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Friday, July 1, 2022

Retired Ravens lineman Tony Siragusa dies at age 55, remembered fondly

It’s a sad day for the Baltimore Ravens. Hours after the AFC North franchise announced the death of outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, it was announced that legendary retired defensive tackle Tony Siragusa, known affectionately as “Goose,” passed away at 55 years old.

Retired Baltimore Raven Tony Siragusa passes away at 55

“Tony was legendary,” former teammate Brad Jackson said in a telephone interview. “He was a great man. He treated everyone the same. It’s crazy. He was the leader, he was our captain. He meant everything to everyone. It’s a sad day. I just talked to him on Sunday. It’s terrible.”

A former FOX sideline reporter known for his sense of humor and colorful style, Siragusa played in the NFL for 12 seasons.

Siragusa was a fun-loving, outspoken personality known for joking around with his teammates. He was fiercely protective of his fellow players, famously refusing to play on a poorly maintained artificial surface at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia in a preseason game that was canceled partially due to his efforts and other NFL Players Association representatives.

He earned a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in 2000 on one of the top defenses in NFL history.

Along with equally massive defensive tackle Sam Adams, Siragusa (6-foot-4, 340 pounds) anchored the middle of the Ravens’ defense and kept blockers away from All-Pro linebacker and NFL Defensive Player of the Year Ray Lewis.

Siragusa, who hosted a home renovation program called Man Caves on the DIY Network, also played for the Indianapolis Colts.

The New Jersey native was a state wrestling champion in Kenilworth, NJ, who went 97-1 in high school. He played defensive line and was also the punter and kicker.

Siragusa earned a scholarship to Pitt, where he was a starter who overcame a torn ACL. He ultimately went undrafted but signed with the Colts and earned a starting job.

He signed with the Ravens in 1997 and emerged as a key figure for the defense. In 2000, Siragusa started 15 games, recording 27 tackles and one fumble recovery as the Ravens allowed the fewest points in NFL history.

He was fined $10,000 for an illegal hit on Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon, injuring his shoulder in the AFC championship game and knocking him out of the game.

The Ravens went on to beat the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.

Siragusa retired after the 2001 season, finishing his career with 562 tackles, 22 sacks, five forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, and 28 pass deflections in 170 career games.

Siragusa, who appeared in “The Sopranos” as a character named Frankie Cortese, opened a restaurant chain called “Tiff’s.” He played a Russian mobster in the 2002 movie “The 25th Hour” with Edward Norton.

Siragusa is survived by his wife, Kathy, and their three children, Samantha, Ava, and Anthony Jr.


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