The Leader refuses to reveal identity
The Leader was speaking with Leader Times sports writer Matt Grubba the other day, and Grubba told him something he found interesting.
“When I go out to cover games, everyone always wants me to tell them who The Leader is,” Grubba said. “Unless it's in Kittanning. There, the biggest question is: ‘Who is that jerk, The Birdie, that always picks against us in the Valley News Dispatch?'”
Unfortunately, The Leader isn't at liberty to divulge the identity of his avian counterpart. As for himself, The Leader thinks it's better if he remains in the prognosticators protection program, but he will dispel some of the wilder rumors about his identity.
First, you can rule out Grubba and his predecessor, Bill West, now of the Valley News Dispatch. The Leader isn't one of those two.
Though he appreciates the rumors, The Leader is not Kate Upton's current boyfriend, nor was he the other finalist for the role of Christian Grey in the “50 Shades of Grey” movie.
The Leader also has a tin ear, so you can be sure he's not part of helmet-clad electronic music duo Daft Punk, nor is it an alias of recently deceased legend Lou Reed.
There have been some other wild guesses, too. But The Leader isn't John Galt, he isn't the international jewel thief known as The Phantom, and his therapist assures him he isn't an alter-ego of Tyler Durden.
Simply put: The Leader is the area's top football prognosticator, and the WPIAL playoffs are his time to shine.
Yough at Kittanning
It might seem like a tough call to pick a school like Kittanning, which only has one playoff win in its history. But Yough has zero in its past, and the homestanding Wildcats will keep it that way. Kittanning, 41-27
West Shamokin at Monessen
The Wolves have been this year's lovable underdogs, even more so than Kittanning. It would be an amazing story for West Shamokin to grab its first playoff win, but the Greyhounds will be too tough. Monessen, 39-20
Apollo-Ridge at Beth-Center
Can we call this the Hyphen Bowl? Beth-Center is tragically underseeded, and it's too bad, as Apollo-Ridge is better than the average ninth seed. Apollo-Ridge, 35-21
Marion Center at Karns City
Remember how bad The Leader felt when then-winless Keystone had to go to Karns City? This one might be even worse. Karns City, 55-8
Smethport at Redbank Valley
A battle of D-9, Class A playoff teams should be a tight one, but The Leader likes the way the Bulldogs are rolling. Redbank Valley, 28-14