Thursday, August 25, 2005

Shhhh! Don't jinx them

There is no Phillies game on tonight, so I am getting my baseball fix by message boards about them.

Check this out from coloradoduck on ESPN.com's Phillies message board:

Finally broke 10 ... games over .500

Been slowly creeping up on it but finally busted into double digits. Need to stay hot and increase our 1.5 game lead in the WC and keep chasing the Braves. In years past this team usually folded by now...I am starting to get a very good feeling about this team.

(crap..probably just jinxed this run)

Will they or won't they?

Much like most of you, I am a skeptic when it comes to the Phillies' chances of making the postseason.

But there is something different about this season compared to the last couple.

There has been no long losing streak in the month of August.

In 2003, the Phils had a 1 1/2-game lead over the Marlins on August 22 and that was after snapping a three-game losing streak. They went on to lose six straight to the Cardinals and Expos, falling behind the Marlins. They never recovered and the Marlins went on to win the World Series.

In 2004, the Phillies were in the wild-card race, chasing the Cubs and Padres on Aug. 11 with a record of 59-55. They proceeded to lose seven in a row to the Rockies, Giants and Astros and fell out of competition. Even a 19-8 September could not save Larry Bowa's job.

Are things different in August 2005? The longest losing streak thus far is two. There is a week left in the month and the Diamondbacks and Mets are on deck.

It feels different to me.

But there's always September.

Owens and Tra Thomas to play

Eagles coach Andy Reid said this morning that WR Terrell Owens and OL Tra Thomas will play on Friday night against the Bengals.

In his Thursday morning news conference, Reid said the starting unit would "go for a half and possibly the beginning of the second half."

Thomas, who has been sidelined much of the preseason with blood clots in his leg, will be back at left tackle.

"Tra is in great cardio shape, Reid said. "I think that helped him get through the week of practice. He did well. ... Obviously we are keeping a close eye on [blood clots], but it’s not a concern.”

When asked about Owens' groin injury, Reid was optimistic that there were no issues.

"I think he feels pretty good," he said. "... He hasn’t had a lot of pain in there. He will get a nice stretch before he gets out there and plays tomorrow and he should be fine."

Rookie receiver Reggie Brown will be third receiver against the Bengals, behind Owens and Greg Lewis, the coach said.

High school football hotbed

If you follow high school football at all, you have heard about the great programs throughout country. Most of them come from Texas, California and Florida. Pennsylvania has been very well represented over time.

This year, there is something special going on in the Delaware Valley.

In USA Today's Super 25 rankings, a national look at the top teams in the nation, there are three teams from the region. No other area can make that claim.

Neshaminy (Langhorne), the state runner-up last season, comes in at No. 9.

Perennial power St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia) starts at No. 20.

North Penn (Lansdale) begins the season at No. 25.

How long will it last?

It is conceivable that there will be only one team from the region in the rankings after the first week. Neshaminy and St. Joe's Prep meet on Sept. 2 in the first game for both teams. And because North Penn is No. 25, a loss or unimpressive win against Glen Mills could knock them out.

In tomorrow's Inquirer and on Philly.com you will be able to read more about the nation's top region for high school football.