Stop bugging The Birdie as he makes his Week Zero picks in A-K Valley football

Wednesday, August 23, 2023 | 6:42 PM

The Birdie

Last season: 99-18 (84.6%)

The Birdie is used to receiving criticism. Comes with the territory.

People don’t like it when he picks against their team.

People think his jokes are stupid.

People shake their fists when he gives their cars an extra hood ornament, to put it as politely as possible.

But when he received a particular type of criticism this week, The Birdie bristled.

He was asked why he doesn’t get off his lazy Birdie backside and do something about this spotted lanternfly invasion. Birds eat bugs, right?

“First of all, ‘birds eat bugs,’ is a hurtful generalization,” Birdie said, climbing his soapbox. “Humans eat animals. I have a pesky groundhog in my backyard. Why don’t you grill him up and eat him on a kaiser roll for lunch?

“Second of all, are you sure they’re not poisonous? Because in grade school, they teach us birds that critters with red coloring often are. And speaking of ‘Poison,’ Bell Biv DeVoe taught us to never trust a big bug and a smile.

“Third of all, let me tell you who you should be mad at. Praying mantises, spiders, snakes, Koi fish. If you’d read a book once in a while, you’d know these are the lanternfly’s natural predators.

“I already have a job. I pick high school football games. What are these slackers doing? Those Koi, all they do is make faces. Spiders and snakes give people nightmares. And they don’t call them “working mantises,” do they?

“Finally, I don’t like Chinese food. After I eat it, I’m hungry again a half-hour later, as opposed to the usual 45 minutes later.”

With that, The Birdie fought off his hunger pangs long enough to make his selections for Week Zero in A-K Valley football.

Plum at Kiski Area: Nicholas Odom scorched the Cavaliers for 200 yards and three scores last year, and he won’t have to share carries as much this time around. Plum, 35-28

Highlands at Ambridge: A good chance for the Golden Rams to stake their claim as the No. 1 team to watch in the valley this season. Highlands, 42-6

Apollo-Ridge at Leechburg: These teams played a barnburner last year, and both QBs are back. Should be a fun one again. Apollo-Ridge, 29-27

Jeannette at Burrell: Devin Beattie ran for a couple of touchdowns against the Jayhawks last year, and he’s back for more. Burrell, 34-12

Keystone Oaks at Deer Lakes: This is a Lancers team with potential, but this is a tough opener. The Golden Eagles are pretty well loaded. Keystone Oaks, 27-14

Fox Chapel at Peters Township: Almost everybody is back off a pretty good Peters Township team. Peters Township, 49-7

Freeport at Indiana: The Yellowjackets saw some outstanding offensive weapons graduate, but they still pride themselves on playing tough defense. Freeport, 13-6

Hampton at Knoch: Tough piece of scheduling for the Knights. The Talbots are a team on the rise in WPIAL Class 4A. Hampton, 41-14

Riverview at Beth-Center: Numbers are up, and enthusiasm reigns with the Raiders. This should be a good test to see where they stand. Riverview, 21-20

Springdale at Ligonier Valley: The Rams lost a lot to graduation, and this will be the kind of game the Dynamos win as their rebuilding process progresses. But as of now, it’ll be tough. Ligonier Valley, 30-13

Valley at Armstrong: Star QB Cadin Olsen is gone, but the River Hawks still bring back a ton of talent. Real difficult opener for the Vikings. Armstrong, 35-7

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