Subscribe to our newsletter

Tony Siragusa: The Loss of a Foundational Family Member

Tony Siragusa at Super Bowl XXXV
photo: AP/Chris O'Meara
Share
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Reading Time: 2 minutes

For those of us of a certain age, The Goose will always hold a special place.

Yes, the 2000 Ravens will forever be recognized in the annals of professional football for their record-breaking defense, and Flock members across these fruited plains will think of that team as backing their precocious young linebacker from the national scorn that accompanied his legal troubles. But there was something else that many of us truly enjoyed from that rowdy group of pirates: They were a rowdy group of pirates.

And no pirate stood out more, or was more vocal, than Tony Siragusa.

Make no mistake, Goose was a formidable defensive lineman who teamed with Sam Adams to stonewall even the best of offensive lines, allowing their more athletic teammates to make tackles, cause turnovers and dance boldly in the faces of their vanquished opponents. Shannon Sharpe and Brian Billick were huge in providing that savage mentality to the locker room, and Ray Lewis and Michael McCrary and company just wreaked havoc on a weekly basis, steadily demoralizing and spiritually crippling each team that stood in their way.

But there was only one Goose. There will always be only one Goose.

Though “pancake” is most often used to describe a devastating block by an offensive lineman (or Pat Ricard), what Siragusa did to Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon in that magical AFC Championship game in January 2001 was the epitome of everyone’s favorite flat breakfast food. Goose ended Gannon’s day, and the Raiders’ slim hopes, with one crushing body slam to the turf that epitomized everything about that 2000 Ravens defense.

But even when considering how good a player he was, and how much he did for that historic defense, it was Goose’s personality that resonated so strongly with the city and his teammates. Remember him locking Sharpe in the trailer during training camp on Hard Knocks? Or his run as Frankie Cortese in The Sopranos? Or wearing fur coats as a FOX sideline reporter? Or… pick your Goose story. They’re all amazing. They’re all larger than life.

As the Ravens, and their fans, were struggling to find their identity in those early years, a brash New Jersey guy came to town with a swagger in his step, a saucy range of expletives spitting out of his mouth and a skill level that helped form one of the greatest defenses this world has ever seen. Ironically enough, he came to Baltimore from of all places, Indianapolis. Yes, a former Colt helped bring Baltimore football back to life.

Word of Siragusa’s death started trickling through the Twitterverse earlier on Wednesday — a day already tragically marred with the passing of young defensive lineman Jaylon Ferguson. There was a general state of disbelief. A numbed hope that it was just a prank, one of those stupid things that happens from time to time on social media, like fake reports of Terry Bradshaw dying, or Joe Flacco breaking both legs in a car accident.

But then there was confirmation via TMZ, from his old teammate Jamal Lewis, that The Goose was gone. There are no words that could capture what he meant to this organization or city or fanbase. He was too big for that. Too special.

Rest in peace, 98. You helped build something special in Baltimore. You sure gave us a hell of a ride while you were here.

consistency
Street Talk

Give Me Consistency

Every bit of it… Consistency is good. Some of you don’t want to hear that, and I get it. Heck, Ralph Waldo Emerson is one …

Read More →
Lamar Jackson visor OTL
Out To Lunch

Training Camp (Month) is Upon Us

Happy July, Flock Nation. We’re another month closer to having our Ravens back out on the football field, but the whole organization has been excelling …

Read More →
Jimmy Smith
Lombardi's Way

The Jimmy Smith Binder

Recently Jimmy Smith made the news on the heels of accolades extended to him by a rival – WR Julian Edelman. Edelman’s story which you …

Read More →
Koch Stout OTL
Out To Lunch

Koch Gets His Coaching Feet Wet

How about some good news for Ravens Flock to start everyone’s Thursday? Yesterday, Baltimore safety Chuck Clark welcomed his second baby daughter into the world. …

Read More →
Ravens passing offense
Street Talk

In Search of a Mismatch

The Baltimore Ravens offense may be focusing on matchups more than ever before. Greg Roman and the Ravens get called out on a regular basis …

Read More →
Jimmy Smith, Ravens
Out To Lunch

Accolades Abound For The Ravens

Happy, happy Wednesday, Ravens Flock! It’s another beautiful day and another week closer to Baltimore Ravens football! Until then, we have plenty of speculation and …

Read More →
Don’t Miss Anything at RSR. Subscribe Here!
Latest posts
Join our newsletter and get 20% discount
Promotion nulla vitae elit libero a pharetra augue