This creepy feeling of unease about Philly teams has been steadily growing over the last month or so, no doubt due to the Phils erratic performances and the Eagles' soap opera training camp/preseason. But now with playoff crunch time starting in MLB, and the Birds on the verge of games that count, the unease is progressing to full-fledged palpitations in the pit of my stomach. I'd like to disregard this as simply one more case of a life-long Philly fan expecting the worst -- understandable based on Philly sports history, but a premature overreaction all the same. After all, the Fightin's finally put Billy Penn's curse to rest last year, right? And the Birds, who looked headed for the dust heap after the Bengals and Ravens games last season, ended up rallying to make it (again) to the Conference Championships, right? All very good, but this year just feels more ominous, much like watching the character in a slasher film about to enter the darkened basement where we know the killer is lurking. The Phils are entering the most crucial part of the season looking eminently beatable by just about anyone: Hamels continues his Jekyll & Hyde act; Lee is looking human; Happ is nicked-up and is unproven in crunch time; Blanton has been surprisingly consistent but (as last night indicates) can't be counted on to function as the de facto ace; they have no dependable closer; their bats are relying exlusively on HR flurries and can't produce rallies; when they get good pitching, their bats go silent; when their bats are productive, their pitching sucks. Any way you slice it, this can add up to an ugly finish. And then there are the Birds: a wrecked O-Line with more holes than Swiss cheese; a quite possibly bipolar Shawn Andrews who clearly prefers making bad rap songs in homage to Michael Phelps than making any plays on a football field; a highly questionable knee attached to the Pro Bowl running back; a linebacking corps missing its top leader and performer; a 5th round draft pick rookie who never played safety in college taking over Dawk's starting position; a rookie defensive coordinator taking over for one of the best assistant coaches in the NFL; a possibly chaotic offensive scheme occasioned by the peculiar need to find a way to get Vick on the field. And this doesn't even take into account Reid's typical play calling gaffes and game day brain freezes. Given all this, I think it's quite reasonable, even at this early date, to be very concerned about what we'll be seeing at The Link and on our TV screens for the next 4 months. Tums anyone?