Blogs > Jack McCaffery's blog

Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I will be chatting sports with Chuck Betson on WIBG 1020 AM in Atlantic City today at 4:30.

Tonight at 2:00 a.m., I will be a guest of Big Daddy Graham on WIP 94.1 FM

Also, at 8 a.m. Thursday morning, you can hear my thoughts with Angelo Cataldi also on WIP.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


The fans were booing his coach. The fans were leaving the stadium. His Eagles were being beaten by his childhood rooting interest, the New England Patriots. And just as he had seven years earlier in the Super Bowl, Tom Brady was tormenting the Eagles with his quarterbacking.

All of that had to make the Eagles' 38-20 loss Sunday Jeffrey Lurie's worst professional nightmare.

He has owned the Eagles 17 years ... and he still cannot climb above the Patriots on the gold-standard meter.

So ... what now?

More to the point, why shouldn't Lurie consider giving his customers what they want --- a new coach?

Check out my column in the Daily Times Sunday, and as always, on

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Watch Fox Philadelphia between 11 and 12 this morning. I will be on the writers' round table with John Anderson, discussing Eagles and Pats.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Michael Vick (ribs) and Nnamdi Asohugha (knee) are not practicing today at the NovaCare Complex. That suggests they will be unlikely to play against the New England Patriots Sunday, although Andy Reid may add some clarity later.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle) is on the practice field but is mostly inactive.

Check out the Daily Times Saturday, and as always, for complete Eagles coverage

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Bill Belichick says the Eagles have more talent than any team his New England Patriots have played this year.

Oh, yeah? Where?

 “They can run the ball," he said. "They can throw it. They have a good offensive line. They can rush the passer. They can stop the run. They can cover. They can return kicks. They can cover kicks. They can block kicks. They are good at all phases of the game. They have outstanding players and a lot of production.”

Well, if you want to use those categories, maybe.

The Eagles are 4-6 and deserve it. But just say that the New England Patriots' coach has not been the first to characterize them as a dream team.

Is he playing mind games? Maybe. Will it work? Maybe not.

Check out my column on Belichick's latest play in the Daily Times Thursday and, as always, on

Monday, November 21, 2011


The Eagles won a game Sunday with their backup quarterback.

The drill: Begin the controversy.

It's been going on for decades, so it will happen now. Sides will form. Young or Vick? Vick or Young?

The answer: When Michael Vick recovers from broken ribs, it's his job, should be his job, must be his job if the Eagles want to steal the NFC East, which is highly possible.

To his credit Monday, Reid said as much. Of course, he once said Kevin Kolb was his quarterback, then had him benched by the next morning. But he sounded sincere. He is hoping Young can help the Birds survive Vick's injury, not become the franchise's No. 1 quarterback.

That would be the right play call --- a rare one this year, come to think of it.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Tuesday and, as always, on

Sunday, November 20, 2011


In no small part because Tom Coughlin did it again --- he punted to DeSean Jackson --- the Eagles won a football game Sunday night, and with it, a chance to salvage a season.

It was Jackson's 50-yard punt return late int he first half that eventually helped the Birds widen a lead to 10-0 ... and reopen their confidence.

Now, they trail the Giants by only two games in the division race.

It was just last season that Jackson's 65-yard walk-off TD return for a touchdown in the Meadowlands turned the Eagles' season. Not that it inspired Coughlin to order all punts in his direction to be kicked out of bounds.

Stubbornness will get Coughlin one place ... and that should be second place in the NFC East, behind either the Eagles or Cowboys.

Check out my column on the Eagles defense, and my report on the many effects, positive and negative, Jackson has had on this strange, strange season in the Daily Times Monday and as always on

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Villanova lost, 26-16, to Delaware in football Saturday, making too many turnovers. It's how 2-9 seasons happen.

The Wildcats lost a game ... but won something bigger.

By playing the game at picturesque, modern PPL Park instead of its glorified high school stadium on Lancaster Pike, Villanova finally made a positive football move. An announced crowd of 14,107 attended (at least half rooting for Delaware), which doesn't sound like much, but is a start.

Andy Talley has been urging Villanova to move more home games to Chester, just 15 miles down the Blue Route from campus. He has the right idea. Eventually, Villanova must graduate to the BCS, if only to protect its basketball brand. But even if it must remain in the FCS for a while, PPL Park is its best bet for football success.

Check out my column on the topic in the Daily Times Sunday ... and as always, on

Monday, November 14, 2011


New Phillie Jonathan Papelbon, on his former team, the Boston Red Sox:

"Am I going to miss the players? I am. But when we play them, am I going to have to throw underneath their necks if I have to? ..."

He just let the statement end there.

The Phillies have a good one, and a huge improvement over Ryan Madson at closer.

Check out the coverage of Papelbon's arrival in Philadelphia in the Daily Times Tuesday and, as always, on


Michael Vick played with two broken ribs Sunday. He has had better games. But at least he had one.

Though the Eagles didn't win and likely won't make the playoffs, it's better they should have a quarterback with such a competitive streak than it is to have one always looking to find a safe place to land on the sidelines.

Check out my column on Vick in the Daily Times Tuesday and, as always, on

Sunday, November 13, 2011


That's what the Eagles have. Sometimes, that happens in sports.

Not everybody was wrong when they were called a dream team --- not the players, not the press, not the fans, not Las Vegas. But they were all wrong when they failed to remember that teams are made of personalities, not just players.

And the Eagles have a bad, bad mix of players.

DeSean Jackson was deactivated Sunday reportedly for missing a special teams meeting, and the Birds lost, 21-17, to the Arizona Cardinals, who had been 2-and-6.

Trouble off the field, trouble on it.

"It's my responsibility to make sure that everybody is on the same page," Andy Reid said. "Obviously by this performance, that didn't look very good. That's my responsibility. I don't know about 'disconnects' and those types of things. But I do have to do a better job, along with my guys."

Reid will be criticized. He must be criticized. But maybe he is just in with the wrong crowd this time.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Monday and, as always, on  Also, look for my report on the Eagles' inability to hang onto late leads and their embattled coordinator Juan Castillo.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


STATE COLLEGE --- At the corner of Pugh and E. College, "Bobby Tickets" was trying to make sense of the "strangest week" he'd ever had as a ticket broker.

"Monday, tickets for the Nebraska game were going for $70, $80," he said. "After Joe Paterno said he was retiring, they went up to $300. Then after he was fired ..."

Bobby Tickets made a whistling sound and plunged his thumb to the south ...

"way back down again."

For one ticket Saturday morning, Bobby was asking for $100.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


So Joe Paterno will coach Penn State Saturday against Nebraska is if nothing of note has happened in the past week.

He will roll into Beaver Stadium and hope that enough of the assembled 104,000 chant his name. And some will. Many will, probably. And for him, that will be enough. It was always enough to be the king of Happy Valley.

Though he did not commit a crime, he did enable Jerry Sandusky to hang around the place for far, far too long. And Sandusky has been accused of some of the sickest crimes of all. For that, he should leave ... and leave at once.

Penn State, its fans, its alumni, its former and current players and the residents of Pennsylvania deserve an immediate clean-up of that program, not healing on Paterno's schedule.  But if nothing else has been proven, it is that Paterno makes the rules around there.

So instead of a football game --- and a big one --- unfolding Saturday, a sideshow will break out. But what does Joe Paterno care. He will coach Penn State in football. To him, nothing else matters.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Thursday and, as always, on

Monday, November 7, 2011


Vince Young was right. Buddy Ryan, who echoed it, was right. The Eagles have the talent to be a dream team.

Yet they are three games behind the Giants in the NFC East.


They panic.

Monday at the Linc, in a game they had a chance to win, they decided to run the standard punter-to-safety pass play ... and oddly enough, if failed. That gave the Bears the field position to drive for a fourth-quarter field goal and inflate their lead to six.

That was enough.

Afterward, Andy Reid went to the old, "20-20 hindsight" defense, which, when you think about it, can be used for every failed play in sports. Truth was, with 20-20 foresight, the play was to kick the Bears deep, commandeer a little field position, and keep the game within a field goal.

But it's Reid's story and he can tell it like he wants.

Truth is, the Birds are too good to have five losses. More and more, it seems that their hind-sighting will start earlier this year than anyone expected.

Check out my analysis of the Birds-Bears game in the Daily Times Tuesday ... and, as always, on

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Buddy Ryan: "If I had owners that the Eagles have there now, we probably would have won 5 or 6 Super Bowls."

Check out my column in the Daily Times Monday and, as always, on about the most confident coach in Eagles history

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I will be talking sports with Angelo Cataldi Friday morning at 8 on WIP.

Check it out!


Jason Avant was caught saying this over the weekend:

“We realize it’s going to be just these guys in the locker room, that’s the way we take it. We don’t want people jumping on our bandwagon now. We want people to go out and still talk bad about us.”

True or false: He claims his remarks were taken out of proportion.

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

Anyway, Avant refused to apologize for his remarks Thursday at the NovaCare Complex, though he did say that he was half joshing with Channel 6 reporter Keith Russell and that the comment then took on its own life.

“Understand, this is what I do respect about the Philadelphia fans: They are very, very knowledgeable,” he said. “And I love playing before our fans. I want to win the championship for this city so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so bad. So I respect them and I love them as fans. So I will go out and give everything I have. And whatever was said --- which I don't even remember half of it --- it is still my opinion.”

Check out the coverate in the Daily Times Friday and, as always, on


I will be a guest of the great Mike Mreczko on WEEX and WTKZ radio in the Lehigh Valley @ESPNLV today at 5, reaffirming that, yes, I did and still do pick the Eagles to win the Super Bowl. Check it out.