The Birdie needs to bounce back after a week of pitiful prognostications in the A-K Valley

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019 | 5:51 PM


Overall record: 59-27 (69%)

Last week’s record: 5-6 (45%)

Monday was a strange day for the Birdie.

He hid his face throughout the day under a big ivy cap and a pair of aviator sunglasses. He was quiet, too. He didn’t say much about the weekend, and it was like he was just trying to get through the day without talking to anyone, which was weird because as you know, the Birdie never shuts up.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard him be this quiet,” a co-worker said in passing.

Then, 5 p.m. rolled around. The Birdie had accomplished his goal of not talking to anyone. He had no intention of hashing out his mistakes from last week’s picks.

“I did it,” he mumbled. “I got through the day without anyone realizing how bad Friday was.”

The Birdie had just put his notepad into his bag — the big guy is old school and doesn’t use a laptop, just the old fashioned pen, pad and hard-wired computer — and he was standing up to leave. Then a stringer walked into the office to work the phones that night and ruined the Birdie’s whole plan.

“Hey Birdie! You had a rough night on Friday didn’t you?” a stringer said with a sly smile.

Steam immediately started leaking from the big yellow bird’s ears. It looked like his head was ready to pop off his body because of how red his face was.

The Birdie did have a rough night, and he was angry about it.

He just wasn’t sure how to respond. He had never been in a position like this before. So he wanted to wait as long as he could until he had to come up with an excuse for getting six games wrong.

That time had come.

“Look,” the Birdie said as he paused and collected his thoughts. “It’s not my fault. Burrell decided to go for a 2-point conversion to win in overtime. No one in their right mind would’ve guessed the Foxes were going to take down the Fightin’ Planets. Summit Academy had an 18-game losing streak going into Saturday! How did Valley lose?

“I fully expected Knoch to rebound, but injuries stink. Latrobe isn’t who I thought they were — see what I did there? — and well, in the words of Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba, the Vikings committed a lot of bonehead mistakes.”

The Birdie caught his breath for a second and handed the stringer his picks.

“Let’s see how these ones do,” the big guy quipped as he walked out the door with a waddle like none other.

Armstrong (1-6, 0-5) vs. Fox Chapel (3-5, 2-3)

The Foxes are on a roll after a big win over Mars. Their run will continue Friday. Fox Chapel, 28-14

Kiski Area (3-5, 2-3) vs. Mars (5-3, 3-2)

Mars will be looking for a bounce-back game. It gets it against the Cavaliers. Mars, 21-0

New Castle (5-3, 3-2) vs. Highlands (2-6, 2-4)

The Golden Rams are fighting for their playoff lives. But that will end Friday. New Castle, 28-14

Derry (6-2, 5-1) vs. Deer Lakes (3-5, 3-3)

The run game has killed the Lancers this season, and Derry displays one of the best. The Trojans will end Deer Lakes’ hopes of a playoff appearance. Derry, 35-21

Freeport (3-4, 3-4) vs. Mt. Pleasant (3-5, 2-4)

Freeport’s playoff hopes are done, but that doesn’t mean it can’t play spoiler for Mt. Pleasant. Freeport, 35-28

Clairton (6-2, 4-0) vs. Springdale (6-2, 2-2)

Springdale is looking for a playoff appearance, and Clairton will end its search. Clairton, 35-7

Riverview (2-5, 1-4) vs. Jeannette (8-0, 4-0)

The Jayhawks are undefeated for a reason. They cruise easily. Jeannette, 42-0

Belle Vernon (6-1) vs. Plum (3-5)

Plum is a fringe playoff team. Belle Vernon will handle them. Belle Vernon, 28-7

Bentworth (2-6) vs. Leechburg (3-5)

The Blue Devils are riding high off a win. They’ll make sure it continues Friday. Leechburg, 21-7

Burrell (5-3) vs. Waynesburg (2-6)

Fresh off a monumental win, the battlin’ Bucs will continue to prosper. Burrell, 21-0

Freedom (7-1) vs. Apollo-Ridge (6-2)

The Vikings will be looking to get back on track after a loss to Steel Valley. Apollo-Ridge, 21-14

Knoch (5-3) vs. Trinity (2-5)

The Knights are hampered in a big way, but they’ll find a way to pull this one out. Knoch, 14-0

Valley (1-7) vs. Riverside (5-2)

Riverside is too big for the Vikings, they’ll walk in a big way. Riverside, 28-7

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