Tony Siragusa, a charismatic defender who helped bring Baltimore’s strong defender to the Super Bowl title, has died. He was 55.
The Baltimore Ravens, where Siragusa played for five seasons, said Siragusa died “unexpectedly” Wednesday morning. The cause of death was not immediately reported.
“It’s a really sad day,” Siragusa’s broadcasting agent Jim Ornstein told The Associated Press. “Tony was much more than my client, he was a family. I give to Tony’s loved ones.”
Siragusa, known as “Goose,” played seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and five seasons with the Ravens. The Baltimore 2000 team won the Super Bowl behind Siragusa, Ray Lewis and Sam Adams.
“It’s tough. I love Goose like a brother,” Lewis said in a statement Wednesday, adding, “He was a unique person who made you feel important and special. You can never replace a man like that.”
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted, “The Goose pushed 200 fun-loving years to 55 !! He was one of the physically strongest players I’ve seen in 50 years. In Greece, they asked a question at the end of their lives; Did he have a passion? For Tony ..Yes, he did !! “
Siragusa was popular with the fans because of his fun personality, which helped him quickly switch to broadcasting after a career as a player.
Siragusa came to Baltimore as a free agent in 1997 and worked with Adams to form an imposing defensive tackle tandem. In Ravens’ 2000 championship season, Siragusa was the sixth of the 75-pound Sirimusa defender with six hits in 75.
“It was an honor and a privilege to line up Tony Siragusa,” Adams said in a statement after the news of Siragusa’s death. “He made the game fun and was a real competitor. Our D-line room was special both on and off the field. Let him be calm and God bless and keep his family.”
Siragusa ended her career with 22 bags.
The news of Siragusa’s death came on a day that was already tragic for Ravens. TheThe Baltimore defender, 26, was announced the same day.
“It’s an extremely sad day for the Baltimore Ravens,” said owner Steve Bisciotti. “Thanks to everyone who has supported our players, coaches and staff.”
Siragusa was a star footballer and wrestler at David Brearley High School in New Jersey. He then played collegially in Pittsburgh, where he had a reputation as a smart head before his NFL career.
“If I wanted to learn school songs, I would have gone to Notre Dame or Penn State,” he once said. “I want to kill people on the football field. That’s why I came to Pitt.”
Siragusa did not draft before signing a contract with Indianapolis, but he proved to be a champion in the NFL. He then aired his personality while working on Fox’s NFL show.
“His incomparable passion for football made him one of the most charismatic personalities who ever stepped in front of a grid or a camera,” Fox Sports said in a statement. “It was natural for Goose to be able to associate the sport and its players with fans everywhere.”
Siragusa also starred in the HBO show “The Sopranos” and directed the Discovery Channel and DIY Network.
“Tony was really bigger than life on and off the field,” said Pat Narduzzi, Pitti’s current football coach. “He played the game passionately and relentlessly. Despite not being drafted, he flourished in the NFL for 12 years. His post-football life took him so many places, but he never forgot Pitti. We can always hope to send the best recorded record pep talks to our men before our biggest games. ”
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