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McGuire's Musings: Forget picking on Phil — go drink a Shamrock Shake instead

March 22, 2013

What a busy few weeks it has been since I last took pen to paper or fingers to keyboard — and it seems we are obsessed with the color green.

Here's what been happening: March Madness, Shamrock Shakes and Punxsy Phil has been indicted!

Yeah, this just in, breaking news, our own Punxsy Phil was accused of blowing his prediction of an early spring by a prosecutor in Cincinnati who must have nothing better to do than to indict groundhogs on a wrong prediction of when spring will arrive.

So the heat is on against Phil; he has been charged with misrepresentation of spring, a felony "against the peace and dignity of the state of Ohio," wrote prosecutor Mike Gmoser.

He said "Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early."

One thing he fails to mention is that Ohio's copycat groundhog "Buckeye Chuck" made the identical forecast of an early spring, but Gmoser didn't indict him.

Being the stand-up guy that he is, Bill Deeley, Groundhog Club Inner Circle president, said he would take the blame because he misinterpreted what Phil told him for the last two years.

Deeley said last year, he said it would be six more weeks of winter and, if you recall, it was pretty much spring throughout the entire winter season.

Deeley said that very early spring really didn't work out that well, the way it played havoc with the growing cycle of fruits and veggies.

Thank you, Bill, for falling on your sword to take the heat off of Phil, who has never been wrong.

It was bad intel.

Also, unless you've been on another planet recently, there's this thing that is going around called "bracketology," which is primarily utilized for March Madness and the NCAA men's basketball championship.

It doesn't seem to matter if you have ever watched college basketball or any basketball — almost everyone fills out a bracket and takes a stab at being correct.

Now, what you win depends on how dedicated to your bracket you are.

There are even different opinions on how one should fill out a bracket.
I just click on my computer and let my laptop do my work for me, which is based on my horrible handwriting.

Ever since I've been taking notes on my laptop computer, I have saved many trees from an untimely death.

Zak Lantz, my editor, said he personalizes his bracket by writing in each pick in pen.

Being an Ohio State fan, which doesn't make me too popular around here in Penn State and Pitt country, (although I do root for PITT), I'm not as concerned about my bracket as I am having the Buckeyes go to the championship game.

Some people fill out multiple brackets to see if they can get one right.
Guess what? They're still wrong.

I was thinking — which is dangerous — perhaps I could come up with some other uses for brackets, such as all of those spring chores my wife has planned for me if spring ever does arrive.

You could have cleaning the gutters taking on painting the garage.

Actually, I'm not pulling for either one. I'm not sure what purpose gutters have anyway, beside a place for leaves and other gunk to congregate.

There's also this thing called a Shamrock Shake, which I investigated recently. I'm not sure, but I don't think there were any shamrocks in there.

It was good, so I suppose there doesn't have to be any shamrocks in it to make it good.

Since I seem to be stuck on a theme of spring, I just wanted to take a moment to pay homage to the late John London, "The Big Run Frogman," who had taken me on a guided tour of the swamp in Big Run the home of the "Peeper Frogs," so tiny they are no bigger than your fingernail.

Last week, prior to the Peeper Banquet in Big Run, I was in touch with John's son Jeff, who runs Big Run Carpet now and said, after much thought and encouragement, that he would take over the frog watch for his dad.

So, he and I and his dog Milo made the trek into the swamp where the London family is going to construct a memorial to John and all of his years of listening for the Peeper Frogs.

Jeff said that based on his observations, the Peeper Frogs were not going to have that first look through the glass (ice) to start the spring machine.

Don't let that Cincinnati prosecutor get ahold of this news, or he'll be filing a lawsuit against the "Peeper Frogs" next.

By the way, I'd rather mow grass any day over shoveling snow.

Larry McGuire is a reporter for The Punxsutawney Spirt, an Ohio native and a proud resident of Phil's hometown.

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