The owners of the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens confirmed on Wednesday that former defensive lineman and Super Bowl champion Tony Siragusa has passed away. Siragusa worked as a football television pundit for Fox Sports.
The death of Siragusa was announced by Jim Irsay, owner of the Colts, on his Twitter account. It has not been determined what caused the death at this time.
Goose was the nickname given to Siragusa throughout his 12 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), seven of which were spent playing with the Colts after they signed him as an undrafted free agent in 1990. He started playing for the Baltimore Ravens in 1997 and retired after the 2001 season, one year after playing a crucial defensive role in the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory. He joined the team in 1997 and played until the end of the 2001 season.
Irsay described Siragusa as “one of the most physically powerful athletes I have seen in 50 years” in a tweet, and he praised Siragusa’s fun-loving personality.
Throughout his time with the Ravens, Siragusa was an integral part of the squad that won the title in the year 2000. He was noted for his intimidating bulk during his playing career, when he weighed 330 pounds. Although that season was one of his worst statistically — he recorded only 27 tackles and did not have any sacks — he contributed to one of the National Football League’s most fearsome defences by absorbing blockers to make it possible for other players, such as star linebacker Ray Lewis, defensive back Rod Woodson, lineman Sam Adams, and others, to be successful in their roles. During the 16-game regular season, this defence allowed the fewest points in NFL history (165) and the fewest running yards in NFL history (970). Both records were established by this squad.
Siragusa, who was born in New Jersey, attended Brearley High School in Kenilworth, where he competed in wrestling and also played defensive line for the football team. During his time at Brearley, Siragusa earned a state title. Additionally, he served as the team’s punter and kicker.
After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in football, he went on to sign as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts and went on to start 78 games over the course of seven seasons.
Siragusa was able to avoid being blocked by many players early in the second quarter of the AFC championship game for the 2000 season. Despite this, he came close to sacking Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon, but Gannon had already thrown the ball before Siragusa got on the field. However, Siragusa delivered a strong blow to Gannon and landed with his whole body weight on the quarterback, causing Gannon to suffer an injury to the left collar bone. Siragusa was punished with a fine after the game, but the damage Gannon sustained helped the Ravens win by a score of 16-3 and go on to win the Super Bowl against the Giants.
From 2003 till 2015, Siragusa was employed with Fox Sports as a broadcaster. His wife, Kathy, and their three children, Samantha, Ava, and Anthony Jr., will carry on his legacy after his passing.