It’s time to say goodbye to the groundhog

Olivia Rechtorik, Multimedia Editor

This morning, Punxsutawney Phil was raised high and cast his shadow over a crowd of thousands, meaning he predicted six more weeks of winter. 

The idea of a groundhog declaring six more weeks of winter or an early spring is just ridiculous, especially considering how wrong Phil in particular tends to be. Unsurprisingly, Phil has an all-time accuracy rate of 39 percent, according to the Stormfax Almanac

Since Phil is a Pennsylvania native, other candidates like Gus the Groundhog, the mascot for the Pennsylvania lottery, should probably be considered as a replacement. Despite Gus being a takeoff of Phil himself, he’s just more likable and most importantly — he’s not a real groundhog.

Every day of the year, despite the tradition of Groundhog Day, Phil is left in a manmade burrow connected to the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, where visitors can see him through a viewing window. This, needless to say, is not natural for a wild animal.

A few other states have had clones of Phil, like Staten Island’s very own Chuck or New Jersey’s Milltown Mell. Some copycats even exist in Canada. This begs the question: Which one can be trusted?

Mell even passed away shortly before his big day in 2022, leaving people with no idea of what weather to expect. Yet Phil’s handlers claim he’s been alive since the first Groundhog Day celebration in 1887 due to an “elixir of life” that makes him immortal.

This magic potion is given to him by his “Inner Circle” of members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, all of whom wear strangely formal clothing like top hats and tuxedos. That speaks for itself.

Groundhogs are known to have a keen sense of sight, smell, and hearing – not for their weather-predicting ability. Phil should just stick to burrowing like every other groundhog.