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Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil proclaims Super Bowl victory

Monday, February 2nd 2009, 8:14 AM

The crowd that bundled up in freezing temperatures to see Punxsutawney's beloved groundhog Monday had something to celebrate -- but not good news about the weather.

''After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers, Phil proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were world champions one more time,'' said the announcer at the annual event, as Punxsutawney Phil -- the most famous groundhog in the world -- gazed out at the cheering crowd.

''And as he looked, 'a bright sky above me showed my shadow beside me. So six more weeks of winter it will be.' Oh, woe is us. Woe is us!''

''Check again, Phil!'' yelled someone in the crowd, as temperatures were in the 20's.

Punxsutawney is about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

While the town hosts the best known Groundhog Day event, there are other similar celebrations featuring fellow groundhogs Gen. Beauregard Lee in Georgia, Buckeye Chuck in Ohio, and Staten Island Chuck in New York.

''Punxsutawney Phil is the only true weather forecasting groundhog. The others are just impostors,'' the official Punxsutawney Groundhog Club proclaims on its Web site, adding that for 120 years there has been only one Phil who gets his longevity from drinking a secret recipe for ''the elixir of life.''

The Feb. 2 Groundhog Day is a U.S. tradition that traces back to Europe's Candelmas Day. Germans who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s brought the custom with them.

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