NFL defender Tony Siragusa, who became one of the game’s biggest players and personalities, died at the age of 55 on Wednesday.
The cause of Siragusa’s death was not immediately known.
Siragusa, affectionately known as “Goose”, was an important cog in Baltimore Ravens’ historic 2000 defense, leading the franchise’s first Super Bowl title that season. He began his 12-year career by taking advantage of his $ 1,000 contract bonus as an undraft free agent and leaving the game as one of a unique figure known for his disrespectful sense of humor and memorable pranks.
“There has been no one like Goose – a warrior on the field and a team unifier with a generous and generous heart who helped teammates and the community more than most people know,” said Brian Billick, a former Ravens coach. “Without him, we wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl. It’s such shocking and sad news, and we feel for Kathy and the Siragusa family.”
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay tweet that he was “broken in heart like the whole of the Colts Nation.” Irsay was added in the following tweet “The Goose squeezed 200 fun years into 55 !!”
Goose squeezed 200 fun years into 55 !! He was one of the physically strongest players I’ve seen in 50 years💪🏼🏈 in Greece, they ask 1 question at the end of their lives; Did he have a passion? Tony’s case..Yes he did !! 💪🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼❤️
– Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) June 22, 2022
Siragusa, known as the Blue Collar, enjoyed the fact that his greatest moment came from a hit. In the 2000 AFC Championship game, Siragusa defeated Oakland Raiders’ Rich Gannon as he raced All-Pro on the lawn and separated his left shoulder. Ravens defeated Raiders 16: 3 to escape the Super Bowl.
“I saw Rich’s eyes return,” Siragusa said at the time. “He got every pound of my thick ass on himself.”
As much as Siragusa enjoyed the spotlight from the field, she was content to do dirty work for one of the NFL’s main defenses, even though it led to countless knee surgeries and no Pro Bowl invitations. The 6-foot, 3-foot, 340-pound wall in the middle occupied Siragusa’s double teams to allow central defender Ray Lewis to move around freely, helping Baltimore set league records for the fewest points (165) and hurried yards (970) with 16 points. – game season.
“It’s hard,” Lewis said. “I love Goose like a brother. From the first day I met, I knew life was different. I knew he was someone who would change my life forever. He was a unique person who made you feel important and special. can never be replaced. “
“I really believe the Super Bowl XXXV team would never have been as good as it would have been without Tony. Not only did he connect to the center, but being in his locker room created a relaxed environment when things were tight.
His teammates remember Siragusa for his infamous practical jokes.
There was a time when some younger players made a lot of cocoa in the gym, and Siragusa saw an opportunity to stab it with a laxative before training. Siragusa laughed as the players rushed off the field.
“People like you are said to be everywhere, but I believe God created a goose with that personality,” said Larry Webster, a former Ravens defender.
In the first “Hard Knocks”, Siragusa gave one of the best moments when he limited the narrow ends of their meeting room with a table. Sharpe famously announced that he wanted a “refund” and stole Siragusa’s truck for apology.
Siragusa’s commitment to his team was demonstrated in 2000 when he was blocked, fell to the ground, and did not feel part of his body. His mother ran down the podium and his older brothers rushed to the locker room where the golf cart had been moved by a motionless man.
“I couldn’t move from top to bottom,” Siragusa recalled later. “It was the most horrible thing that has ever happened to me in my life.”
Medical personnel told Siragusa that he should perform at least an MRI to make sure there was no spinal cord injury. He had a crushed spine and was advised not to go back. But he did not heed that advice.
Siragusa said: “[Defensive line] Coach Rex Ryan came up to me and said, “You have a family. Don’t go back there. I said, ‘You’re my family, too.’ I have to do it. “
After retiring, Siragusa was a side analyst at Fox Sports from 2003 to 2015. He also had some acting roles, appearing in “The Sopranos” and Spike Lee in “25th Hour.”
“It’s a really sad day,” Siragusa’s escort Jim Ornstein told the Associated Press. “Tony was much more than my client, he was a family. My heart goes to Tony’s loved ones.”
Siragusa’s death continued a sad day for Ravens, who had previously announced the death of foreign line defender Jaylon Ferguson the same day. He was 26 years old.
“This is a hugely sad day for the Baltimore Ravens,” said Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. “Thanks to everyone who has supported our players, coaches and staff.”
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