Tony Siragusa, former Ravens star and Fox Sports character, has died at the age of 55

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Tony Siragusa, a Super Bowl-winning NFL defensive tackle and TV personality whose massive physique was matched by his oversized public figure, has died at the age of 55.

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

Stating that he and his wife were “stunned and heartbroken” at the news of Siragusa’s death, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said in a statement: “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 the Siragusa family,” added Bisciotti. “This is an awfully sad day for the Baltimore Ravens. We appreciate everyone who has expressed a wave of support for our players, coaches and staff. “

On Wednesday, the Ravens shared the news of the death of 26-year-old linebacker Jaylon Ferguson. A cause of death in his case had yet to be announced.

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

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

Dubbed “Goose”, Siragusa achieved national fame after leaving the Colts and joined the Ravens in 1997. A 6-foot 3-330-pound nose contrast that clogged up opposing running lanes, he was a key figure in a record-breaking defense that helped the 2000 Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV. After proving to be one of the funniest figures on pre-Super Bowl media day, Siragusa made a star turn several months later when Baltimore appeared in the first season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”

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

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

“Goose was one of the humblest and funniest guys I knew,” Lewis said in a statement. “I remember his locker was next to mine on game day. He has never been disturbed and he has enjoyed life. While I had butterflies in my stomach, he made jokes and pumped me at the same time. … We will really miss him. “

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

A native of New Jersey, Siragusa also appeared on screen as a minor character on HBO’s hit show, “The Sopranos,” and had a part in a 2002 Spike Lee film, “25th Hour.”

In addition to acting for his high school football team, for which he aimed and played on the defensive line, Siragusa was an outstanding wrestler who won a New Jersey state title in 1985. He went on to play college football. 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 football field. That’s why I came to Pitt.

“Tony was really bigger than life, on and off the pitch,” said Pitt manager Pat Narduzzi. “His post-football life has taken him so many places but he has never forgotten Pitt. We could always count on him to send the best recorded pep talk to our kids before our biggest games. “The Goose” leaves a great legacy and we will miss it very much. “

Knee injuries hampered Siragusa’s last two seasons at Pitt and in 1990 he was not chosen by the NFL before signing with the Colts as a free agent. He went on to play 12 seasons with Indianapolis and Baltimore.

“This is tough,” said former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, another dominant defense member of the team in 2000. “I love Goose like a brother. From the first day we met, I knew that 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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