Quoting Confucius and picking Westmoreland winners, The Birdie’s ready for Week 2

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021 | 4:40 PM


Last week: 8-4 (66.7%)

Season: 16-7 (69.6%)

Waiting for a eureka moment to spark an idea for his next picks column, the Birdie daydreamed out of the window of a coffee shop he likes to frequent but found himself distracted by a nearby Chinese restaurant.

That made him hungry.

But before he could cross the highway to get egg rolls, dim sum and fried rice, the wordy Birdy had to focus on his predictions.

“Lock in,” he said, gritting his teeth.

That was a struggle, though, once the dinner bell rang in his fragile head. All he could think about was the smell of the food, his second and sixth helpings at the buffet and dessert.

His favorite part of the meal is when the check comes; not because he writes off his food as a work expense — “Talkin’ per diem, here,” he quips — but because of the fortune cookies.

“Love those cookies because they tell me a lot about our teams,” Birdie said, reserving a few pennies for the tip jar, and the Mt. Pleasant Penny Court. “And they taste good, too. Most people crack them open but don’t eat them.

“I have been using those little tabs of paper to inspire my picks for years. They rarely let me down. Unlike McDonald’s ice cream machines, these actually work!”

While fortunes can be vague, like Bishop Sycamore, they can be applied to daily life — and local football fowls.

Before he gets to his winners in what looks to be a quality week of games, here are some fortunes, and his thoughts on them:

There is no mistake so great as that of being always right.

“Unless you’re me.”

No snowflake feels responsible in an avalanche.

“Hear that, kickers and punters?”

Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

“So true. When is this column due?”

A cynic is only a frustrated optimist.

“Talking to you, Jeannette fans.”

If you look back, you’ll soon be going that way.

“Football is all about the next game, guys. No negative yardage.”

He who throws dirt is losing ground.

“You can’t rely solely on the running game.”

The road to riches is paved with homework.

“You have to work hard if you want to end up with a job like mine.”

You will be hungry again in one hour. Lucky numbers: 4, 3, 2, 1.

“When’s dinner? Is that a countdown to supper, or to my Week 2 picks?”

Southmoreland (1-1) at Perry (1-0): A Thursday matchup even the Birdie couldn’t draw up, this game will be refreshing for both teams as far as facing an all-new opponent. Therefore, he will have to punt and take the home team in another good one. Southmoreland, 27-21

Penn-Trafford (2-0) at Belle Vernon (1-0): Starting off with what he called his most anticipated regular-season game of 2021, the Birdie is so pumped, he felt like trying the milk-crate challenge again. His casted wing could not comply, so he settled on a dance in the newsroom. He likes Penn-Trafford, but only by a slim margin, because of its line and disciplined style that will keep the Leopards off the field. Penn-Trafford, 21-20

Franklin Regional (1-1) at Hempfield (1-1): These all-local matchups have the Birdie singing from the telephone wires. He loves this matchup, too. But he thinks Franklin Regional has more playmakers. Hempfield will have to make its defensive presence felt. Franklin Regional, 24-21

Kiski Area (2-0) at Latrobe (1-1): More offensive fireworks are in the works here. The Birdie calls for a shootout at Memorial, with the excitement of a Steelers night practice. Latrobe, 40-36

Norwin (1-1) at Connellsville (0-2): Norwin’s improvement offensively is evident, and the Knights will turn it into a road win. The line and special teams will shine through. Norwin, 27-13

Greensburg C.C. (1-1) at Apollo-Ridge (0-2): Old Owens Field is a tough place to play, and GCC is a different opponent for the Vikings. But the Centurions are getting the offense revved up. GCC, 28-14

Greensburg Salem (1-1) at Mt. Pleasant (2-0): Another gem on the Birdie’s wish list. He thinks this might be the best game of them all this week. He likes a big passing touchdown proving to be the difference. Greensburg Salem, 34-31

Jeannette (0-2) at Ligonier Valley (2-0): This was a game the Birdie had circled on his office calendar last year, but, well, 2020 happened. He still likes the matchup, but Ligonier Valley has so much talent back and Jeannette does not. Ligonier Valley, 35-0

Charleroi (0-1) at Monessen (0-2): Monessen is primed to get its first win, but the depth-lacking Greyhounds won’t get it against the Cougars. Charleroi, 15-8

Derry (0-2) at Indiana (1-1): Roughed up by injuries and illness, Derry is looking at a potentially tough season ahead. The Trojans need to get their younger guys some playing time now, so it benefits them later. Indiana, 28-7

Trinity (0-2) at Yough (0-2): Another tough one to pick. Watching film did not strengthen either team’s case. So, the Birdie is going three-and-out on this one, too. He’s taking the higher class team. Trinity, 20-6

More Football

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High school roundup for Sept. 18, 2021: LeFebvre leads Western Beaver past Beaver
5 things we learned in Week 3 of H.S. football: Bishop Canevin joins Class A conversation
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