Super Bowl champion and ‘Jersey Guy’ Tony Siragusa dies at 55

With a loud personality and a blue-collar style of play, Tony Siragusa was a “Jersey Guy” through and through. Sadly, the big man with a larger-than-life character left us too soon.

Siragusa, affectionately known as “Goose” during his 12-year career in the National Football League, died Wednesday at the age of 55, according to multiple reports. A native of Union County where he was a football and wrestling star at David Brearley High School, Siragusa also reportedly owned a home in the Ortley Beach section of Toms River where he currently resided at the time of his death. No cause of death has been released, but Pro Football Network reported he died in his sleep.

Siragusa also had Jersey Shore ties as one of the owners of the former Tiffany’s restaurant, which was located on Route 37 in Toms River at the current site of Margaritas. There were also locations in North Jersey and Florida. Curiously, the restaurant chain was sued by luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. because of its name, so the chain shortened the name to Tiff’s.

At 6-foot-3 and 340 pounds, Siragusa was a mountain of a man with a personality to match. He was a frequent talking point as a player, a fan and teammate favorite, and also enjoyed a 12-year career as a sideline NFL reporter for FOX from 2003 to 2015. He was instrumental in The Sopranos as Soprano Frankie Cortese family associate and later hosted caves of men on the DIY Network and a documentary titled Megamachines on the Discovery channel.

Super Bowl X Siragusa Media Day

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“Goose” was born and raised in Kenilworth and at Brearley High School was a star football player and wrestler. He won the NJSIAA State Heavyweight Championship in 1985 and was a dominant wrestler throughout his high school career, but it was on the gridiron that he would truly leave his mark. He played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh where he started as a defensive tackle as a sophomore and as a junior. However, he tore the ACL in his left knee during practice his senior year and missed the entire season, hurting his draft stock. He was considered a first-round prospect before the injury, but went undrafted in the 1990 NFL Draft.

The Colts signed Siragusa as an undrafted free agent in 1990 and not only did he make the team, but he spent the next seven seasons in Indianapolis where he helped the Colts reach the championship game of the AFC in 1995. He reached free agency in 1997 and signed with the Baltimore Ravens. In 2000, Siragusa was an integral part of the historic Ravens defense that allowed the fewest total runs in NFL history. The Ravens won the Super Bowl with a 34-7 victory over the New York Giants and remain in the conversation as one of the greatest defensive teams in NFL history. Siragusa retired after the 2001 season and finished his career with 562 tackles, 22 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 9 fumble recoveries, and 28 pass deflections in 170 games played.

Siragusa is survived by his wife Kathy and their three children, Samantha, Ava and Anthony Jr. Anthony played football at Delbarton School in Morristown and played collegiate at Villanova.

Many of his former teammates and coaches expressed their sympathy on social media once news of Siragusa’s passing began circulating.

“This is a tough question,” said Ravens Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis. “I love Goose like a brother. From the first day we met, I knew life was different. I knew he was someone who was going to 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.

Tony Siragusa/James Brown

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“There was no one like Goose – a warrior on the pitch and a team builder with a generous heart who helped his teammates and the community more than most people know,” said Brian Billick, who coached the Ravens to the 2000 Super Bowl title. “We wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl without him. This is such beautiful and sad news, and our hearts go out to Kathy and the Siragusa family.

“Tony was one of the best people I’ve ever met” said Rex Ryan, a current ESPN NFL analyst and former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach who was the Raven’s defensive coordinator during Siragusa’s tenure there. “It was impossible to have a bad day with him.”

“Renee and I are stunned and heartbroken to learn of the sudden passing of Tony Siragusa,” Ravens owners Steve and Renne Bisciotti said in a statement.

“He was a special person and clearly one of the most popular players in Ravens history. Tony’s larger than life personality had a huge impact on our organization and the entire 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-breaking 2000 Super Bowl team.

“Our deepest prayers and condolences go out to Kathy, their three children and the rest of the Siragusa family.

“This is an extremely sad day for the Baltimore Ravens. We appreciate everyone who has expressed an outpouring of support for our players, coaches and staff.”

54 Jersey natives playing in the NFL in 2021 (+2 head coaches)

Some of them can even be part of your fantasy football team.

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