(CNN) — Tony Siragusa, a key part of the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl winning team in 2001, died unexpectedly Wednesday morning, according to a statement from the team.
The team announcement didn’t list a cause or place of his death.
“The Siragusa family asks that everyone respect their privacy during this difficult time,” the organization said.
Siragusa had a 12-year playing career as a defensive tackle with Indianapolis Colts and Ravens before working for Fox Sports from 2003 to 2015, including nearly a decade as a sideline analyst on the network’s NFL broadcasts.
“This is a tough one. I love Goose like a brother,” former Ravens superstar Ray Lewis said. “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.”
Former running back Jamal Lewis said Siragusa was one of the most humble and funniest guys he knew. They were neighbors in the gameday locker room.
“He was never bothered and enjoyed life,” Lewis said. “While I had butterflies in my stomach, he was cracking jokes and pumping me up at the same time.”
Siragusa was one of the standouts on the first season of the HBO show “Hard Knocks,” which follows an NFL team in training camp. In one memorable scene he pranks the team’s tight ends, who are meeting in a trailer, by barricading the door with table and a pallet. Star Shannon Sharpe tries the door several times, but is stuck inside.
“Once I realized we were locked inside, I already knew who did it,” Sharpe told ESPN in 2021. “When pranks were pulled and things happened, you know to a certain degree who would do something like that and it was Goose.”
In the next episode, Sharpe relocates Goose’s truck from the players’ parking lot to a grocery store to get his retribution, eventually getting a grinning Siragusa to apologize and a promise not to mess with him for the rest of camp. Siragusa agreed — while crossing his fingers.
Siragusa also appeared in four episodes of “The Sopranos” as a minor character named Frankie Cortese and was in the 2002 Spike Lee film “25th Hour.”
On the sidelines analyzing games for Fox, Siragusa was known for his sometimes crazy outfits. At a game in London, he wore a bowler and a dark peacoat. For a holiday game he wore a Christmas tree sweater.
His unconventional announcing style on the sidelines had fans and critics. In 2016 a writer for Barstool Sports called him the “most unintentionally funny sideline reporter of all time.”
The news of Siragusa’s death came hours after the Ravens announced outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson had died at age 26. No cause of death was given. The Louisiana Tech prospect was drafted by Baltimore in the third round in 2019. In 38 games with the team, 10 of which were starts, Ferguson had 67 tackles and 4.5 sacks in three seasons.
“This is a tremendously sad day for the Baltimore Ravens,” owner Steve Bisciotti said in a statement. “We appreciate everyone who has expressed an outpouring of support for our players, coaches and staff.”
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