The Birdie learns from his losses

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017 | 5:15 PM


The Birdie is no sore loser.

If someone proves him wrong, he accepts it and moves on.

“Coach Harvey Hornbill taught me in pee wees that more comes from defeat than victory and, even as a fourth-string longsnapper, I listened,” said the Birdie, Westmoreland County's high school football pundit.

“Pundit?” Birdie interrupts. “You gotta go for it on fourth down.”

The little yellow bird went 9-4 last week to move to 74-19 (.796) for the season. Not exactly worthy of a duck-duck-goose celebration with the part-timers.

Back to topic: Mr. Birdie, with endearing humility and in the spirit of competition, asked to use this week's column space to recognize those who have conquered him this season.

“It's no easy feat to take down the best,” he said, shining his participation trophy from the company's flag football game (he was a DNP because of a singed tailfeather he sustained at a recent pep rally bonfire). “It takes integrity, sacrifice and hard work. You have to do your homework, know your opponents and hope the ball bounces your way.”

The Birdie would like to commend:

•Derry. He picked the Trojans to finish … gulp … 4-6? They are 6-1.

“I got the 6 right. Does that count?” Birdie said. “Like I promised, I will stick my head in a sewer, somewhere on Chestnut Street. Yes, we all float down here.”

•Greensburg Central Catholic. The Birdie called for a 1-9 season; the Centurions are 3-4.

“That new coaching staff has that team in shape,” Birdie said. “Wonder if they can help me get rid of this spare tire?”

•Ligonier Valley. While he predicted another successful season for the Rams, he also said they'd finish the regular season 8-2. They are 7-0.

“Could still happen — when pigs fly,” Birdie said. “I get teased everyday around the office about the two-loss thing. To be honest, might be a while before these guys lose.”

• And last but not least, the winners of the new “Beat the Birdie” contest.

“Hats off to you, Denise L. of Latrobe; Stanley V. of Mt. Pleasant; Millie E. of Ligonier; Fred B. of Anita; and Stanley V. of Latrobe,” Birdie said. “Psst….can I borrow $100?”

The Birdie offers no apologies for Ben Roethlisberger's interceptions, but he is ready for another week of crystal-ball watching.

“Watch for upsets, people,” he added. “Friday the 13th. Ki, ki, ki, ha ha ha …”

Now for his Week 7 predictions:

Thomas Jefferson (6-0, 5-0) at Belle Vernon (6-0, 6-0)

The Birdie can't wait to watch the big boys up front go at it. “They should play Sweet Caroline for the future Pitt guys,” he said.

Thomas Jefferson, 24-14

Armstrong (4-3, 2-3) at Penn-Trafford (7-0, 5-0)

Armstrong had that Zaney tailback last season that nobody could stop. He's gone and the Birdie says all the rushing yardage will go to Penn-Trafford this time.

Penn-Trafford, 38-13

Latrobe (2-5, 1-5) at Franklin Regional (4-2, 4-2)

There was a time not so long ago when the Birdie thought this might be a one-sided game. “It still might be,” he said. “Franklin almost upset Penn-Trafford. Panthers are coming on.”

Franklin Regional, 23-14

Yough (1-6, 1-3) at Mt. Pleasant (2-5, 1-4)

Mt. Pleasant is fighting to keep its playoff streak alive and a win here could keep the flame flickering. “Flame? Where? Watch the wing,” Birdie said. “I have to get my new trick-or-treat bag so I get more candy.”

Mt. Pleasant, 21-14

Greensburg C.C. (3-4, 2-2) at Jeannette (7-0, 5-0)

The Birdie makes a living picking football games, but knows this is a much better rivalry in basketball. “Jeannette will crown a homecoming queen and then crown GCC,” Birdie said.

Jeannette, 42-6

Greensburg Salem (3-4) at Montour (5-1)

Both teams have had their moments defensively this season, but Montour's is a notch above the Golden Lions' unit. “I can't figure out those Golden Lions,” Birdie said.

Montour, 21-7

Penn Hills (5-2) at Hempfield (1-6)

Hempfield has given up some big runs, and the Indians will keep that trend going.

Penn Hills, 36-16

Elizabeth Forward (5-1, 5-0) at Southmoreland (0-6, 0-4)

Elizabeth Forward won't move backwards in this game. “I came up with that one,” Birdie said.

Elizabeth Forward, 49-6

Monessen (2-5, 1-3) at West Greene (5-2, 3-2)

Monessen is glad it's not in the Eastern Conference any longer, but games like this still aren't fun.

West Greene, 26-12

Ellwood City (2-4) at Derry (6-1)

Derry has been strong week in and week out at home. Look for more turnovers in the Trojans' favor.

Derry, 36-9

Norwin (3-4) at Butler (2-4)

Norwin needs a win out of conference before it resumes its push for a playoff berth. The Knights have a better passing game.

Norwin, 27-14

Blairsville (1-6, 1-6) at Ligonier Valley (7-0, 7-0)

The Birdie can't stop watching Ligonier Valley's Hudl highlights. “They just go all day, nonstop motors,” he said.

Ligonier Valley, 38-6

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