Thursday, February 2, 2012

Once Again To The Groundhog

TigerBlog understands that not every movie made is trying to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. In that vein, he's never understood the complete disdain so many people have for the movie "Groundhog Day."

TB saw it in the movies when it came out in 1993, and he's seen it about a thousand times since. It's a perfectly harmless, funny, at times charming, certainly inoffensive movie, and yet there are so many people who flat out hate it.

As an aside, TigerBlog was always confused as a kid by Groundhog Day, as six weeks after Feb. 2 takes you to March 16 (or March 15 in a leap year), which is still winter. He never quite understood the whole "six more weeks of winter" thing. Shouldn't it be more like 10 more weeks of winter if the point is that figuratively speaking spring will be late to arrive?

So Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning on Gobbler's Knob, with the result being a prediction of six more weeks of winter?

Hey, if the weather wants to be like it was on the day before Groundhog's Day, TigerBlog would be fine with maybe three more months of winter.

And TB was crushed to learn the whole thing is a sham, at least according to this story from Fox News:
Thursday's ceremony is largely that: Phil's prediction is determined ahead of time by the Inner Circle, a group who dons top hats and tuxedos and decides in advance what the groundhog will predict.

Still, what could be better than Groundhog Day, a small-town tradition that has such a great little Americana feel to it. Something wholesome, something that hasn't been ruined by commercialism or lack of civility or any of the other ills of contemporary society.

As Phil Connors said
: This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.

Of course, if Groundhog Day worked the way that college basketball did, then the whole ceremony would be more than just the guys in tuxedos.

Instead, what would happen would be that the guys in tuxedos would grab Phil, listen to what he has to say and then make their announcement.

At that point, the entire ceremony would grind to a halt as three people wearing black and white striped shirts went to a central area and then analyzed a video monitor of the ceremony, trying to determine if there was in fact a shadow or not.

Eventually, after staring at the monitor, the three would then separate themselves from everyone else, probably by putting their arms around each other in some sort of weird group hug.

Then, after concurring in this dynamic for another 30 seconds or so, they would stand back and make their announcement, which regardless of what they say ultimately would have no effect on the weather anyway.

If replay in the NFL is torturous because of the way that it doesn't come close to addressing its original goal of overturning egregiously bad calls, then replay in college basketball if 50 times worse.

Why? Because unless it's a question of whether or not a shot beat the final buzzer, it's worthless. And all it does is 1) give the refs the limelight which they relish and 2) drag games to a halt.

If TB wasn't convinced before that he hates replay in college basketball (except to decide if a shot beat the buzzer), then the men's game at Penn Monday night confirmed it for him.

Twice in the first half, there were questions about the shot clock.

The first came after a Penn shot that didn't hit the rim rolled out of bounds, apparently just before the shot clock expired.

The second came in the second half, when the shot clock reset once after a Penn offensive rebound on another shot that didn't hit the rim.

Had the game been on television, then TB guarantees there would have been long delays as the officials "went to the monitor," destroying the flow of the game in the name of nothing that could possibly impact the game.

Because there was no TV, the refs then did what refs did for decades, and did so with great effectiveness.

Here's what they did:
* in the first instance, they put one second on the clock
* in the second, they decided that there probably should have been 29 seconds on the clock

And then the game went on.

Penn got no shot off the first time, and then it took Penn five seconds to get a shot off the second time.

That's it. No delays. No making the refs bigger than the game. No need for any of it.

Too bad it's not always like that.


Anonymous said...

"Thursday's ceremony is largely that: Phil's prediction is determined ahead of time by the Inner Circle, a group who dons top hats and tuxedos and decides in advance what the groundhog will predict."

Sounds a bit like the BCS

CAZ said...

When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.

CAZ said...

There is no way that this winter is EVER going to end as long as this groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don't see any other way out. He's got to be stopped. And I have to stop him.

CAZ said...

I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster, drank piƱa coladas. At sunset, we made love like sea otters.

That was a pretty good day. Why couldn't I get that day over, and over, and over...

Anonymous said...

Instant replay in the NFL or even college football is potentially extremely valuable because, in any game of 120-160 plays, a small handful will usually determine who wins. Getting the call right on a critical turnover or penalty will literally make more difference than getting a dozen small calls wrong.

So it's plenty worthwhile to use instant replay, even if it's not perfect because there are only a finite number of camera angles. Giving the coaches the opportunity to challenge calls is a fair way to handle it because, if they are willing to burn a time-out, there must be reasonable uncertainty in the original call.

Basketball is different because any individual play can only result in two or three points, a pittance compared to the final score. Getting any given blocking/charging call or turnover call is much less likely to affect the outcome of the game unless it's in the last minutes of play.

Basketball officials should use considerable discretion to avoid halting play for replays in the first three-quarters of any game, only going to the video judiciously as a close contest winds to its finish.

Yeah, I'd like to be stuck in a few of my days over and over again. Coincidentally, they also involve beaches, cocktails and women. Small world. . . .