Tony Seragoza, the charismatic defensive tackle who helped lead Baltimore’s valiant defense to a Super Bowl title, is dead. He was 55 years old.
The Baltimore Ravens, in which Siragoza played five seasons, said Siragosa died “unexpectedly” Wednesday morning. The cause of death was not immediately revealed.
“This is a really sad day,” Syracuse broadcasting agent Jim Ornstein told The Associated Press. “Tony was so much more than my client, he was my family. My heart goes out to Tony’s loved ones.”
Siragosa, better known as “The Goose,” played seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and five seasons with the Ravens. The 2000 Baltimore team won the Super Bowl behind a defense that included Siragoza, Ray Lewis, and Sam Adams.
“This is tough. I love Gus like my brother,” Lewis said Wednesday in a statement, adding, “He was such a unique person who made you feel important and special. You can never replace a man like this.”
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted: “The Goose has rallied 200 years of fun loving to 55! He was one of the strongest bodied players I’ve ever seen in 50 years in Greece, one question at the end of one’s life; did he have Passion? In Tony’s case..yes he did!!”
Siragosa was popular with fans for his fun-loving personality, which also helped him quickly transition to broadcasting after his football career.
Siragosa came to Baltimore as a free agent in 1997 and teamed up with Adams to form a defensive tandem. In the 2000 Ravens Championship season, 6-foot-3, 340-pound Siragosa was sixth among Baltimore’s defenders with 75 tackles.
“It was an honor and a privilege to align myself with Tony Siragoza,” Adams said in a statement following the news of Siragoza’s death. “He made the game fun and was a real competitor. Our D-line room was special on and off the field. Hope he rests, God bless and keep his family.”
Siragoza finished his career with 22 sacks.
The news of Siragoza’s death came on what was already a tragic day for the family of crows. The The death of Jaylon Fergusonthe Baltimore quarterback, at age 26 was announced earlier today.
“This is a very sad day for the Baltimore Ravens,” said Steve Bisciotti, owner of the Baltimore Ravens. “We appreciate everyone who has expressed an outpouring of support for our players, coaches and staff.”
Siragoza was a star football player and wrestler at David Brierley High School in New Jersey. He then played en masse for Pittsburgh, where he became famous for anecdotes long before his NFL career.
He once said, “If I wanted to learn a school song, I would have gone to Notre Dame or Pennsylvania.” “I want to kill people on the football field. That’s why I came to Beth.”
Siragosa went without drafting before signing with Indianapolis, but turned out to be a championship-winning force in the NFL. He then took his character to the airwaves, working on Fox’s NFL coverage.
“His unparalleled passion for football has made him one of the most charismatic personalities ever to set foot on the football field or in front of the camera,” Fox Sports said in a statement. “Goss was natural in his ability to connect the sport and its players to fans everywhere.”
Siragoza has also played a role on HBO’s The Sopranos and has hosted shows on the Discovery Channel and DIY Network.
“Tony was really bigger than life, both on and off the field,” said Pat Nardozzi, the current Bet Football coach. “He played the game passionately and relentlessly. Although not drafted, he thrived in the NFL for 12 years. His life after football has taken him in many places but he has never forgotten Pete. We can always count on him to send his best recorded speaking Pep with our guys before our big matches.”
“Introvert. Subtly charming web geek. Lifelong entrepreneur. Amateur social media expert. Coffee trailblazer.”