Punxsutawney Phil's day coincides with Super Bowl - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Punxsutawney Phil's day coincides with Super Bowl

Posted: Updated:
In a Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 photo, Groundhog Club co-handler Ron Ploucha holds the weather predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, after the club said Phil did not see his shadow and there will be an early spring, on Groundhog Day, in Punxsutawney, Pa. In a Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 photo, Groundhog Club co-handler Ron Ploucha holds the weather predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, after the club said Phil did not see his shadow and there will be an early spring, on Groundhog Day, in Punxsutawney, Pa.

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — Groundhog Day coincides with the Super Bowl for the first time, but Punxsutawney Phil's peeps don't expect the big game to steal his early morning spotlight.

Rather, the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club expects about 20,000 revelers to gather around Gobbler's Knob when western Pennsylvania's world-famous rodent emerges from his lair just after dawn Sunday to "predict" the weather, said executive director Katie Donald.

"We really don't think it will be too much of a factor for us because Phil does his prognostication so early in the morning and people have all day to get to wherever they're going to watch it that evening," McDonald said.

The closest the game has come to coinciding with Groundhog Day was in 2009, when the just-down-the-road Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in the Super Bowl, the night before Phil's forecast.

Sunday night's game featuring the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., will be the Super Bowl's 48th installment, while Phil has been predicting the weather since 1886.

Legend has it that if the animal sees his shadow, winter will last for six weeks. If cloudy conditions prevent that, an early spring is forecast.

Phil has now seen his shadow 100 times and hasn't seen it just 17 times, according to the Groundhog Club's Inner Circle, the top-hatted gents who handle the animal and translate his forecast. There are no records from many of the early years.

The folksy celebration typically attracts about 10,000 revelers when it falls on a weekday, but organizers expect twice as many to attend the weekend event. Groundhog-related festivities begin Friday in the borough about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh and continue all weekend.

The tradition is rooted in a German superstition that says if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on Feb. 2, the Christian holiday of Candlemas, winter will last six more weeks.

The National Weather Service is forecasting typical weather for this time of year, an overcast day with a high temperature of 31 degrees and a low of 19, which is expected about the time Phil emerges for his prediction.

Last year, a prosecutor from neighboring Ohio light-heartedly filed a criminal indictment against Phil for fraudulently predicting an early spring.

Phil's handlers, the Inner Circle, took the blame, saying they mistranslated his forecast, so the prosecutor relented with a pardon. In actuality, the forecast is about as real as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy; the Inner Circle conjures up the prediction in advance and only pretends to receive it from the animal.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • SportsMore>>

  • CBS 8 Bracket Buster Contest

    CBS 8 Bracket Buster Contest

    Welcome to CBS 8 Bracket Buster Contest! Make your bracket picks before the start of the tournament and play along!

     

    Welcome to CBS 8 Bracket Buster Contest! Make your bracket picks before the start of the tournament and play along!

     
  • San Diego Padres fans excited for opening day

    San Diego Padres fans excited for opening day

    Monday, March 25 2019 9:31 PM EDT2019-03-26 01:31:49 GMT

    The excitement is building for San Diego Padres fans as opening day approaches. Thursday’s game against the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park is officially sold out which means a lot of San Diegans will be playing hooky from work to watch Manny Machado take the field for the first time in a Padres uniform. 

     

    The excitement is building for San Diego Padres fans as opening day approaches. Thursday’s game against the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park is officially sold out which means a lot of San Diegans will be playing hooky from work to watch Manny Machado take the field for the first time in a Padres uniform. 

     
  • Williamson, Duke survive UCF's late misses, reach Sweet 16

    Williamson, Duke survive UCF's late misses, reach Sweet 16

    Sunday, March 24 2019 8:01 PM EDT2019-03-25 00:01:24 GMT
    Monday, March 25 2019 9:02 PM EDT2019-03-26 01:02:37 GMT
    (AP Photo/Sean Rayford). Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles the ball against Central Florida during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Columbia, S.C.(AP Photo/Sean Rayford). Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles the ball against Central Florida during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Columbia, S.C.
    (AP Photo/Sean Rayford). Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles the ball against Central Florida during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Columbia, S.C.(AP Photo/Sean Rayford). Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles the ball against Central Florida during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Columbia, S.C.
    Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett rallied Duke from three points down with 45 seconds left as the top-seeded Blue Devils defeated ninth-seeded UCF 77-76 to reach the Sweet 16 on Sunday. 
    Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett rallied Duke from three points down with 45 seconds left as the top-seeded Blue Devils defeated ninth-seeded UCF 77-76 to reach the Sweet 16 on Sunday. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.