Every February 2nd in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, a groundhog named Phil pops out of a hole to determine the weather for the next six weeks. If it’s sunny, then Phil is “scared” back into his hole for 6 more weeks of winter. If it’s cloudy, an early arrival of spring will arrive upon our country. The tradition is as crazy as the jerseys that trainer Dan “Beaker” Stuck designed.
With a snow day on the front and a sunny on the back, Punxsutawney Phil could be found on each side along with the socks. “We did something different,” said Stuck. “Who else in Pennsylvania is going to do a Groundhog’s Day jersey or know anything about it? It was an idea that was brought to attention to Doug (Yingst), and here we are, Groundhog’s Day jerseys.
“I just wanted the Groundhog seeing his shadow on the front and on the back not seeing his shadow. It’s a 50/50 chance of six weeks of winter or sunshine. Thank goodness the sunshine is in the back and that’s what Norfolk saw the whole time.”
To the players, it was mostly a surprise when they came to Giant Center today. “They had no idea. These guys were like ‘What the heck is Groundhog’s Day?’ It was definitely unique.”
Germany native Philipp Grubauer’s reaction to jerseys dedicated to the Pennsylvania German tradition was the common reaction to the jerseys from teammates. “(They were) different,” he said with a smile. The netminder suggested that they be worn “every Groundhog’s Day”.