Tony Siragusa, former Ravens star and Fox Sports personality, dies at age 55

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Tony Siragusa, the Super Bowl-winning NFL defender and television personality whose massive physique suited his huge public, died at the age of 55.

The Baltimore Ravens, for whom he played from 1997 to 2001, said he died “unexpectedly” Wednesday morning. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said he and his wife were “shocked and heartbroken” by Siragusa’s death, saying he was a special person and clearly one of the most popular players in Ravens’ history.

“Our deepest prayers and condolences go to Kathy, their three children and the rest of Siragusa’s family,” Bisciotti added. “This is an extremely sad day for Baltimore Ravens. Thank you to everyone who has expressed support for our players, coaches and staff.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ravens had shared news of the death of 26-year-old defender Jaylon Ferguson. The cause of death in his case has not yet been announced.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, with whom Siragusa spent his first seven years in the NFL, confirmed reports of Siragusa’s death, which began on Wednesday afternoon.

“I have a broken heart like the whole Colts Nation,” Irsay tweet.

Nicknamed “Goose”, Siragusa gained national fame after he left Colts and joined Ravens in 1997. The 6-foot, 330-pound nose man who blocked his opponents’ running tracks was a key figure in record defense. which helped Ravens win the Super Bowl XXXV in 2000. After proving to be one of the funniest characters of the pre-Super Bowl media day, Siragusa made a reversal several months later when Baltimore starred in the first season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”

“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.”

Former Ravens defender Jamal Lewis said on Wednesday he was delighted that he, Siragusa and other members of the 2000 championship had the opportunity to be together for the last time to celebrate the victorious team earlier this year.

“Goose was one of the most modest and funny boys I knew,” Lewis said in a statement. “I remember his closet was by my side on the day of the game. He never disturbed and enjoyed life. While I had butterflies in my stomach, he joked and pumped me up at the same time. … He’s really missed me.

Several years after his career as a player ended after the 2001 season, Siragusa was hired as a side reporter for Fox Sports NFL. He brought a light touch to the role until he and the network split in 2016.

Siragusa from New Jersey also appeared on the HBO hit show “The Sopranos” and starred in Spike Lee’s 2002 film “25th Hour.”

In addition to playing for the high school football team, for which he scored points and played in the defensive line, Siragusa was a prominent wrestler who won the New Jersey title in 1985. He went on to play football at the University of Pittsburgh because, as he explained (via Panther), “If I wanted to learn school songs, I would have gone to Notre Dame or Penn State. I want to kill people on the football field. That’s why I came to Pitt.”

“Tony was really bigger than life on and off the field,” said Pitti coach Pat Narduzzi. “His post-football life took him to so many places, but he never forgot Pitti. We could always hope that he would send our men the best recorded mood calls before our biggest games.” The Goose “leaves a great legacy and is longed for.

A knee injury prevented Siragusa from last two seasons in Pitt, and he was drafted by the NFL in 1990 before signing a contract with Colts as a free agent. He played for 12 seasons in Indianapolis and Baltimore.

“It’s hard,” said former Ravens defender Ray Lewis, who was another of the team’s dominant defense forces in 2000. “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. “

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