Tony Siragusa, Super Bowl winner and NFL sideline reporter, dies at age 55


Tony Siragusa, Super Bowl winner and NFL sideline reporter, dies at age 55

Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who helped lead a strong Baltimore defense to a Super Bowl title, has died. He was 55.

The Baltimore Ravens, for whom Siragusa played five seasons, said Siragusa died “unexpectedly” on Wednesday morning. A cause of death was not immediately given.

New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – November 5, 2006
Tony Siragusa as a sideline reporter at an NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 5, 2006.

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

“This is a really sad day,” Siragusa broadcasting agent Jim Ornstein told The Associated Press. “Tony was far more than my client, he was family. My heart goes out to Tony’s loved ones.”

Known as “The Goose”, Siragusa played seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and five with the Ravens. The 2000 Baltimore team won the Super Bowl behind a defense that included Siragusa, Ray Lewis and Sam Adams.

“That is a difficult question. I love Goose like a brother,” Lewis said in a statement on 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 turned 200 fun loving years into 55!! He was one of the most physically fit players I’ve seen in 50 years. Did he have passion? In Tony’s case… yes he did!!”

Siragusa was popular with fans for his fun-loving personality, which also helped him quickly switch to broadcasting after his playing career.

Siragusa arrived in Baltimore as a free agent in 1997 and teamed with Adams to form an impressive defensive tackle tandem. In the Ravens’ 2000 championship season, the 6-foot-3, 340-pound Siragusa was sixth among Baltimore defensemen with 75 tackles.

“It was an honor and a privilege to perform alongside Tony Siragusa,” Adams said in a statement following news of Siragusa’s death. “He made the game fun and was a real competitor. Our D-Line room was something special on and off the field.

Siragusa finished his career with 22 sacks.

The news of Siragusa’s death came on an already tragic day for the Ravens. That Death of Jaylon Fergusona linebacker for Baltimore, aged 26, was announced earlier in the day.

“This is an incredibly sad day for the Baltimore Ravens,” said owner Steve Bisciotti. “We appreciate everyone who has given so much support to our players, coaches and staff.”

Siragusa was a star football player and wrestler at David Brearley High School in New Jersey. He then played collegiate in Pittsburgh, where he had a reputation for banter 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 wasn’t drafted before signing with Indianapolis, but he proved to be a championship-winning force in the NFL. He then brought his personality to the airwaves, working for Fox’s NFL coverage.

“His unparalleled passion for football has made him one of the most charismatic figures to ever set foot on the grid 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 starred in HBO’s The Sopranos and has hosted shows on Discovery Channel and DIY Network.

“Tony really was bigger than life, on and off the field,” said Pat Narduzzi, Pitt’s current soccer coach. “He played the game passionately and relentlessly. Despite not being drafted, he thrived in the NFL for 12 years. Life after football took him to so many places, but he never forgot Pitt. We could always count on him to send the best footage, encouraging conversations with our boys before our biggest games.”

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