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Editor at Large

All he did was coach great defenses; meanwhile, a former doper gets into the dope business

Buddy Ryan, head coach of the Eagles for five seasons from 1986-1990.
Buddy Ryan, head coach of the Eagles for five seasons from 1986-1990.

Legendary defensive coach Buddy Ryan, who died today, never won a playoff game as a head coach.

That was the knock on Ryan, who was head coach of the Eagles and Cardinals.

However, that’s also a bit unfair. With the Eagles, he turned a losing franchise into a winning team that made the playoffs three out of five years. And he did advance to the second round of the playoffs since his team was good enough to earn a first-round bye.

Plus, it’s unjust to blame Ryan for the Eagles’ playoff loss to the Bears in the infamous 1988 “Fog Bowl,” as visibility conditions prevented a true reckoning between the two teams.

Ryan made for good copy and good television:

“Trade him for a six-pack. It doesn’t even have to be cold,” Ryan once said, according to ESPN.

Or check this Ryan gem, from USA Today:

“I don’t think coming in late hurt his chances. I think because he can’t punt might hurt his chances.”

Ryan’s wit and personality should not mask that he was a great defensive coordinator and motivator and, for a while, a really good head coach.

His attack philosophy and impact on NFL defenses live to this day.

Unrelated and meanwhile ... Former pro cyclist and acknowledged user of performance enhancing drugs Floyd Landis, a native of Lancaster County, is starting a marijuana products business in Colorado.

Landis, who in 2006 briefly was declared the Tour de France before losing his crown because of doping, said he has benefited from the use of marijuana the past few years after getting a hip replacement, according to lancasteronline.com. For the story, click here.

Random shots and second thoughts:

-- Hard to believe they use penalty kicks to decide a major international soccer championship, such as they did in the Copa America final between Argentina and Chile. That’s like the NBA using a game of HORSE to decide its champion or Major League Baseball determining its World Series winner with a home-run hitting contest.

-- Soccer knockout games should mirror what the National Hockey League does: Keep playing until someone scores a goal. And it should book the championship venue for the next day, as well, in case the teams are still tied after several overtime periods. Just bring them back and play on. And on. And on.

-- Generally speaking for those who work inside office buildings, in order to be comfortable, one must wear a sweater or light jacket in the summer and, in the winter, turn on a fan to mitigate the oppressive heat. In other words, they rarely get it right.

-- It's a big week for me: I'm thinking of downloading the ShopRite app.

-- This just in ... the latest on the most interesting man in the world:

Every time he drives through a toll booth, he charges E-ZPass $3.

He packs his parachute on the way down.

He once rolled Yahtzee using just four dice.

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