingly ageless groundhog holed up in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, so that means we should be in for six more weeks of winter in 2008, if you believe the critter from the Keystone State. In the wise consumer tradition of seeking a second opinion, though, New Yorkers and other folks in the Northeastern U.S. has been checking the viewpoint of Staten Island Chuck, the marmot who makes his home in New York City's "forgotten borough."

Just for the record, Staten Island Chuck predicted an early Spring. So we have a split decision in this year's competition, which I'm calling the Battle of the Groundhog All-Stars.

In the spirit of this year's election, I'd like to see a round of debates between the nation's leading groundhogs, Phil and Chuck, where they can state their cases and present their positions on Winter vs. Spring, and the accuracy of their predictions over the years.

P.S. Punxsutawney Phil's Web site has a series of amusing videos called "Groundhog Duel." It also has all the information you could want about Phil, Punxsutawney, where the town is, and how the groundhog tradition got started. And of course you can view the 2008 Groundhog Day video at the site.

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