Former NFL defensive tackle Tony Siragusa died on Wednesday, according to the Baltimore Ravens. He was 55. "Goose," as his fans would call him, played for the Indianapolis Colts for seven seasons from 1990 to 1996, and then signed with the Ravens in 1997. He was a member of Baltimore's Super Bowl XXXV team, and retired following the 2001 season.
"I'm heart broken as is all of Colts Nation," Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted.
The 6-foot-3, 330-plus pound defender went undrafted out of Pittsburgh in 1990, but found a home in Indy and established himself as an anchor on the interior. In 169 career games, Siragusa racked up 564 combined tackles and 22 sacks.
Always the colorful character, he joined Fox as a sideline reporter after retirement, working for the company for almost a decade. Siragusa wasn't your typical sideline reporter, however, as he provided commentary from his post on the field as well, making him a notable media personality. He also dipped his toe in the acting world, even appearing in "The Sopranos."
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti released a statement Wednesday afternoon after hearing the news:
"Renee and I are stunned and heartbroken to learn about the sudden passing of Tony Siragusa. He was a special person and clearly one of the most popular players in Ravens history. Tony's larger-than-life personality made an enormous impact on our organization and throughout the Baltimore community. On the football field, Goose was a difference-maker who contributed immeasurably to the success of many great Ravens defenses, including the record-setting 2000 Super Bowl team. Our deepest prayers and sympathies go out to Kathy, their three children and the rest of the Siragusa family. This is a tremendously sad day for the Baltimore Ravens. We appreciate everyone who has expressed an outpouring of support for our players, coaches and staff."
Siragusa's former teammate, the legendary Ray Lewis, also released a strong statement lamenting the loss of the player he shared so many snaps with, via NFL Media.
"This is a tough one. I love Goose like a brother. From the first day we met, I knew that life was different. I knew he was someone who would change my life forever. He was a one-of-a-kind person who made you feel important and special. You can never replace a man like that.
On the field, he was the ultimate competitor who brought out the best in all of us.
We should never put off tomorrow for what we can do today. Hug your loved ones for Goose. We were all so blessed that God gave us that time together celebrating our 2000 team a few weeks ago.
To the Siragusa family: We have lost a great man, but God has gained a great angel. May they be blessed, held and comforted by the peace he brought to everyone who encountered him."
"He was the leader, he was our captain," former Ravens teammate Brad Jackson said, via Aaron Wilson of the Pro Football Network. "He meant everything to everyone. It's a sad day. I just talked to him on Sunday. It's terrible."
Wednesday was a very tough day for the Ravens franchise, as fans woke up to the news that linebacker Jaylon Ferguson had at the age of 26.
"It's a sad day to be a Raven I must say," former running back Jamal Lewis told TMZ.