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We're Celebrating The Wrong Groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil is Historically Terrible At Predicting The Weather

I'm paraphrasing here, but long story short, on February 2, 1887 a magical groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil emerged from a hole in the ground at a place called Gobbler's Knob (bonk). For some reason, they came to the conclusion that if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, then spring will arrive early. The world was so enthralled by this weather predicting groundhog, that they turned it into an annual thing. Now, and for the rest of eternity, on February 2nd, men dressed as Mr. Peanut gather around the hole at Gobbler's Knob and hold a ceremony for the groundhog. 

Alex Wong. Getty Images.

Unfortunately, when it comes to predicting the weather accurately, Punxsutawney Phil is a heaping pile of dog shit. He is quite literally worse at weather predicting than a coin. For anybody who wants to get into the weather predicting business, it would be mathematically harder to be worse than Phil. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, Phil predicts the weather correctly 39% of the time. If you faded Phil's picks, you would be rich. He's the Rico Bosco of weather predicting groundhogs. He will never be replaced. He has a lifetime contract.

"But eventually he'll have to die right?"... Nope… He's an eternal groundhog.

Your Erie - “The magic elixir is something super secret, it’s been handed down from handler to handler through the years, it’s a concoction of a lot of different herbs and spices and some super secret formulas that only the handler knows,” Thomas Dunkel, President of the Punxsutawney Groundhog club, said.

While it keeps Phil alive and ready to make his yearly predictions, he only drinks it once a year at the Groundhog Picnic.

On the first Saturday in September, Phil drinks the elixir, adding another seven years to his life for every drink he takes.

“Take Phil down to the stage down by the stump and in a barrel, we have the elixir in and he’ll drink from the barrel and it gives him seven years of longevity for every drink that he swallows,” Dunkel said.

We're celebrating a 137 year old eternal fraud. I'm not advocating for groundhog murder, but maybe we should send him away to a retirement hole. He's worked (albeit poorly) for long enough. He shouldn't have to worry about seeing his shadow, or being fondled by a man in a top hat once a year. 

The city of Punxsutawney should really consider scrapping their groundhog program all together. There's no longer a need for it. Because a few hundred miles to the east there is a groundhog named Staten Island Chuck. Staten Island Chuck is the groundhog who deserves our attention. Staten Island Chuck predicts weather at an 80% clip. He's hit his last 13 out of 13 springs. Chuck knows what the fuck he's doing. 

And I know what you're thinking, "Wasn't Staten Island Chuck brutally murdered in 2014 by Mayor Bill DeBlasio." I thought the same thing. But apparently that was an animal named Charlotte, who was maybe a hedgehog (?), and was merely filling in for Chuck. They must have forgotten to give Charlotte the magic elixir.

We're celebrating the wrong groundhog. Punxsutawney Phil is objectively terrible at his job. Staten Island Chuck is objectively good. The high in New York City all next week is in the 50's, and Phil just predicted a long winter. He's already wrong. Phil gets all the praise, while Chuck just puts his head down and goes to work.