Punxsutawney Phil gets a bad rap and to be frank, I’m up to here with it. Every Groundhog Day it’s the same spiel. People say the holiday is pointless. They say Phil’s no good either. He’s washed up. He can’t keep up with the pros over at Weather.com anymore. Enough is enough. This is America’s hardest working marmot, and people talk about him like he’s as useless as the dirt he sleeps on.
Sure, it may seem like his annual work schedule is just one morning in February, but what do you think he’s doing the other 364.5 days? This little guy is working his tail off. Crunching numbers, calculating wind chills and polar vortexes. He’ll write on paper, crumble it up, throw it out, and then write on some more. You know, the whole bit. Weather.com probably doesn’t even know what paper is. And oh, by the way, P. Phil’s been at it since 1887. That’s over two centuries of predicting 1/4 of our four seasons. Take that Weather.com.
Is his success rate less than 40%? Yeah. Could we flip a coin each year and get a better result? The law of averages would say, “Yeah, that’s the way the law of averages works.” But all of that nonsense is as irrelevant as saying the Fourth of July’s Uncle Sam looks a lot like Uncle Scrooge, who is British i.e. not American.
The point is to forget about his success rate. Forget about the percentages. Can we all just take a moment to admire Phil’s work ethic and recognize him as the last living holiday mascot? Uncle Sam, Saint Nick, the original Thanksgiving Turkey – they all tapped out years ago. Phil’s been on his grind since the late 19th century and that’s gotta count for something. This will be his 131st year on the job and not once has he complained. Not one peep out of ol’ Phil. Why? Because birds peep. Woodchucks don’t. Woodchucks chuck wood. And would any other woodchuck chuck if they knew the whole nation was counting on them? Probably not. Punxsutawney Phil chucks though. He tunes out the naysayers and he chucks and he predicts. And he will continue to serve countless generations of Americans.
I don’t wanna overstate my point though so for the love of all things holy, here are some memes and pics of our underappreciated and beloved woodchuck.