WHAT DO YOU REALLY KNOW ABOUT GROUNDHOG DAY? 3 MYTHS ABOUT OUR FAVORITE FURRY METEOROLOGIST
Myth 2: Groundhog Day is harmless. Much like humans, most groundhogs don’t like being suddenly jostled out of their sleep. Their frustration often leads to them biting their handlers. For this reason, the handlers usually wear heavy gloves to protect themselves. However, that isn’t always enough of a precaution to ensure everyone’s safety. In 2009, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was bitten through his glove, and subsequent mayor Bill de Blasio dropped his groundhog in 2014. Myth 3: Phil is not the only famous rodent. While Phil is probably the most well-known ground-dwelling meteorologist, he is not the only groundhog with weather predicting abilities. For example, General Beauregard Lee is the weather predictor for the city of Lilburn, Georgia. Staten Island Chuck takes care of the New York territory, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has three groundhogs of its own, which is probably due to its rich Pennsylvania Dutch history. Canada has even started a Groundhog Day tradition with Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia and Balzac Billy in Alberta. Even though Groundhog Day is a holiday based on many myths, it still provides a great time for event-goers all across the world. You might not be able to fully trust Phil’s predictions, but the superstition and mystique associated with this unique and festive day make it one you shouldn’t skip out on.
Despite the fact that most, if not all, meteorologists place little value on a furry marmot’s ability to predict an early spring, the annual tradition of Groundhog Day is still one that millions of people love to celebrate. Because it is based more on folkloric legend than scientific evidence, Groundhog Day is
associated with shams and spoofs of varying degrees. There are many myths regarding the tradition as well as the famous Punxsutawney Phil himself. Myth 1: The predictions are accurate. Many event-goers put a lot of faith in Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions. Unfortunately, he is more likely to be wrong than right. According to studies based on Phil’s predictions and the weather patterns that follow, it seems Phil’s predictions receive an accuracy rate of only 39 percent.
THIS MONTH IN PHILLY SPORTS HISTORY
THE PHILLY SPECIAL
Let’s be honest: There’s only one Philadelphia sports event we could possibly talk about this month. While last year’s big win is still the very recent past, there’s no question it was historic, both for the Eagles and the NFL as a whole. Since Paul has shared his own Super Bowl experience on the cover of this issue, we’ve decided to delve into the game-defining play itself: the Philly Special. It’s a moment forever immortalized in the minds of Eagles fans. Up by only 3 points with 38 seconds left in the first half, coach Doug Pederson was in an agonizing position. It was 4th and goal — a situation where a field goal would normally be a no-brainer. But as countless Super Bowl contenders have proven, if you’re going up against Tom Brady’s Patriots, being up by a few points at halftime means next to nothing. The Eagles knew they needed a touchdown, but how were they going to get it?
shotgun formation, Foles mimed an audible and moved to the right side
of the offensive line. That’s when the ball was snapped directly to running back Corey Clement, who in turn pitched it to tight end Trey Burton as he wheeled right. This left Burton, who had never made a single pass in his entire NFL career, with a clear shot at the play’s intended receiver: Foles himself.
The Patriots hadn’t thought to guard the seemingly out-of-position quarterback, and it cost them dearly. The pass was complete, and the Eagles would go into halftime up by 10. While this trick play wasn’t solely responsible for Philadelphia’s victory, it encapsulates what made the 2017 Eagles champions. Not only were they willing to take risks, completing what has been called the gutsiest play in Super Bowl history, but they did it by using leadership from the field. Pederson trusted his quarterback, and the team followed suit. The result was a play the league will be talking about for decades.
Quarterback Nick Foles had the answer. Approaching Pederson, he asked the now-famous question, “You want Philly Philly?”
“Yeah,” the head coach responded. “Let’s do it.”
The play Foles was referring to took everyone from the Patriots to media sportscasters by complete surprise. Lining up in the
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