After considering holdout, The Birdie is back prognosticating A-K Valley games
After flying back north this summer from his undisclosed offseason home, The Birdie heard all about the contract dispute between the Pittsburgh Steelers and a certain star running back.
And to the surprise of no one who knows him, he sympathizes with the player. Plenty of people have called him a diva in his many years picking games in the Alle-Kiski Valley, and he’s more than familiar with angering fan bases.
“I’m pretty sure the fine folks of Kittanning still don’t forgive me for the 2013 season,” he said. “But maybe they understand me more now that they’re River Hawks. And I know Leechburg feels bedeviled that I constantly pick against them, but at this point, I can’t help myself.”
Like Le’Veon Bell, The Birdie considered his own holdout from the Valley News Dispatch this summer.
“He wants to get paid like a running back and receiver, which I understand. I thought I should get paid like a comedian and a prognosticator,” he said.
“I even wrote a rap about it, but nobody seems to want to hear my side of the story.”
At the 11th hour, a holdout was averted over a meal at Phillippi’s -- “Home of the Birdville Pie” -- leading The Birdie back for yet another season of predictions, much to the consternation of local football followers.
“Sorry to disappoint all of you, but that’s what I’m here for,” he crowed.
The Birdie’s 2017 preseason predictions had some misses: a 1-5 start put curtains to his Valley playoff pick, while Fox Chapel did make the postseason. Kiski Area fell well short of his 5-5 prediction, while Highlands did better than his 3-6 pick. And even he didn’t see the A-K Valley’s three playoff qualifiers going three and out.
But he had a strong season overall, posting a record of 84-18 for an .823 winning percentage.
“Can’t win ’em all,” he said, “but I win enough.”
The question is ... will your team win enough?
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