NFL legend dead at 55

Tony “Goose” Siragusa, the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle who became legendary for his play on the field and his infectious personality off of it, died Wednesday at 55.

“Affectionately known as “Goose,” Siragusa served as a vital cog in the middle of the Baltimore Ravens’ historic 2000 defense, which spearheaded the franchise’s first Super Bowl title that same season,” ESPN reported.

“He started his 12-year career by drinking away his $1,000 signing bonus as an undrafted free agent and left the game as one of its unique personalities who was known for his irreverent sense of humor and memorable pranks.”

Siragusa began his career as an undrafted free agent with the Colts. After seven years, he joined the Ravens, where he had his most successful years.

He retired from football in 2001.

After he left the game, that sense of humor served him well. He was arguably just as famous for his work as a Fox News sideline reporter, where his large frame and larger-than-life personality became a fixture on America’s television sets for over a decade.

In addition, he was the host of several TV shows, including the DIY Network’s “Man Caves.”

While no cause of death was immediately reported, TMZ said he was administered CPR at his New Jersey home.

“The scene is horrifyingly similar to the one Siragusa’s father faced when he passed away while Siragusa was just 21 years old,” TMZ noted.

“In discussing that tragic aspect of his life with Howard Stern back in 2012, Siragusa said he and his brother had tried to administer CPR on their father after the 48-year-old had suffered a ‘massive heart attack.'”

“In the middle of the night, I hear my mother screaming,” Siragusa said during the interview. “Me and my brother ran in there. And he was like gasping for air … I’m like trying to push his chest in and stuff.”

“We were just holding onto him.”

However, he wasn’t worried about dying in the same manner, despite the history of heart disease in his family.

“If I die tomorrow, I told my wife, just put a smile on my face,” Siragusa said. “Put a little Sinatra on. You know, let’s go.”

Those who knew “Goose” remembered him fondly.

“There was no one like Goose — a warrior on the field and a team unifier with a giving, generous heart who helped teammates and the community more than most people know,” said former Ravens coach Brian Billick.

“We would not have won the Super Bowl without him. This is such stunning, sad news, and our hearts go out to Kathy and the Siragusa family.”

“This is a tough one,” said Ray Lewis, a Ravens linebacker and Hall of Famer.

“I love Goose like a brother. 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.”

Siragusa leaves behind a wife and three children.