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Happy Groundhog Day!

Matt Rogge
February 02, 2016

Dear Phil,

It’s not because you’re a rodent. I just want to get that out there right away. Rodents are an integral part of the ecosystem. Some of my best friends are rodents. And rodents are delicious. So I’m all about rodents.

This is about you, Phil. You’ve set a poor example for small, ground-dwelling mammals everywhere. Given the national spotlight, you have chosen to play the imbecile. Every year, some buffoonish mayor in a tailcoat pulls you from a box, and you just hang there looking dumb. That is unacceptable.

And that’s why I’m asking you to allow me to take your place this year in Punxsutawney. Yes, I know it’s called Groundhog Day. But humans are idiots. They won’t know I’m a Badger until it’s too late. When I’m pulled from the box, I’ll do my very best to tear off the mayor’s face and remove half his entrails.

Maybe that’s a little graphic for your sensitive nature, Phil. But I’m a Badger, and that’s what happens when you grab hold of a Badger’s nape.

Small, ground-dwelling mammals everywhere need this show of pride, this exhibition of ferocity, and I’m the right guy for the job. Badgers are fighters and doers. Groundhogs nibble grass on the edges of golf courses and then wander into the road to be squashed by minivans. Badgers are intelligent and cunning. Groundhogs are just happy that someone would have a special day for them. Badgers scheme. Groundhogs dream.

Give me this opportunity, Phil. You’ve wasted yours, time and again, so now it’s time to turn over the reins. The mayor smackdown will blow up Twitter, crash Facebook, and melt YouTube. Yes, this would necessarily be a one-year run. You can reclaim the spotlight in 2017.

But this year, with all the problems in the world, small, ground-dwelling mammals are looking for a leader. When that mayor reaches into the little box and proffers the prognosticator, the world will be certain of just one thing: this is the Year of the Badger.

On, Wisconsin!

Bucky Badger ’48
Vice Chancellor of Spirit
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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