Punxsutawney Phil's day coincides with Super Bowl - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

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.

  • <div style="font-weight:bolder;font-size:22px;">SPORTS <a href ="/Global/category.asp?C=149655" style="font-size:12px;padding-left:220px;">more sports &raquo;</a></div>SportsMore>>

  • Chargers open training season with public practice

    Chargers open training season with public practice

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:19 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:19:29 GMT
    The San Diego Chargers will conduct their first training camp practice for the 2014 season today at Chargers Park, with 88 players expected to participate in a planned two-hour, 10-minute practice, which will be open to the general public. 
    The San Diego Chargers will conduct their first training camp practice for the 2014 season today at Chargers Park, with 88 players expected to participate in a planned two-hour, 10-minute practice, which will be open to the general public. 
  • Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:22 AM EDT2014-07-24 05:22:19 GMT
    Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a... 
    Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new,... 
  • Padres OF Maybin tests positive for amphetamine, suspended 25 games

    Padres OF Maybin tests positive for amphetamine, suspended 25 games

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:02 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:02:54 GMT
    San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin was suspended 25 games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday for testing positive for an amphetamine.Maybin said in a statement distributed through the Major League Baseball Players Association the failed test was the result of a change in the medication he was using to treat Attention Deficit Disorder. 
    San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin was suspended 25 games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday for testing positive for an amphetamine.Maybin said in a statement distributed through the Major League Baseball Players Association the failed test was the result of a change in the medication he was using to treat Attention Deficit Disorder. 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.