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, March 28, 2012


From "yesgodtv", which was at every game of the Perfect Season ....

Check it out.

Monday, March 26, 2012


The Flyers lost, 5-3, to the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday.

That kind of season ...

That kind of season because in the loss, they showed enough of the elements that have put them in position be in the playoffs for the 16th time in 17 seasons.

Danny Briere continued to stir, registering an assist. Scott Hartnell scored again in his All-Star season. Wayne Simmonds had a goal.

The Flyers have six games left, and a chance to make something of a season of torment that, oddly enough, still was not that bad.

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

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I'll be gassing with Angelo Cataldi on 610-AM and 94.1-FM WIP Monday morning around 9.

Check it out.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


So that's that game over.

It can't be played anymore, can it? The one that so many have enjoyed for so long. The one that begins with, "Which was the best Chester basketball team ever," then would grow loder from there.

The answer: the 2012 Clippers, the only undefeated Chester team in history.

Were that achieved against an ordinary schedule, it could have been debated. But the Clippers played everyone, were nationally ranked, and were perfect.

Game over.

 “The best Chester team ever,” said athletic director Randy Leggette, who has the seniority to make the declaration. “They did it.”

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


The last time Chester played Lower Merion, it won 71-63. Larry Yarbray and Gregg Downer are both good enough coaches to have found something to take away from the other side since then.

Also --- and do not dismiss this --- the added TV timeouts in state finals should stop some runs and lead to lower scores.

The line: Chester by 8. The over-under 130.

The pick: Chester 68. Lower Merion 61. Take the Aces and the 8, go under the buck-30 and watch the Clippers make history with their first undefeated season

Friday, March 23, 2012


After a 56-37 victory over Oakland Catholic, good for its second state championship in four years, it's time to declare: Archbishop Carroll is in any conversation about the best teams in Catholic League history.

Why? For one, girls basketball is improving exponentially, every year, with multiple players doing more now than ever before. More specifically, the Patriots are versatile, big, deep, long and well-coached.

Where do they rank with the best?

“They are right there,” said Barry Kirsch, the former coach, who coached the Patriots successfully during some deep Catholic League races. “They shoot well, they move, and they know each other. No matter what you throw at them, they handle.”

Check out my column on the Patriots and their rising star-to-be Sarah Curran in the Daily Times Saturday and, as always, on

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


There is one Class AAAA basketball team in Pennsylvania capable of defeating Chester. It is Lower Merion, and Saturday night at Penn State, the two will play for the state championship.

In the District One final, Chester was favored by 6 1-2 and won by 8, 71-63, covering.

Lower Merion has played perfectly since, as has Chester. Thus, the new line: Right there, again. Chester by 8.

The over-under is 137 1-2.

That is the line I have set. Saturday night, one hour before the game, I will release my State Championship 10-Star Play of the Millennium. Platinum members such as @knoxrob1 will get a heads-up early. Anyone else can, too, by DM'ing me Saturday.

So there it is: Chester by 8 in the final. Have at it ...

Sunday, March 18, 2012


If the Flyers are going to succeed this season, they will need Danny Briere to thrive.

There have been enough hints, including one in overtime Sunday during a 3-2 victory over the Penguins, that it will happen.

Though Briere has not scored a goal into an occupied net since Jan. 7, his assist set Scott Hartnell up for the game-winner ... that after playing a splendid, two-way hockey game.

“I am at the time of my career where the puck is not going in,” he said. “It is going to happen. You try to do other things. I want to make sure I don't cost the team anything defensively. I try to set up plays.”

Check out my column on the suddenly re-surging Briere in the Daily Times Monday and, as always, on

Saturday, March 17, 2012


For as long as there is Chester basketball, folks will debate about the best teams. But with two games left in a still-perfect season, including a romp past Coatesville Saturday at Norristown, the Clippers have a chance to own the No. 1 tiebreaker: The only undefeated season in school history.


More and more, it is becoming clear that the reason is junior swing man Rondae Jefferson.

“He's 6-7,” said Fred Pickett, the former Chester coach and most qualified program historian. "And he plays like a point guard --- an All-American point guard. There is nothing else to say. There is nothing else to say about that.”

P.S. "yesgodtv" consistently offers a good look at Chester hoops.

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


With 13 games left in the regular season, the Flyers are eight points behind the Rangers in the Atlantic Division.

That's do-able. But not do-able enough for pennant fever to have infected the Skate Zone.

“I don't know,” Matt Carle shrugged Wednesday, after practice. “And I don't know if that's the most important thing right now. I think we want to be playing playoff hockey. Where we fall in the standings, that's where we'll be. You see it time and time again that it doesn't really matter where teams are in the standings as long as you are in there in the playoffs.”

The Flyers have one regular-season game left with the Rangers. They will visit the Islanders Thursday.

Check out the Daily Times Thursday --- and as always, --- for complete Flyers coverage, including my column on the end of the goaltending crisis that was threatening to crumble the operation.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


After Spencer Hawes practiced Tuesday --- and with Evan Turner now in the starting lineup --- Sixers coach Doug Collins felt like the Sixers had become better this week no matter what happens at the Thursday trade deadline.

“Spencer is ball friendly,” Collins said. “And as a big guy, he can space the floor. He has a very good ability of being a pressure-release if the shot clock is working against you. He cane make a play or take a shot himself. And you need those guys at the end of the clock when something is breaking down.

“Spencer is not going to beat you off the dribble, but he is going to be ball friendly and help you in a short clock.”

Sixers owner Joshua Harris, CEO Adam Aron and president Rod Thorn were at practice ... a hint that the Sixers will not rest as the deadline approaches. Afterward, they met with Collins.

“I think Rod has been on the phones, and Josh is here,” Collins said. “The deadline is coming around, but I would be shocked if we did anything big. Could we add a little piece? Possibly. We have a meeting before we leave.”

Check out the complete Sixers coverage in the Daily Times Wednesday and, as always, on

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Let's see ...

They were nationally ranked.
They didn't win their conference tournament, but they received a No. 5 seed in the NCAA field.
They delighted their fans, who whooped it up Sunday in the Liacouras Center.
Lavoy Allen, former Owl and current 76er was there, proving they can send players to the pros.

So exactly what is it again that has inspired Temple to leave the Atlantic 10?
OK, that works.

But as the crowd had fun and the respect grew thicker Sunday, there was one nagging thought: Will it ever be that way again when, in two years, the Owls are in the Big East?

With Fran Dunphy, they will be well-coached enough to thrive in the BCS. But it will be more difficult to be ranked and to have a No. 5 seeding, that's all.

And on a day when the fun was so real, it was enough to lament why it all had to end, just so the football team could have a home schedule that includes Navy, Boise State and Rutgers instead of Ball State, Army and Eastern Michigan.

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

Friday, March 2, 2012


Take Lower Merion plus the 6 1-2 and go over the 133. Final: Chester 70, Lower Merion 64.


The rugby team from Ireland will play the USA side at Widener on, yes, St. Patrick's Day.

Sounds like a party, and if not, there will be a party afterward at Harrah's-Chester.

The following is the press release from the promoters:


Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack
Saturday, March 17th 2012

Sponsored by Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack, AMNRL Rugby will host The Donnybrook Cup Rugby Match, USA vs. Ireland at Widener University beginning at 1:00pm on March 17th.

Harrah’s Chester will host the Official After Party that will feature Blackthorn, Delaware County’s Legendary # 1 Irish Celtic Rock & Roll Band. Blackthorn party tickets can be purchased at Harrah’s Chester the day of the event. Doors open at 1:30pm. Tickets are also available by visiting the Donnybrook Cup website at Check out the Rugby & Harrah’s After Party Combo Passes for a full day of excitement!

Blackthorn will debut at Harrah’s Chester starting at 3:00pm on the Riverview Grandstand Deck overlooking the scenic Delaware River.

Harrah’s Chester’s talented chef’s will showcase Irish food & beverages and boasts 6 world class restaurants offering a variety of cuisines to satisfy any palette.

Harrah’s Chester offers the best rewards membership program in the country! Sign up for Total Rewards today and receive: Free Slot Play, Free Room in AC and Free Food! Also, enjoy world class live horse racing, the hottest slots and table games! Harrah’s Chester – Your Place for Hometown Action!