Tony Siragusa, Former Ravens Star and Fox Sports Personality, Dies at 55

Tony Siragusa, Former Ravens Star and Fox Sports Personality, Dies at 55

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Tony Siragusa, a Super Bowl-winning NFL defensive tackle and television personality whose massive physique was matched by his massive public persona, has died at age 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 released.

Stating that he and his wife were “stunned and heartbroken” by the news of Siragusa’s death, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said in a statement: “He was a special person and clearly one of the players most popular in Ravens history.

“Our deepest prayers and condolences go out to Kathy, her three children and the rest of the Siragusa family,” Bisciotti added. “This is a tremendously sad day for the Baltimore Ravens. We thank everyone who has expressed great support for our players, coaches and staff.”

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

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, with whose team Siragusa spent his first seven years in the NFL, confirmed reports of Siragusa’s death that began to surface Wednesday afternoon.

“I’m heartbroken, as is the entire Colts Nation,” Irsay tweeted.

Nicknamed “Goose,” Siragusa rose to national fame after he left the Colts and joined the Ravens in 1997. A 6-foot-3, 330-pound nose tackle who clogged opposing lanes for runs, he was a key figure in a defense that set records. who helped the 2000 Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV. After proving to be one of the most entertaining figures during the pre-Super Bowl media day, Siragusa took on a star turn several months later when Baltimore appeared on the first season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”

“There was no one quite like Goose: a warrior on the field and team unifier with a generous and generous heart who helped his teammates and the community more than most people know,” said the former Los Angeles coach. Ravens, Brian Billick. “We wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl without him.”

Former Ravens running back Jamal Lewis said Wednesday that he was glad he, Siragusa and other members of the 2000 championship team got “a chance to be together one last time” at a celebration earlier this year of that triumphant team.

“Goose was one of the most humble and fun guys I’ve ever met,” Lewis said in a statement. “I remember his locker was next to mine on game day. He never got upset and enjoyed life. While I had butterflies in my stomach, he was cracking jokes and cheering me up at the same time. … We will miss him very much.”

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

Originally from New Jersey, Siragusa also appeared on screen as a supporting character on HBO’s hit show “The Sopranos” and had a role in a 2002 Spike Lee film “25th Hour.”

In addition to playing on his high school football team, for which he kicked and played defensive line, Siragusa was a standout wrestler who won a New Jersey state title in 1985. He went on to play football in college. from Pittsburgh because, as he explained (via the Panthers), “If I wanted to learn a school song, I would have gone to Notre Dame or Penn State. I want to kill people on the soccer field. That’s why I came to Pitt.

“Tony really was larger than life, on and off the field,” Pitt’s trainer Pat Narduzzi said. “His life after him in football took him to many places, but he never forgot Pitt. We could always count on him to send the best recorded pep talks to our guys before our biggest games. ‘The Goose’ leaves behind a great legacy and will be greatly missed.”

Knee injuries hampered Siragusa’s final two seasons at Pitt, and he went undrafted by the NFL in 1990 before signing with the Colts as a free agent. He then went on to play 12 seasons with Indianapolis and Baltimore.

“This is a tough question,” said former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, another member of the team’s dominant defense in 2000. “I love Goose like a brother. From the first day we 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. You can never replace a man like that.”

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