Former NFL DT Tony Siragoza has passed away at the age of 55

Tony Seragoza, the NFL defensive tackle who has gone on to become one of the biggest players and characters in the game, died Wednesday at the age of 55.

The cause of Siragoza’s death was not immediately known.

Known as “Goose,” Siragosa was a vital cog in the middle of the historic 2000 Baltimore Ravens defense, which led the franchise’s first Super Bowl title that same season. He began his 12-year career by drinking his $1,000 signature bonus as an uncredited freelancer and left the game as one of its unique characters known for his unforgettable sense of humor and unforgettable banter.

“There was no one like Gus – a field warrior and team united with a tender and generous heart who has helped his teammates and the community more than most people know,” former Ravens coach Brian Bellick said. “We wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl without him. This is amazing and sad news, and our hearts go out to Cathy and the Serragosa family.”

Prior to joining the Ravens as a free agent in 1997, Seragoza spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Indianapolis Colts. Pony owner Jim Irsai chirp He was “heartbreaker as with every nation of Colts”. irsay Added in a follow tweet That “the goose squeezed 200 years of fun loving into 55 years!!”

Known as a blue-collar athlete, Siragoza enjoyed that his biggest moment came in a knockout. In the 2000 Asian Championship game, Siragoza knocked out the Oakland Raiders, Rich Gannon, and led the All Pro team onto the turf and separated his left shoulder. The Ravens went on to beat the Raiders, 16-3, to advance to the Super Bowl.

“I saw Rich’s eyes roll back,” Seragosa said at the time. “He’s got every kilogram of my fat ass on him.”

As much as Siragoza enjoyed the lights off the field, he was comfortable doing the dirty work of an NFL defense, even though it resulted in countless knee surgeries and a lack of Pro Bowl invitations. A 6-foot-3, 340-pound wall in the middle, Siragoza occupied double teams to allow quarterback Ray Lewis to roam free and helped Baltimore score league records for the fewest points (165) and rush (970) in a 16-season game.

“It’s tough,” Lewis said. β€œI love Goose like a brother. From the first day we met, I knew life was different. I knew he was someone who would change my life forever. He was such a unique person who made you feel important and special. You can never replace a man like this.”

Kicker Matt Stover said, “I really think Super Bowl XXXV wouldn’t have been as good as it would have been without Tony. Not only did he connect the middle, but having his locker room created a loose environment when things were tight. He’s going to be missed, but we won’t forget.” .

Siragosa will be remembered by his teammates for his infamous practical jokes.

There was a time when some of the younger guys made a ton of cocoa in the practice room and Siragosa saw an opportunity to lift it up with a pre-workout laxative. Siragoza laughed as the players rushed off the field.

“They say there’s someone like you everywhere, but I think God made one goose with that character,” Larry Webster said in a previous defensive encounter at the Ravens.

In the first “hard hits”, Siragosa made one of the most important moments when he barricaded the narrow parties in their meeting room with a table. Sharp famously declared that he wanted “compensation”, and stole a Siragoza truck in order to obtain an apology.

Siragoza’s commitment to his team was evident in 2000, when he was banned and fell to the ground without feeling a part of his body. His mother ran off the stands and his older brothers ran into the locker room where the big, immobile man was carried by a golf cart.

“From my head down, I couldn’t move,” Siragoza later recalled. “It was the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.”

The medical staff told Siragoza that he at least had to do an MRI to make sure there was no damage to his spine. He had bruised spine, and was advised not to return. But he did not heed this advice.

Siragoza said:[Defensive line] Coach Rex Ryan came up to me and said, β€œYou have a family. Don’t go back there. I said, ‘You are my family too. I have to do this.’”

After his retirement, Seragoza was a side analyst for Fox Sports from 2003 until 2015. He also played some acting roles, appearing in “The Sopranos” and Spike Lee’s “25 Hours”.

Siragoza broadcasting agent Jim Ornstein told The Associated Press, “It’s a really sad day. Tony has been so much more than my client, he’s been family. My heart goes out to Tony’s loved ones.”

Siragoza’s death continued a sad day for the Ravens, who announced the death of outside quarterback Jaylon Ferguson earlier in the day. He was 26 years old.

“This is a very sad day for the Baltimore Ravens,” said Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. “We appreciate everyone who has expressed an outpouring of support for our players, coaches and staff.”