Tony Siragusa, a Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl-winning defenseman who has made a media career since his retirement, died Wednesday, according to the report. TMZ as well as confirmed Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. He was 55 years old.
Siragusa, nicknamed “Goose”, played 12 seasons in the NFL, but had to overcome a major hurdle on his way there when he tore his cruciate ligaments in college in Pittsburgh, depleting his draft to the point that he was not drafted into the 1990 NFL. draft.
The Colts signed Syragusa as an undrafted free agent with a $1,000 signing bonus, but only after he sold himself. as a backup trucker. Over the next seven seasons, he helped bolster Indianapolis’ defenses. This tenure peaked when the team played the AFC Championship game behind Jim Harbaugh, Marshall Faulk and the top 10 defense.
A dispute with then Colts director of football operations Bill Tabin led to Siragusa leaving the team in 1996. He found a new home in the old home of the Colts, Baltimore, where the recently relocated team was in the process of assembling one of the most dangerous defenses in NFL history.
Siragusa became a fan favorite in Baltimore and formed a 700-pound wall up front with Sam Adams to help the Ravens win their first Super Bowl XXXV title in 2001.
Siragusa retired after next season due to knee problems, finishing his career with 564 tackles, 22 sacks and nine fumble rebounds in 169 games. He also got a place on list of the 100 greatest NFL league characters.
Tony Siragusa continued to have fun after his NFL career
The subsequent media career was a natural fit for the affable Syragusa, who had already begun broadcasting during his Indianapolis team. His interviews and eating habits never ceased to entertain his fans, and he rose to fame as perhaps the first breakout character on the HBO series Hard Knocks, the first season of which was filmed on 2001’s The Ravens.
From 2003 to 2015, Siragusa worked as an outside NFL reporter and analyst for Fox Sports, usually working with Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston. After leaving Fox, he worked for Sportzshala Sports as an NFL commentator.
Siragusa hit the small screen in other ways as well, hosting the DIY network’s Caves of Men show and appearing in four episodes of The Sopranos as mobster Frankie Cortese.
He is survived by his wife Katie and three children. His death was the second tragedy to hit the Ravens on Wednesday, as linebacker Jaylon Ferguson was announced dead.