The Birdie puts on his game face, brings his ‘A’ game to Week 5 Westmoreland County picks

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 | 6:50 PM

Last week: 8-6 (57.1%)

Season: 45-14 (76.3%)

The Birdie has been covering high school football for a long time and has lent an ear to a lot of postgame interviews.

Local coaches have been dive-bombing him with cliches like he used to dive-bomb car windshields when he was a young chick hanging out on telephone wires.

“Not as in Chicks Picks,” Birdie said. “That’s something different. Like most in the prognosticating game, she still doesn’t have the chutzpah to predict scores. I go the extra mile for my faithful readers. But, as you know, chicks dig the Birdie.”

The Birdie correctly picked eight of 14 games last week, leaving him with less faith in Mt. Pleasant and Greensburg Salem, who play each other this week. Latrobe, Jeannette and Franklin Regional also let him down, while Monessen caught him by surprise.

No Antonio Brown dance this week, but he believes he still has room for improvement.

Back to his original point: Coachspeak annoys the yellow wunderling and he wants it to stop.

“I want the truth,” he said. “I want articulate answers, not boring ones that don’t answer the questions. Generic works at the supermarket, not at the podium.”

Some examples, with feedback:

Coach: “One game at a time.”

Birdie: “Well, yeah, coach. You can’t play two at a time.”

Coach: “We’re a young team.”

Birdie: “Yes, coach. These are kids.”

Coach: “We need to score more points to win.”

Birdie: “I see you’ve had some college math, coach.”

Coach: “It’s a game-time decision.”

Birdie: “Now you know darn well on Tuesday he’s not playing Friday.”

Coach: “We played not to lose.”

Birdie: “Oh, really? So, you didn’t just tank it out there?”

Coach: “We need to worry about us, not them.”

Birdie: “Well, coach, ‘them’ just mercy-ruled you guys. Maybe you should have worried more about them a little more.”

Coach: “They left it all out on the field.”

Birdie: “Left what? Their cell phones, wallets, keys, homework? I don’t see anything out on the field.”

While he could go on, the Birdie has games to pick … uhm … one at a time.

Franklin Regional (2-2, 1-0) at Plum (3-2, 1-1): Neighbors by day, rivals by night. Franklin Regional will get a big push up front and run past the Mustangs. Franklin Regional, 30-24

Gateway (4-1, 1-1) at Hempfield (5-0, 1-0): After a statement game last week, Hempfield can continue to validate its hype. Mistakes have to be limited and the running game has to show up. The home crowd will help keep the Gators quiet. Hempfield, 24-21

Norwin (1-4, 0-1) at Penn-Trafford (3-2, 0-1): Rivals renewed in the Big East. Penn-Trafford will overcome a slow start with a big rushing attack and down the Knights. Penn-Trafford, 28-14

Latrobe (2-3, 0-2) at Trinity (2-3, 1-1): Trinity is better than people think, but Latrobe has some momentum again and it looking to make a playoff run in the Big Seven. Latrobe, 28-20

Elizabeth Forward (5-0, 0-0) at Southmoreland (2-3, 0-0): This will be one of the games where the Scotties wish they had a running game — like the Warriors have. Elizabeth Forward, 35-13

Greensburg Salem (3-2, 0-0) at Mt. Pleasant (3-2, 0-0): Another one of the Birdie’s favorites on the schedule. He expects old-school, smashmouth football in the Interstate opener. Mt. Pleasant, 25-22

South Allegheny (1-4, 0-0) at Belle Vernon (2-2, 0-0): Belle Vernon will get some big plays early and return to form at “The Beach.” Belle Vernon, 28-7

Derry (0-5, 0-2) at Serra Catholic (4-1, 2-0): While Derry has looked improved and doesn’t go quietly, Serra seems to be gaining momentum. Serra Catholic, 36-6

Ligonier Valley (3-2, 1-1) at Yough (2-3, 1-1): Local matchups are what make high school football what it is. This one could be fun. Ligonier Valley, 23-16

Clairton (2-3, 2-0) at Greensburg Central Catholic (3-2, 1-0): Those who think Clairton is washed up need to rethink their stance. The Bears will give GCC all it can handle. Clairton, 26-20

West Greene (1-4, 1-1) at Monessen (3-2, 2-0): The Birdie can feel Monessen getting its swagger back. Monessen, 30-19

Jeannette (1-4, 1-0) at Riverview (2-3, 1-1): Jeannette has one more point scored than allowed. The Jayhawks get going after a sluggish start at Riverside Park on Saturday afternoon. Jeannette, 20-13

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