Sports Outside the Beltway

NBA Iron man Randy Smith dead at age 60

He once held the NBA record for consecutive games played. RIP.

Randy Smith, a blindingly fast All-Star with the Buffalo Braves in the 1970s who once held the NBA record for consecutive games, died while working out on a treadmill. He was 60.

He had a massive heart attack Thursday while exercising at the Connecticut casino where he worked, son-in-law Lekan Bashua told The Associated Press on Friday.

Smith was pronounced dead at William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich. The Mohegan Sun Casino declined to comment on circumstances surrounding the death, citing medical confidentiality laws.

Jack Ramsay, Smith’s coach in Buffalo, called the 6-foot-3 guard the best athlete he ever coached.

“He had stamina, great speed and developed into a very good player,” Ramsay said Friday from the NBA Finals in Los Angeles. “And was so fun to be around. There was not a bad day in Randy’s life.”

Smith was drafted by the Braves in the seventh round in 1971 and averaged more than 13 points in his rookie season. He went on to play 13 years in the NBA and appeared in 906 consecutive games from 1972-83. His mark was broken by A.C. Green in 1997.

“He played hurt, gave it 100 percent and took pride in that,” said Durie Burns, a college teammate of Smith’s at Buffalo State.

Smith was a good shooter and great jumper who wowed fans with reverse dunks. He was one of the most popular players in Braves history, and in teaming with scoring champion Bob McAdoo he helped make the Braves under Ramsay one of the league’s exciting clubs.

“We could run,” Ramsay said, “and nobody could keep up with Randy’s sheer speed.”


John Madden retires after 30 years in booth

He was a Hall of Fame coach with the Oakland Raiders before that. From ESPN-

John Madden, a fixture in NFL broadcast booths for 30 years, has decided to retire, he announced Thursday in a statement released by NBC Sports.

Madden, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and former Super bowl-winning coach of the Oakland Raiders, has been a game analyst and TV personality since walking away from coaching in 1979.

“It’s time. I’m 73 years old. My 50th wedding anniversary is this fall,” Madden said. “I have two great sons and their families and my five grandchildren are at an age now when they know when I’m home and, more importantly, when I’m not.”

“It’s been such a great ride,” he added. The NFL has been my life for more than 40 years, it has been my passion – it still is. … it’s still fun and that’s what it makes it hard and that’s why it took me a few months to make a decision.

Madden played college ball at Cal Poly and had a brief career as a player with the Philadelphia Eagles. Before being hired by the Raiders as a defensive assistant, Madden was a assistant coach on the college level with Buffalo State and San Diego State(Under Dan Coryel). Sadly Al Davis the owner of the Oakland Raiders hasn’t been able to make a similarly brilliant head coaching choice of late as to when he promoted Madden to the job in 1969.

Enjoy your retirement coach.


Former Buffalo State Hockey player Madeline ‘Maddy’ Loftus dead at 24

She was one of those killed in the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407. From the Buffalo News-

Madeline Loftus, 24, a former Buffalo State College student who lives in New Jersey. She was on her way to reunite with 14 other alumni of Buffalo State’s women’s ice hockey team for a game Saturday. Loftus played for the school team from 2002 to 2004.

Neither my wife Leonita or I know or met Maddy, but she was the cousin of one of our church choir members. Leonita, who works at our church and is active in the choir right now, spoke to her family. They are very distraught right at this moment. Please say a prayer for Maddy’s family. God bless them and all who died in the crash and their families.


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