IT'S ALWAYS sad when an all-time local sports icon passes away, and more so when there existed so many positive relationships that icon had with people in our area.
So in his honor, we present three statistical facts you probably hadn't realized concerning the late, great Jack Ramsay.
* While his one NBA championship came at the expense of the Sixers when his Portland Trail Blazers bested them in the 1977 Finals, did you realize he had also had a hand in eliminating them the season before? His Buffalo Braves took a three-game set from the pre-Doctor J Sixers in 1976, culminating in a classic Sunday afternoon overtime game at the Spectrum.
* That Blazers team had finished the regular season with six straight wins (following a loss to the Sixers), went 14-5 in the playoffs and started the next year 50-10 (win No. 50 coming against the Sixers) before center Bill Walton got hurt. Add that all up and it is 70-15 (.824) over an 85-game stretch.
* Ramsay, who took over on Saint Joseph's bench for the first Big 5 season in 1955-56, was one of nine men who have been head coaches in both the Big 5 and the NBA. The others: Jim Polland, Paul Westhead (La Salle); Chuck Daly, Dick Harter, Jack McCloskey (Penn); Jim Lynam, Jack McKinney (Saint Joseph's); and Don Casey (Temple).
Here are some other quick stats that caught our attention recently . . .
* We are sure you have heard that this year's Flyers team had seven 20-goal scorers. But did you realize that none of them reached 30. They are are the first Flyers team ever to have that distinction.
* The Flyers-Rangers series was the only one of the NHL's first-round matchups that did not go to overtime at least once.
* The Flyers scored only one goal in three of their four playoff losses. Since 2005-06, teams that score one goal in a playoff game are 24-223 (.097).
* Through games of Thursday, the Phillies' Class A team in Clearwater was 5-21 (.192), by far the worst record of any team in the affiliated minor leagues.
* Today marks the first time in NBA history that there will be three Game 7s on the same day.
* The NHL on Wednesday had three Game 7s on the same day for the first time since Tuesday, April 22, 2003. The Flyers, who lost to the Rangers Wednesday, were involved in one of those Game 7s. They stopped the Maple Leafs, 6-1, to advance.