A different side of Buddy Ryan

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Ginny Lasco saw Buddy Ryan through a different prism than most of us. (WPVI)

Ginny Lasco saw Buddy Ryan through a different prism than most of us.

"There was nobody like him. There's never going to be another guy like him," Lasco said.

Lasco was a young woman working in television when she tagged along with a photographer to a Philadelphia Eagles practice and first met Buddy Ryan. It was 1986.

The pair started chatting, hit it off immediately, and became close friends for years to come.

"To me, he was a father figure. He was very dad-like. That's what drew me to him plus his sense of humor. We were constantly laughing and being smart alecs," Lasco said.

Lasco talked about the fun times she and Ryan shared as she looked through treasured photos at her Manayunk home.

"We started having lunch every Tuesday at a place at the end of the practice field when it was down at the old stadium. We'd have eggplant parmigiana and two beers every single time we went," Lasco said.

A longtime horse enthusiast, Ryan named two horses after Lasco.

"The first was Ginny's Pursuit which sounds weird, but it was the offspring of a horse named Pursuit and the second one was Lucky Lasco. Yeah, I won $90 on him one time," Lasco said.

This city might remember Ryan as blunt, brash, often foul-mouthed, even physical at times. Lasco grew to know and love a kinder, gentler side of a man some considered a football genius.

"I mean he touches everybody. He's so generous and so kind and always cared about what was going on in your life," Lasco said.

Ryan bought Lasco a new winter coat every year concerned she wasn't staying warm.

She thinks they last spoke by phone about three years ago. He couldn't communicate very clearly and she knew she would soon learn of his passing. A friend called with the sad news Tuesday morning.

"It's heartbreaking. I mean he was suffering. And now, he's with his wife, in heaven," Lasco said.
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