The Birdie is revved up for another season
The Birdie once again flew south for the winter and spent much of his offseason on the beach with Mrs. Birdie.
But your fanatical football friend was bored and irritated by the sand in his tailfeathers and came home early.
“Missed my A-K Valley peeps,” the Birdie said, handing out salt-water taffy to everyone in the newsroom. “The good news is that I'm back and ready for a new season.”
A creature of habit, he automatically hopped into his clunker of a car as part of his Friday night routine, but with no games on the schedule yet, he tried a new destination: Lernerville Speedway.
“For years, I have wanted to check out the racing,” he said. “Now I have to say I'm hooked. Some of the drivers want me to start predicting races.”
Offered a guest racing appearance at Lernerville, the Birdie accepted but under the condition that he could have a nickname.
“Ed Lynch gets to be ‘The Apollo Rocket,' ” Birdie said. “I souped up my Chevette and cruised in as ‘Birdnado.' ”
That name is for another column, as is Riverhawks, which he has a problem with.
“I just hope our teams don't go one-and-done again,” said Birdie, who pecked a .758 clip last year (91-29).
“Last year was a sad state of affairs with all of our teams losing in the first round for the first time since 1993.”
The Birdie is ready to predict local teams' regular-season records.
There hasn't been this much excitement in Apollo since the early 2000s. The Birdie loves big-play teams and expects the Vikings to provide plenty of highlights. Get in the fast lane. Prediction: 8-1.
Burrell will take on a different look when it comes to schemes but should still be a playoff team again. Vroom, vroom. Prediction: 6-3.
New is the operative word with the program, which is trying to change the same-old mentality. But it's a tough road ahead. Caution flags. Prediction: 2-7.
It's not often the Sabers, err Riverhawks, face an uphill climb to the playoffs, but this year looks steeper than most. Think the Mon Incline going up. Slowly. Prediction: 3-6.
Injuries have taken a toll on a team that looked promising on paper. Depth is an issue. The pits. Prediction: 3-6.
Graduation hit the Yellowjackets hard and the team will feel the effects. Road block. Prediction: 3-6.
With one of the top linebacking corps in the Valley returning, the Golden Rams should have a tone-setting defense. No passing zone. Prediction: 6-3.
Low numbers on the roster, but the Cavaliers have potential to put high numbers on the scoreboard. Prediction: 4-5.
With most of their key offensive players gone, the Wildcats, I mean Riverhawks, need new impact players. Show of hands? Prediction: 2-7.
See above. The Knights have more vacancies than the Bates Motel. Cue the wreak-wreak music. Prediction: 2-7.
District 6 talk subsiding, the Blue Devils have options at RB. And they'll need them now that they've come running back to the WPIAL. Prediction: 2-7.
A former NFL lineman is the Mustangs' coach, but problem is, he's out of eligibility. Changing lanes. Prediction: 1-8.
The Raiders are trying to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. It might take a miracle in the park. Spin your wheels. Prediction: 2-7.
The Alle-Kiski Valley's longest playoff streak should remain, but the Dynamos have to earn every yard. Prediction: 5-4.
The potential is there for one of the Vikings' better seasons, but nothing is promised. They still have to move the sticks.