Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who helped lead a strong Baltimore defense to a Super Bowl title, has died. He was 55 years old.
The Baltimore Ravens, for whom Siragusa played five seasons, said Siragusa died “unexpectedly” Wednesday morning. The cause of death was not immediately known.
“This is a really sad day,” Siragusa broadcast agent Jim Ornstein told The Associated Press. “Tony was so much more than my client, he was my family. My heart goes out to Tony’s loved ones.”
Siragusa, known as “the Goose,” played seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and five with the Ravens. Baltimore’s 2000 team won the Super Bowl thanks to a defense that included Siragusa, Ray Lewis and Sam Adams.
“This is a tough question. 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.” how that.”
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted: “The Goose squeezed 200 years of fun into 55! He was one of the physically strongest players I’ve seen in 50 years. In Greece, they asked 1 question at the end of the life; did he have passion? In Tony’s case… Yes, he did!!”
Siragusa was popular with fans due to his fun-loving personality, which also helped him make a quick transition to streaming after his playing career.
Siragusa came to Baltimore as a free agent in 1997 and teamed up with Adams to form an imposing defensive tackle duo. In the Ravens’ 2000 championship season, the 6-foot-3, 340-pound Siragusa was sixth among Baltimore defenders with 75 tackles.
“It was an honor and a privilege to be alongside Tony Siragusa,” Adams said in a statement following news of Siragusa’s death. “He made the game fun and was a true competitor. Our D line room was special on and off the field. Rest easy and God bless and protect the family from him.”
Siragusa finished his career with 22 sacks.
News of Siragusa’s death came on what was already a tragic day for the Ravens. thea linebacker from Baltimore, at age 26 was announced earlier in the day.
“This is a tremendously sad day for the Baltimore Ravens,” owner Steve Bisciotti said. “We appreciate everyone who has expressed an outpouring of support for our players, coaches and staff.”
Siragusa was a star football player and wrestler at David Brearley High School in New Jersey. He then played college in Pittsburgh, where he had a reputation for pranksters long before his NFL career.
“If I wanted to learn a school song, 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 went undrafted before signing with Indianapolis, but he turned out to be a championship-winning force in the NFL. He later took his personality to the airwaves, working for Fox’s NFL coverage.
“His unparalleled passion for soccer established him as one of the most charismatic personalities to ever step foot on the gridiron or in front of a camera,” Fox Sports said in a statement. “Goose was a natural in his ability to connect the sport and its players with fans everywhere.”
Siragusa also had a role on HBO’s “The Sopranos” and hosted shows on the Discovery Channel and the DIY Network.
“Tony really was larger than life, on and off the field,” said Pat Narduzzi, Pitt’s current football coach. “He played passionately and relentlessly. Despite being undrafted, he thrived in the NFL for 12 years. His post-football life took him to so many places, but he never forgot Pitt. We could always count on him to submit the best recorded video “. Pep talks to our guys before our biggest games.”