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It Is With A Heavy Heart That I Announce Punxsutawney Phil's Groundhog Day Festivities Will Take Place Virtually With No Crowd Due To COVID-19

Barry Reeger. Shutterstock Images.

USA TODAY- It's that time of year … again. Punxsutawney Phil, the world's most famous groundhog, will be coaxed from his burrow in western Pennsylvania early Tuesday as a pandemic-stressed nation watches to find out whether we'll have an early spring or six more weeks of cold and snow.

As with everything else during the pandemic, the ceremony will be different this year: "There will not be any in-person attendance or guests on the grounds as the potential COVID risks to overcome are too great," the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club said in a statement. The event will be streamed live on Groundhog.org. 

Oh, so coronavirus completely altered yet another long-standing tradition?

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I get that there's a pandemic gripping this country by the balls, but tomorrow is your day to shine Phil! This world needs Spring to come earlier more than it ever has in my entire life and that has nothing to do with Old Man Winter shitting snow all over the Northeast today. 

You may not be able to read, but based on Twitter everyone that hasn't already lost their minds from living online over the last year is about to lose their minds if they have to stay cooped up at home for an extra 6 weeks. Spring, or at least the promise of spring, is the only thing that can smash the pressure valve in everybody's medulla oblangata and since Major League Baseball is still run by Rob Manfred, I don't expect them to have Spring Training begin on time to at least trick our brains into thinking Spring has almost sprung.

I can understand why Staten Island Chuck is taking the remote day since one of his brethren was murdered by the city's mayor once upon a time.

But Groundhog Day just hits different in Punxsutawney. Not because Phil is better or even decent at predicting the future. In fact he kiiiiiinda stinks at it.

However, the true stars of the show are the weirdos that spend their entire days cheering and dancing and translating what a giant rodent says about his shadow.

To be clear, I would love to one day be blackout drunk at the crack ass of dawn to participate in that tomfoolery in person and completely understand how embarrassing it would be for humanity if that became a superspreader event. So until next year, all I ask is that Punxsutawney P comes up big in the clutch unlike Playoff P and ignores anything that even resembles his shadow because we need the mercury in the thermometer to raise ASAP.

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