It's getting late early

Posted: August 20, 2007

IT STARTLED US, honestly, when we noticed today is Aug. 20. Wasn't it just the Fourth of July? Summers do that - they slip away softly.

When we think of the end of August, we think of Labor Day looming, the opening of college

football, throat-tightening September baseball, the for-real version of the NFL.

We see the Phillies with 39 games remaining, with a boatload of injuries, still able to make the playoffs.

And it's still unclear among the populace whether Charlie Manuel is the worst manager in franchise history, or if he should be NL Manager of the Year.

We think, this year, he's closer

to the latter, questionable

strategy notwithstanding.

And we wonder if he'll be back next year. Does he have to make the playoffs to

retain his job? We suspect his value is greater

outside the 215 area code, and that another opportunity would await, should it become necessary.

We see the Eagles patched together in one very key spot by modern medicine. Yes, it was thrilling to see Donovan McNabb scurry around in the pocket on his repaired ACL on Friday, throwing pinpoint passes and even taking a hit.

And we think: Can this 30-year-old, once the healthiest guy in the room, survive 16 games in the no-nonsense National Football League?

And we think: It's fewer than 3 weeks until Week 1, when we start to find out. Then, so

many lives run Sunday to Sunday, the Eagles

being everything - and the beach is out of

our lives, and out of our minds, too.

'On the first tee, No. 24 . . . '

Taking the 7 a.m. tee time on Saturday morning at the Links Golf Club in Marlton, N.J., was Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown.

Our crew was two holes behind his foursome. We started the round grumbling about playing golf on very few hours of sleep, having worked late the night before.

Our whining ceased when we realized that Brown worked the night before, too - as a starting cornerback against the Panthers. *

- Chuck Bausman

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