PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA - FEBRUARY 2: The crowd wait for Punxsutawney Phil to come from his den on the 126th annual Groundhog Day festivities on February 2, 2012 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The groundhog saw his shadow, revealing that there would be 6 more weeks of winter. Groundhog Day is a popular tradition in the United States and Canada. A smaller than usual crowd this year of less than 18,000 people spent a night of revelry awaiting the sunrise and the groundhog's exit from his winter den. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his den. Early spring arrives if he does not see his shadow, causing Phil to remain above ground. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

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Every year on February 2nd all the TV talking heads show up in Punxsutawney, PA to witness the weather-prognosticating rodent, Punxsutawney Phil.

People have been buying into this yearly scam since the 18-1900s.

The only good thing about this ridiculous yearly ritual is that it’s one of the few “holidays” that doesn’t lighten my wallet.

There are no Hallmark cards for Groundhog Day. Are there? No special cakes, drinks, food items, or wacky clothing. And with good reason.

No one wants to take money away from a really big retail payday — Valentine’s Day just 12 days later.

Six More Weeks of Winter?

So why do I refer to this somewhat harmless and playful celebration as ridiculous? Am I a modern day “Groundhog Scrooge?” Bah Humbug to you and your little oversized rat?

No, my meaning is clear and simple. If this little furry weatherman/woman sees its shadow then we are saddled with six more weeks of winter.

While that may not be ridiculous in Pennsylvania, it is in Montana.

Because no matter whether Phil sees his shadow or not I can promise you that Montana will not only have six more weeks of winter but probably twelve — if we’re lucky.

Compared to our geographical locations Pennsylvania would be considered a southern state by Montana standards. Phil will more than likely be basking in 60-70 degree weather in mid-April — shadow or not.

We’ll still be scraping our windshields in mid-June.

Some Final Thoughts

We will also be subjected to the endless playing of the “Groundhog Day” movie staring Bill Murray that popularized the day even more.

I guess I shouldn’t be such a “Ground Hog Grinch.” But it’s hard not to want to believe that just maybe grass might start growing and flowers blooming before the Fourth of July.

So I like millions of others will be glued to the tube to find out if those who live in more temperate climates are going to get an early relief from the harsh Eastern winters. Why should they get off easy?

Isn’t there a bounty on groundhogs in some states? Maybe I will head out to PA today.

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