Before watching Westmoreland County football, The Birdie watches what he eats

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021 | 4:59 PM


Last week: 7-4 (63.6 %)

Season: 23-11 (67.6 %)

As most of you know by now, the Birdie is not really a bird. He is living, breathing, football-picking human with a big heart.

“And a head to match,” a face-masked scoretaker mumbles from across the office.

The cock-of-the-walk Birdie does not retort because he believes trash talk is for the field.

“And free halftime eats are for the press box,” he said.

Another column about food?

“Why not?” he adds. “I was a pedestrian 7-4 last week. Pathetic by my standards. Heard Hempfield called me out. As for Belle Vernon, Kiski Area and Monessen, you’re welcome. Hey Spartans, keep feeding Caesar.

A recent informational web video grabbed the Westmoreland pigskin expert’s attention. He can’t stop watching it.

“These so-called experts said you can lose 36 minutes from your life for each hot dog you eat,” Birdie said. “A double cheeseburger supposedly can cost you eight minutes off the old ticker, a slice of pizza pie seven minutes, and a few slabs of crispy bacon six minutes.”

From what he can tell through hours of addition, subtraction, multiplication and Gardner Point-tracking, he thinks in his decades of covering high school football — and hundreds of halftimes gorging— he has lost … drum roll … “About three regular seasons.”

“Notice I didn’t mention playoffs,” Birdie said. “I never miss the playoffs.”

The video goes on to say foods like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, salmon and avocados can add time to your life.

To compensate, the Birdie is on a diet, one that he claims carries more guarantees than T.J. Watt’s contract.

“Peanut butter, jelly, banana, salmon and avocado sammiches,” he said. “I have eaten six a day since the video. The experts didn’t warn me about the taste, but who cares? I’m going to live forever. More football for me!”

Now, before he turns any more stomachs, the Birdie’s take on Week 3:

Hempfield (2-1) at Seneca Valley (2-1): Hempfield’s running game keeps improving and the Spartans will keep grinding out yards again this week. Hempfield, 21-14

Norwin (2-1) at Central Catholic (2-1): Can Norwin hang with the Vikings? Yes. But defensively, not many teams rush the passer and tackle like Central. Central Catholic, 35-21

Belle Vernon (2-0) at West Mifflin (1-2): The Leopards will play the second of just three road games but will bring the fireworks. Behold, that defense. Belle Vernon, 42-6

Greensburg Salem (2-1) at Knoch (1-2): Last year, Greensburg Salem had to grind out a victory against the Knights to win their 700th game. It won’t be as tough this time. Greensburg Salem, 22-13

Deer Lakes (0-3) at Derry (0-3): Neither team has done much offensively, but Deer Lakes has moved the ball more effectively. Deer Lakes, 16-6

South Allegheny (0-3) at Southmoreland (2-1): The Scotties have some bounce in their step and confidence in their playmakers. The Birdie likes their swagger. Southmoreland, 35-13

South Park (0-2) at Yough (0-3): Neither team had scored a point for the longest time, but the Birdie thinks the end zones will have some cracks in them this week. South Park, 18-8

Imani Christian (1-1) at Greensburg CC (2-1): Special teams will pave the way for short fields, and the Centurions will capitalize. GCC, 29-13

Riverview (0-1) at Jeannette (0-3): The Birdie thought Jeannette could win two games and this was one of them. But injuries have changed his thinking. There’s a chance, but … Riverview, 8-6

Monessen (1-2) at Bentworth (1-1): Monessen is hanging in there with low roster numbers, but the Greyhounds have not been consistent on scoring drives. Bentworth, 14-8

Peters Township (2-1) at Penn-Trafford (2-1): The Birdie can’t call this a rivalry because Peters has won so much. This week, the tide turns. Penn-Trafford, 24-17

Mt. Pleasant (2-1) at Latrobe (1-2): When Latrobe lost its starting quarterback, the Birdie said this matchup lost some luster. But he still thinks the atmosphere will be electric. Latrobe, 28-14

Fox Chapel (1-2) at Franklin Regional (1-2): If Franklin Regional can piece together a game where it excels in all three phases, watch out. This could be the week. Franklin Regional, 27-7

Frazier (0-3) at Ligonier Valley (3-0): Ligonier Valley is quietly going to be 4-0. Seniors mean everything to this team. Ligonier Valley, 42-12

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