The Birdie is feeling lucky with his Week 2 A-K Valley football picks

Wednesday, September 6, 2023 | 6:36 PM

Last week: 7-3 (70%)

Season: 15-6 (71.4%)

Last week, The Birdie gave his stamp of approval to Riverview as his breakthrough team of the year. The Raiders came out and rolled Carlynton, and the old bird crowed for the next six days about how smart he is.

Not every team in the A-K Valley is off to as good a start as Riverview, of course. Some need a spark to turn their luck around as the season reached Week 2.

The Birdie considers turning luck around one of his many specialties.

“Ever since that judge said I have a touch of what some people call a ‘gambling problem,’ I’ve made it my mission to study what exactly brings good fortune to some teams and not others,” Birdie said.

His research started during the 1992 Stanley Cup playoffs.

“Senior year of high school. Morning of Game 2 of the Rangers series. Put on my black-and-gold argyle socks. Didn’t take them off until June. Pens didn’t lose again.

“Prom date thought they looked a little weird. Probably smelled a little weird by that time too. But what does The Birdie remember most about prom night? Mario got two against the Bruins and Jagr got one. Can’t argue with success.”

For those teams off to an 0-2 start, Birdie offers some luck-changing tips:

• Don’t rock an empty rocking chair. That’s bad luck in Cuba.

• Don’t get a haircut on Wednesday. Bad luck in Thailand.

• Don’t whistle at night. Bad luck in China.

• The biggest luck-changer, of course, is bird droppings. In Russia, Turkey, India and other places, it’s considered great luck to catch some of those on your clothes or even your head.

“If you need some of those, give me a call,” The Birdie said with a gleam in his eye. “People tell me I’m full of them.”

With his lucky horseshoe perched atop his computer monitor, The Birdie proceeded to make his Week 2 picks.

Valley (1-1) at Burrell (0-2): Could a luck turnaround be in progress in New Kensington? Was a solid win over Apollo-Ridge last week the start of something big? Valley does have more than a handful of playmakers. It’s not out of the question. Valley, 21-20

Chartiers Valley (0-2) at Highlands (2-0): Blackhawk provided a pretty good test last week, and the Golden Rams passed with flying colors. Highlands, 30-14

Deer Lakes (1-1) at Apollo-Ridge (1-1): Should be an old-fashioned defensive slugfest. Lancers have momentum after a shutout of Burrell. Deer Lakes, 19-13

Freeport (1-1) at Quaker Valley (0-2): Perhaps the Birdie put too much stock in a season-opening loss to Indiana. That was a matchup with a good team on the road. The Yellowjackets got rolling against South Allegheny last week, and there’s no reason to think they’ll stop now. Freeport, 35-6

Knoch (2-0) at Beaver Falls (1-1): What a start for the Knights. Threw all over Hampton. Ran all over Indiana. Beaver Falls, meanwhile, is a storied program with plenty of weapons. The Birdie is picking the Tigers, but he doesn’t feel good about it. Beaver Falls, 27-26

Laurel Highlands (1-1) at Kiski Area (0-2): Two teams licking their wounds after losing to defending state champs last week — Kiski Area to Pine-Richland and Laurel Highlands to Belle Vernon. The Birdie insists the Cavaliers are more dangerous than their 0-2 start has indicated. Kiski Area, 34-21

Leechburg (1-1) at Bentworth (1-1): Birdie thinks the Blue Devils offense will be too much for the Bearcats. Leechburg, 34-14

Norwin (0-2) at Fox Chapel (0-2): Knights are probably a little better than their record suggests. Norwin, 28-14

Plum (2-0) at Shaler (2-0): A good test for a pair of Class 5A teams off to good starts. If the Mustangs can win this one, they’ll gallop into conference play with tons of momentum. Shaler, 27-26

Riverview (2-0) at Northgate (1-1): Might not have felt much like it this week, but fall is coming. And the autumn wind is a raider. The Birdie’s team of the year rolls on. Riverview, 34-20

Springdale (0-2) at Summit Academy (0-2): The Dynamos have scored some points the first two weeks. They just haven’t put it all together. This is the game to do that. Springdale, 20-18

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