Westmoreland County gets a look inside the Birdie’s personality

October 4, 2018

Last week: 11-3 (79 percent)

Season: 57-19 (75 percent)

The Birdie dressed like a zombie earlier this week for the Night of the Living Dead 50th anniversary event in Pittsburgh -- pancake makeup, fake blood, the works.

But that was only one of his identities.

Readers often wonder, who is the Birdie? What does he really look like?

Where did he go to school?

Where does he live?

Who writes his copy? Better yet, who edits his copy?

While some mysteries are best left unsolved, “Like, why doesn’t Derry keep statistics; why do press boxes keep letting so many rubberneckers in; why does my mailman always leave a trail of gum bands; or, why didn’t I get invited to the Southmoreland-Mt. Pleasant pizza-eating contest?” Birdie said, others are fair game.

Such as, what does the Birdie sound like?

That one is easy. He sounds just like “Pittsburgh Dad,” one of his greatest inspirations and role models.

“Did you know dat guy’s from Greensburg?” Birdie said after an 11-3 week that was no thanks to Derry, Yough and Hempfield. “Look it up. I used to see him walking by the courthaus dahntahn. One time I’s leanin on a tellypole eatin a peenabudder and jelly sammich when he walked by in a tossel cap. I asked him for a nakin, he hands me a worsh rag. From at point on, we’s buds.”

The Birdie likes to watch “Pittsburgh Dad” episodes at work, which takes him away from his Hudl videos and the snack machine.

“I take baffroom breaks so I leave a parkin chair in front of my laptop,” Birdie said. “Or, one time I ran to Bess Buy to get a five-hunnert dollar TV for a hunnert-fitty. I hit Permanny’s on the way back for a nice kilbassa-n-cheese. “Cinstruction made me late coming back, and I made a wrong turn and got stuck in one a dem culde socks.”

Before he jams up the spellchecker any farther, it’s time to get to his Week 6 predictions.

“3-2-1, win,” Birdie said.

Hempfield (1-5, 0-5) at Seneca Valley (4-2, 3-2)

Seneca Valley has an underrated defense, the same way Hempfield has an underrated line. The former trumps the latter. Seneca Valley, 28-7

Norwin (3-3, 2-2) at Central Catholic (4-2, 2-2)

Class 6A has been a rough ride for teams when they play the Big 3. Norwin could give the Vikings a game and an upset could help playoff hopes, but the Knights just aren’t up to that level yet. Central Catholic, 30-14

Gateway (6-0, 3-0) at Franklin Regional (5-0, 3-0)

While Franklin Regional has been known to pull an upset -- see the McKeesport game last year -- Gateway has too much quickness, especially on defense, for the Panthers. Gateway, 27-17

Latrobe (1-5, 1-3) at Penn-Trafford (4-2, 4-1)

The Birdie anticipates a closer game than some expect, but he thinks the Warriors defense and running game will be the difference. Penn-Trafford, 36-12

Greensburg Salem (2-4, 2-1) at West Mifflin (3-3, 3-0)

Greensburg Salem just might have more offensive weapons than the Titans this year, but will they have a key impact in key situations? Greensburg Salem, 21-14

Trinity (1-4, 1-4) at Belle Vernon (4-1, 3-1)

Belle Vernon is just a bigger and more physical team. Belle Vernon, 42-6

Mt. Pleasant (1-5, 1-3) at Burrell (1-5, 1-4)

Mt. Pleasant needs a win badly and it should be able to get it on the road, unless Burrell’s running game picks up steam again. Mt. Pleasant, 34-30

Uniontown (0-6, 0-4) at Derry (5-1, 3-1)

Derry literally has pushed teams around all season, and this one will be no different. Derry, 48-6

Southmoreland (3-3, 2-3) at Charleroi (4-1, 3-1)

The Birdie likes that passing game at Southmoreland but thinks the Charleroi secondary will be a step ahead this week. Charleroi, 32-16

Aliquippa (6-0, 4-0) at Yough (3-3, 3-2)

The Birdie doesn’t see anyone stopping Aliquippa until the state playoffs. And it’s clear none of those schedule-makers are Yough alums. Aliquippa, 46-6

Mapletown (0-6) at Greensburg C.C. (4-2)

Look for GCC to use a balanced offense to roll past the Maples. GCC, 36-0

OLSH (6-0) at Jeannette (6-0)

The Birdie had this one circled on his calendar in July. Watch for fireworks at McKee Stadium. Jeannette, 36-28

Chartiers-Houston (2-4, 2-2) at Monessen (4-1, 3-1)

Monessen’s quickness on the perimeter will lead to foot races. Monessen, 33-8

Ligonier Valley (6-0) at Marion Center (3-3)

Ligonier Valley fires on all cylinders, then takes it up a gear, every week. Look for RPO Speedwagon to keep it rolling. Ligonier Valley, 45-7

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