Today was groundhog day, when for some reason an rodent is able to tell the future. Today, it appears, that he saw his shadow...meaning six more weeks of winter. This ritual has always interested me. The groundhog seems to have two choices. Six more weeks of winter, or early spring. That's it. Now, six more weeks of winter I can almost understand. That's a definite time frame. Six more weeks means winter will end on March 16. The other option for the groundhog is "early spring." What does that even mean? How do we know if he's right? After all, even March 16 is four days before the official beginning of spring. So, isn't that an early spring? So, if the undefined "spring" comes on March 10, isn't that "earlier spring"? Where's the cut-off?
These sorts of predictions are made all the time in the sporting world. Will the Red Sox miss David Ortiz? Probably, but how will I know? If they miss the playoffs, is it because they missed David Ortiz? What if they miss the playoffs, but the replacement DH goes .300-40-123? What if they make the playoffs, but the replacement DH goes .220-12-36?
I made one of these predictions last year when I said that Hanley Ramirez wouldn't fail. It was a fairly easy prediction to make. But, difficult to define. What is "failure"? Was it just something you'd know when you saw it? Is there a number of home runs that constitute "failure"? Is there some wiggle room? 15 home runs = failure, 16 home runs = success? I don't know what the parameters were. I just know I was right.
Of course, these word in reverse too. Was Trot Nixon overrated? Was JD Drew underrated? Depends. Do we ave a definitive level of "rated" for either of them? I need that in order to know if they were over or under that level.
Naturally, that's part of the fun of these comparisons. There's no right answer. There's no wrong answer. There's just an argument starter. Or, a discussion starter I suppose.
And, that's what talking about sports is all about.
What are some of your favorite "Groundhog Predictions"?
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