by Bob Branco
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the significance of Ground Hog Day. As the tradition goes, if the ground hog sees his shadow on the morning of February 2 after he crawls out of his hole, this country will supposedly have 6 more weeks of winter. If there is no shadow, there will be an early spring. For years I’ve listened to television and radio stations make a big deal out of this event while everyone waits in anticipation for the outcome.
Why does society take Ground Hog Day so seriously? When did we decide to depend on a rodent to let us know how the weather is going to be for the next six weeks? Imagine the mad rush to prepare for an early gardening season if Phil the ground hog couldn’t see his shadow. For one thing, there are enough cameras surrounding the ground hog as he leaves his hole, with enough light to cause a shadow no matter what the conditions are.
I suggest we stop paying attention to this special occasion. It’s just a hoax! Since we started keeping weather statistics, the ground hog’s predictions have been wrong 63 percent of the time. However, as long as radio and television outlets, including the weather channel, dramatize the anticipation of Phil coming out of his hole every February 2, I regard this as an insult to all weather forecasters.
Some of you may think this is all in fun. I don’t get where the fun is because there is no factual outcome to what happens around the ground hog’s hole. There is only a 37-percent accuracy rate during this game, therefore, where’s the fun in this? If I invented a concept, and found I was wrong 63 percent of the time, my concept wouldn’t be worth anything anymore. Not that I care one way or the other about Ground Hog Day, but I believe there are many more important issues and events to occupy our time instead of depending on a rodent to be correct about our weather.
About the Author
Bob Branco resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and is a self-published author of four books. He is a community organizer, tutors persons with visual impairments, and has written columns for local and international organizations. Bob’s web site is www.dvorkin.com/robertbranco/.