Behind the Mic

A Very Bad Winter

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The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

I am an avid viewer of World News Tonight With David Muir.  I TIVO it every night and watch it religiously.  I am beginning to think it is not a good idea.

The stories do not vary much anymore.  There are the horrible numbers associated with Covid in terms of cases, deaths, and economic impact.  The promise of a surge has come to fruition and now there is talk of a “surge upon the surge”.  The Thanksgiving family gatherings are just beginning to show their impact on the already increasing numbers and the Christmas holiday is right around the corner.  That can only mean increased numbers.

Add to the dismal picture of our near future to the nightly stories about the heroic efforts by our medical teams; wildfires in California; heavy rains everywhere but California; families in desperate need of food to feed their families; unemployment; businesses forced to close; and the tragedy of the extraordinarily high number of deaths caused by so many factors.  This list could go on and on. Could 2020 possibly get any worse?

The only “light” at the end of this very dark tunnel is there appears to be vaccines on the way.  But that story is always followed by the one saying that only about 56% of Americans will take the vaccine.  Even some good news is stifled by knowing that around 44% of the population might still be willing to walk around infecting others and themselves rather than take the injection.

Everything right now is so psychologically bleak that I wondered, under normal circumstances in a normal time, what signs in the past would have foreshadowed a bad winter?  I actually found a list generated by Cleveland weatherman Dick Goddard, which was published in 2019.  Here are 10 of the signs on his list:

  1. Woodpeckers sharing a tree.
  2. The early departure of geese and ducks.
  3. The early migration of the Monarch butterfly.
  4. Heavy and numerous fogs during August.
  5. Mice chewing furiously to get into your home.
  6. The early arrival of crickets on the hearth.
  7. Spiders spinning larger-than-usual webs.
  8. Ants marching in a line rather than meandering.
  9. Early seclusion of bees within a hive.
  10. Squirrels gathering nuts early to fortify against a hard winter

I believe I can safely say that all of us would love to watch any one of these stories on the Nightly News, rather than what we are watching now.  Please follow the guidelines; stay safe; and hope for better newscasts.


  1. The following email was sent out this past Friday by the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference:

On Friday, December 4, 2020, The Board of Principals of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference voted (17-1) to further delay the start of the EPC Winter Athletic Competition Schedule to January 15, 2021. This difficult decision was made after review and consideration of additional data and advice relating to the current pandemic from both St. Luke’s University Health Network and The Lehigh Valley Health Network. Revised schedules for winter sports will be released by Friday, December 11th.

This means our high school sports season is on hold until January.

  1. Try to figure this one out – in Ohio, in response to the virus, high school wrestlers will be allowed to wrestle, but at the end of the match, the wrestlers will not be allowed to shake hands.  Now, that should control the spread.
  1. What do the Eagles do now?  After Sunday’s game with the Packers, it seemed obvious that Jalen Hurts outplayed Carson Wentz.  Hurts inserted instant energy into the offense; threw a touchdown pass; and made quicker decisions to run the ball.  Do they bench Wentz?
  1. The Eagles and their fans suffered a double whammy on Sunday when the Giants beat Seattle in Seattle and the Washington Football Team beat the previously undefeated Steelers.  The Giants after starting 0-5 have now won 5 of their last 7.  Head coach Joe Judge has his team playing at a high level and the Giants have taken over first place in the NFC East.  And Washington is getting better each week.  The Eagles are not.
  1. On Thursday night at 8:00pm, I will be interviewing David Bednar, relief pitcher for the San Diego Padres.  Why, you might ask?  He was a member of the Lafayette baseball team, drafted in the 35th round and the 1,044th player chosen.  Only 5% of players drafted after the 21st round ever make the major leagues.  You can watch the interview by going to and signing up.

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 9-6; OVERALL- 122-66-1 – 65%)                  

Baltimore – Tuesday

New England




Tampa Bay


Kansas City




Green Bay

San Francisco


New Orleans