Today is a merging of two traditions here in the United States. Will we survive the experience?
Every February 2, we celebrate Groundhog Day. Well, let's be real about this - we humans celebrate it. As for the poor groundhogs who are dragged out of warm burrows by strange fur less creatures who make them look for their shadows (hence "predicting" if there will be six more weeks of winter) I'm sure they aren't celebrating anything.
The most unfortunate groundhog of them all is one Punxsutawney Phil, of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (don't ask), who even gets on national TV. Now, I realize this tradition of using groundhogs (or badgers) to predict the early end of winter (or not) is hundreds of years old. But, according to the records (and P. Phil, or his ancesters, have been doing this since 1887), Phil has been right only 39% of the time.
The groundhog math, actually, is simple.
Groundhog sees shadow = six more weeks of winter.
Groundhog doesn't see shadow =
Last year, in fact, a prosecutor in Ohio sought the death penalty for Phil because he didn't see his shadow, but we got six more weeks of winter anyway.
No Weather Channel job for Phil! Now, can we let the groundhogs sleep?
Nah. And, in fact, P. Phil saw his shadow this morning, so we are in for six more weeks of winter, as if we didn't already know that. With a major storm bearing down on upstate New York for Wednesday, we didn't need a groundhog to tell us.
Meanwhile, Americans are readying themselves for the Super Bowl. This is a national sports event for most Americans - it is the championship game for professional football. For my European and Australian blog buddies, you are probably already aware that "American Football" is not "World Football". I will not be part of the debate on which is "better".
At any rate, what the Superbowl REALLY is about is inviting your family and friends for the following:
1. Watching the game at home, while eating mass quantities of chips, chili, guacamole, seven layer dip, fried chicken wings covered in every kind of glop you can imagine, and foods that are required by law to have a minimum fat content of 75%. And, I suppose, hoping none of them have groundhog as a secret ingredient.
2. Drinking beer.
3. Watching the commercials. Especially, for people like me, watching the commercials.
And this one (which will be cut for the Bowl viewing).
Groundhogs, American Football, puppies and Arnold Schwarzenegger. What more can you want on a Super Day?