Tony Siragusa, quarterback known as Gus, dies at 55

Tony Siragusa, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and football television analyst for Fox Sports, died Wednesday, owners of the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens said. He was 55 years old.

Jim Irsay, owner of the Colts, confirmed Syragusa’s death on Twitter. The cause of death has not yet been reported.

Siragusa, nicknamed Goose, played 12 seasons in the NFL, seven of them with the Colts, who acquired him as an undrafted free agent in 1990. a key defensive role as the franchise won its first Super Bowl.

“Rene and I are stunned and heartbroken to learn of the sudden death of Tony Siragusa,” said Steve Bisciotti, owner of the Ravens. “He was a special person and clearly one of the most popular players in the history of the Ravens. Tony’s incredible personality has had a huge impact on our organization and the entire Baltimore community.”

Irsei tweeted that Siragusa was jovial and “one of the most physically strong players I’ve seen in 50 years”.

Siragusa, known for his hefty 330 pounds on game days, was a key member of the Ravens’ championship team in the 2000 season. Although that season was one of his worst seasons statistically — he recorded only 27 tackles without a sack — he contributed to one of the worst defenses in the NFL, absorbing blockers to let star linebacker Ray Lewis, guard Rod Woodson, lineman Sam Adams and others. excel in their roles. This division set NFL records for fewest points allowed (165) and yards allowed (970) in a 16-game regular season.

“On the pitch, he was a top contender who brought out the best in each of us,” Lewis said in a statement.

Born in New Jersey, Siragusa won a state wrestling championship while attending Brearley High School in Kenilworth, where he also played defense on the football team. He was also her player and kicker.

He played college football with Pittsburgh before signing as a free agent with the Colts, playing 78 games in seven seasons.

During an AFC Championship game in the 2000 season, Siragusa dodged several blockers early in the second quarter and nearly fired Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon, who had just thrown the ball before he arrived. But Siragusa hit Gannon hard and landed with his full weight on the quarterback, injuring Gannon’s left collarbone. Siragusa was later penalized, but Gannon’s injury helped the Ravens win 16-3 en route to a Super Bowl victory over the Giants.

“No one could match Gus, a warrior on the field and team unifier with a generous heart who helped teammates and the community more than most people realize,” said Brian Billick, who coached the Ravens from 1998 to 2007. statement. “We wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl without him.”

Siragusa worked as a television presenter for Fox Sports from 2003 to 2015. He is survived by his wife, Katie, and three children: Samantha, Ava, and Anthony Jr.