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Tony Siragusa, Super Bowl champion with Ravens and former sideline analyst, dies at 55

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Tony Siragusa, a nose tackle who played 12 NFL seasons with Indianapolis and Baltimore from 1990 to 2001, died Wednesday at age 55, the Ravens announced.

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Known for a personality even larger than his claimed height of 6’3″ and 330 pounds, Siragusa has gone from being an undrafted quarterback to an NFL staple. He found his footing in Indianapolis, where he played in 96 games over seven seasons, recording 405 tackles, 16.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. But he did make his mark with the Baltimore Ravens, throwing 159 tackles, 5.5 sacks, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries, and winning the Super Bowl in the 2000 season before becoming a fan favorite as the star of the first ever Strong blows serial 2001

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“There was no one like Goose,” former Ravens coach Brian Billick said in a statement, “a warrior on the field and team unifier with a generous heart who helped teammates and the community more than most people realize. We wouldn’t do it. won the Super Bowl without him. This is such overwhelming, sad news and our hearts go out to Cathy and the Siragus family.”

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Siragusa beamed in front of the cameras of HBO and NFL Films, using one interview to express genuine displeasure with Baltimore’s weigh-in policy (“I mean, if I smell a hamburger, I gain two pounds”) during the 2001 season and detailing, how he instructed the rookies to put their weight on the team schedule every day. The ever-expressive Syragusa was a natural addition and the perfect accent for a series that has continued on an annual basis for the better part of the last 21 years.

“Goose was quite a character but he was one of our leaders on the 2000 Super Bowl team,” former Ravens general manager Ozzy Newsom said in a statement. “He was probably one of the best defenders who played for our defense over the years. My heart breaks for Kathy, Samantha, Anthony Jr and Ava. I pray for them.”

Syragusa stood out for Strong blows before his final season in the NFL, but that was just the beginning of his on-camera success. Siragusa moved off the field to the side, serving as a member of the NFL’s broadcast team on FOX as an outside reporter, working for the network until the end of the 2015 season. The New Jersey native also appeared as a member of the Tony Soprano crime family in several episodes of the HBO series. Sopranohosted a DIY Network show caves of man and worked as a salesman for brands such as Depends adult diapers.

His professional days began with disappointment. Siragusa was considered a potential first-round pick, but a knee injury sustained at the University of Pittsburgh crippled his draft, causing him to drop out of the first round of the 1990 draft entirely. Indianapolis gladly signed with Syragusa and watched him grow into a regular, and while he never received the typical post-season honors of a star, he certainly carried himself like a star.

Alan Grant, former NFL quarterback and writer for the now-defunct ESPN The Magazine, once described Syragusa as “a jovial sage” who “had an unmistakable confidence that endeared him to his teammates.” That same confidence propelled him into a long NFL career that included a Super Bowl triumph. And along the way, Siragusa created many memories for those around him—memories that will stay with him long after his death.



Source: www.nfl.com

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