This morning on radio station Q104.3, a discussion was raised about Groundhog Day, specifically, why is it that Punxsatwaney Phil gets all the glamour when New York's own Staten Island Chuck gets the weather right. Phil has a 39% accuracy rate. Chuck is up around 80%.
I have the answer: it's the name.
Face facts: when you think of New York, specifically, when you think of Staten Island, "Chuck" is not the first name to jump out in your mind.
I mean, unless you're a Senator, of course.
To put it bluntly, "Staten Island Chuck" sounds like something on the menu of a second rate steakhouse in Nashville. "I'd like the Staten Island Chuck, medium well, and an Old Milwaukee, please?"
And to be honest, it's New Jersey that eats rodents, not New York.
Our groundhog needs a name with pizzazz. Punxsatawney Phil is a great name for a groundhog from the east of Pennsylvania, near State College (and the esteemed Glen Campbell, PA). You can almost picture him putting on a hard hat for his job at a mill in Aliquippa.
Staten Island Chuck is a guy who owes you money.
So I emailed the station this morning and suggested a name change, a name that reflects not only the grandeur of New York City, not only the diversity and cultural distinctiveness of its boroughs, but is instantly recognizable to billions of people around the world as a "Noo Yawk" name.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "Staten Island Vinnie"!
Now THAT'S a groundhog!