Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

January 30, 2014

Around the Town: Get ready for Super Bowl and Groundhog Day

By Jan Boston Sellers
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — A couple of unusual occurrences are slated to take place Sunday: the Super Bowl and Groundhog Day both fall on Feb. 2. The other first? The Super Bowl will be played in a cold weather city. The location of Sunday’s game in East Rutherford, NJ, forced organizers to say if inclement weather arrives, the game may have to be delayed. As of press time, however, game time temperatures were scheduled to be in the high 30s.

The Super Bowl of 2014 will feature the Denver Broncos, led by former University of Tennessee Quarterback Peyton Manning, and the Seattle Seahawks. There are so many Broncos fans in Tennessee for this weekend’s game that special shirts with the state of Tennessee’s outline and a bronco’s helmet in the center were actually being sold online. The game will feature Grammy Award winner Bruno Mars in the half time show, as well as a slew of commercials created just for the big night.

Ironically, old Punxsutawney Phil is just about three hundred miles away and is expected to surface earlier in the day prior to the kick off of the Super Bowl. He, I guess you could say, is the pre-game show. It is the 48th installment of the Super Bowl and the 128th time old Phil is scheduled to look for a shadow. Speaking of Phil, here are some interesting fun facts about the weather-predicting groundhog:

1. His predictions are correct 100 percent of the time according to his expert team.

2. There has been only one Phil in all of the 128 years.

3. If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of bad weather.

4. His longevity comes from drinking the “elixir” of life.

5. He is the only true weather-predicting groundhog.

6.  The celebration began with early Pennsylvania settlers in the 1880s.

7. He lives in a burrow on Gobbler’s Knob. He speaks in Groundhogese, a language only understood by the current president of his inner circle. His proclamation is then translated for the world.

Phil may garner just as much attention this year as the Super Bowl after the winter we have had thus far. A lot of Americans may be more interested in the outcome of Phil’s venture than the Super Bowl’s. Since the Christmas holidays, Cumberland County School students have yet to attend a full week of school as snow and cold temperatures have forced school officials to close schools.

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Speaking of bad weather, the weather has wreaked havoc on the Red Cross blood drives across the state. More than 280 blood drives across 25 states have been canceled due to harsh weather conditions. The Red Cross has organized a blood drive here in Cumberland County for Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Cumberland County Community Complex on 1398 Livingston Rd. Donation hours are noon until 6 p.m.

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Congratulations to CCHS Jet and Lady Jet basketball players Logan Parsons and Rebekah Teeple. The two were named 2014 basketball homecoming king and queen during Jet homecoming festivities.