The NFL lost one of its most powerful players and colorful personalities today with the passing of former defensive tackle Tony Siragusa.
The former Super Bowl winner with the Baltimore Ravens played seven of his 12 NFL seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. And Colts owner Jim Irsay was among the first to give his condolences.
Taking to Twitter, Irsay said he was heartbroken to hear of Siragusa’s passing. In a follow-up tweet, Irsay praised “The Goose” for squeezing “200 fun loving years into 55” and called him one of the strongest players he had ever seen.
“The Goose squeezed 200 fun loving years into 55!! He was one of the most physically strongest players I have ever seen in 50 years,” Irsay tweeted. “In Greece,they would ask 1 question at the end of one’s life; Did He Have Passion? In Tony’s case..Yes He Did!!”
Tony Siragusa went undrafted to the Colts in 1990 but quickly proved to be a reliable nose tackle. In 1995, he anchored a Colts defense that reached the AFC Championship Game for the first time in nearly 25 years.
Siragusa would sign with the Baltimore Ravens in 1997, where he continued to excel at his position. But when defensive tackle Sam Adams was signed as his partner along the defensive line, the Ravens defense became a historic one.
Siragusa and Adams could take on up to four blockers by themselves at times, allowing the likes of Rob Burnett and Michael McCrary to rack up sacks and QB hits. The 2000 Baltimore Ravens would allow just 165 points – the fewest of the 16-game era – and won the Super Bowl that year.
After retiring, Siragusa would go into broadcasting, becoming a sideline reporter for FOX. He also tried his hand at acting with a cameo in The Sopranos and the movie 25th Hour.
Our hearts go out to Tony Siragusa’s family and loved ones.