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Groundhog Day 2012: Will N.Y. Mayor Bloomberg be bitten again?

February 1, 2012 |  3:57 pm

Groundhog Day 2012 is upon us. (You can almost feel the excitement in the air.) In just a few more hours, the official Groundhog Day ceremonies will begin. Of course we all want to know whether we are in for six more weeks of winter, but the real question on everyone's mind is this: 

Will New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg get bitten again?

What? You've never heard about the infamous encounter between Hizzoner and Staten Island Chuck? We'll recap.

It's Groundhog Day: Pick your groundhog

Staten Island Chuck is a lesser-known groundhog counterpart to Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous groundhog prognosticator in all the land. Staten Island Chuck lives at the Staten Island Zoo, and each year the community rallies around to see its most famous resident throw down his weather prediction.

Bloomberg does the honors. But on Groundhog Day 2009, Staten Island Chuck turned on Bloomberg and nipped him good. It seems the critter did not appreciate the mayor sticking his gloved hand into Chuck's cabin in a bid to coax him out. Bloomberg later used a few choice words to describe the encounter, leading to a flurry of headlines about how he cussed out poor Chuck. (See video above.)

The two will face off again Thursday at 7:30 a.m., according to a Staten Island Live story. And since we're talking about New Yorkers, here's what one of the commentators had to say about the possibility of another nip: "Please do the 'Dracula' on him, Chuck, and go for his neck this year!!"

As Groundhog Day lore and legend has it, if a groundhog ventures from its den and sees a shadow on Feb. 2, that's a sign we're in for six more weeks of harsh winter weather. But if the critter emerges from its den and sees no shadow, that means we can look forward to a mercifully short winter.


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-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch