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Phil under fire: Groundhog Club President Deeley taking the blame

March 22, 2013

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle, Bill Deeley, said it is his fault that Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast might have missed the mark this year.

Punxsy Phil, who is the world’s most famous weather prognosticating groundhog, has been charged with misrepresentation of spring, a felony “against the peace and dignity of the state of Ohio,” according to Cincinnati prosecutor Mike Gmoser.

“Phil did nothing wrong; it was my interpretation of what he told me that is messed up. I totally blew it,” said Deeley, who interprets Phil’s forecast on Feb. 2 through the secret language of Groundhogese.

“I was a hero on Groundhog Day morning when I interpreted Phil’s prediction that spring was on its way,” he said.

Deeley said that he also had it wrong last year when he interpreted six more weeks of winter when, in reality, it was a very mild winter.

Deeley said the attorney from Cincinnati got himself on the map through his claim, adding that he felt the attack on the Prognosticator of Prognosticators may have been a bit harsh.

“I think putting Phil to death is a little extreme. If he (Gmoser) wants to put me to death for misinterpreting what Phil told me, then so be it,” Deeley said, adding that Gmoser had already said the whole thing was tongue-in-cheek.

Deeley said that while he didn’t think it was a good thing that spring didn’t spring so early as it was hoped, the misinterpretation may not have been the worst thing in the world.

“Do you realize the amount of publicity about Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day that we receive every year, even if it is people saying that Phil is wrong?” he said.

“You know what I say? ‘Keep talkin’ about me,’” Deeley said. “I’m the fall guy; I’m the interpreter, and I blew it. It’s not Phil’s fault. I’m the one who misinterpreted his forecast.”

Deeley said that the Punxsutawney Borough Police are keeping a close eye on their monitors to make sure that Phil remains safe in his borough that is located in the Punxsutawney Memorial Library.

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