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Tony Siragusa, the NFL defensive deal with who turned one of many recreation’s largest gamers and personalities, died Wednesday on the age of 55.

Siragusa’s reason behind demise was not instantly obtainable.

Affectionately generally known as “Goose,” Siragusa was a significant cog within the midst of the Baltimore Ravens’ historic protection in 2000, which led to the franchise’s first Tremendous Bowl title that very same season. He started his 12-year profession by consuming his $1,000 signing bonus as an undrafted free agent and left the sport as one in every of its distinctive personalities, identified for his irreverent humorousness and memorable banter.

“There was nobody fairly like Goose: a warrior on the sector and staff unifier with a beneficiant and giving coronary heart who helped his teammates and the neighborhood greater than most individuals know,” mentioned the previous Los Angeles coach. Ravens, Brian Billick. “We would not have received the Tremendous Bowl with out him. That is such wonderful and unhappy information, and our hearts exit to Kathy and the Siragusa household.”

Earlier than becoming a member of the Ravens as a free agent in 1997, Siragusa spent the primary seven seasons of his profession with the Indianapolis Colts. Colts proprietor Jim Irsay. tweeted that he was “heartbroken like all of Colts Nation.” irsay added in a follow up tweet than “The Goose squeezed 200 years of enjoyable into 55!!”

Referred to as a blue-collar working again, Siragusa loved that his largest second got here with a quarterback hit. Within the 2000 AFC Championship Recreation, Siragusa took out Oakland Raiders quarterback Wealthy Gannon, pushing the All-Professional into the turf and severing his left shoulder. The Ravens beat the Raiders, 16-3, to advance to the Tremendous Bowl.

“I noticed Wealthy’s eyes roll again,” Siragusa mentioned on the time. “He is acquired each pound of my fats ass on him.”

As a lot as Siragusa loved being within the highlight off the sector, he was comfy doing soiled work for among the finest defenses within the NFL, despite the fact that it led to numerous knee surgical procedures and no Professional Bowl invites. . A 6-foot-3, 340-pound wall within the center, Siragusa double-teamed to permit center linebacker Ray Lewis to roam free and helped Baltimore set league data for fewest factors (165) and dashing yards. (970) in a 16-game season.

“This can be a robust query,” Lewis mentioned. “I like Goose like a brother. From the primary day we met, I knew life was completely different. I knew he was somebody who would change my life ceaselessly. He was a singular one that made you are feeling necessary and particular. By no means you’ll be able to substitute such a person.”

Kicker Matt Stover mentioned, “I really consider the Tremendous Bowl XXXV staff would by no means have been pretty much as good because it was with out Tony. Not solely did he cowl up the center, however his presence within the locker room created a relaxed ambiance when issues had been tight. He shall be missed, however he will not be forgotten.”

Teammates will bear in mind Siragusa for his infamous sensible jokes.

There was a time when a number of the youthful gamers made an enormous pot of chocolate within the coaching room and Siragusa noticed a chance to douse it with laxative earlier than observe. Siragusa laughed because the gamers ran off the sector.

“They are saying there’s an individual such as you in all places, however I believe God made a Goose with that persona,” former Ravens defensive deal with Larry Webster mentioned.

Within the first “Exhausting Knocks,” Siragusa delivered among the finest moments when he barricaded the tight ends in his assembly room with a desk. Sharpe acknowledged that he needed “restitution” and stole Siragusa’s truck to acquire an apology.

Siragusa’s dedication to his staff turned obvious in 2000, when he was blocked, fell to the bottom and couldn’t really feel a part of his physique. His mom ran down from the bleachers and his older brothers ran to the locker room the place a golf cart had carried the immobile huge man.

“The other way up, I could not transfer,” Siragusa recalled later. “It was the scariest factor that ever occurred to me in my life.”

Medical workers instructed Siragusa that she at the least wanted to get an MRI to verify there was no harm to her backbone. He had a bruised backbone and was suggested to not return. However he paid no heed to that recommendation.

Siragusa mentioned: “[Defensive line] Coach Rex Ryan got here as much as me and mentioned, ‘You have got a household. Do not exit once more. I instructed him: ‘You might be my household too.’ I’ve to do that. “

After his retirement, Siragusa was a secondary analyst for Fox Sports activities from 2003 to 2015. He additionally had a number of performing roles, showing in “The Sopranos” and the Spike Lee film “twenty fifth Hour.”

โ€œThis can be a actually unhappy day,โ€ Siragusa broadcast agent Jim Ornstein instructed The Related Press. โ€œTony was rather more than my consumer, he was my household. My coronary heart goes out to Tony’s family members.”

Siragusa’s demise continued a tragic day for the Ravens, who introduced the demise of out of doors linebacker Jaylon Ferguson later that day. He was 26 years outdated.

“This can be a tremendously unhappy day for the Baltimore Ravens,” Ravens proprietor Steve Bisciotti mentioned. “We admire everybody who has expressed an outpouring of help for our gamers, coaches and workers.”

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