Former Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa had 562 tackles throughout his 12-year NFL career, but no hit was more famous than the one he put on Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon in the second quarter of the AFC championship game in January 2001.
Gannon was ineffective for the rest of the game after Siragusa's twisting, crushing 342-pound flop and was later diagnosed with a separated left shoulder. The Ravens eventually went on to win the Super Bowl against the New York Giants.
Siragusa was fined $10,000 by the NFL, but the punishment would be different if he were playing under today's rules.
"I'd still be in prison somewhere on Fifth Avenue," said Siragusa, who was with the Ravens from 1997 through 2002.
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There are a lot of things about the NFL Siragusa doesn't like these days. He despises the numerous rule changes and prefers that players spend more time in pads. He advocates for a NFL minor league system consisting of about six teams and says the game is barely recognizable from when he last played.
But Siragusa, 50, is not some grumbling, disenchanted former player. His estimated net worth is around $6 million. He does NFL commentary for Yahoo Sports and owns two restaurants, one in Florida and another in New Jersey, and has franchised three others. He is part owner of an aviation company as well as one that sells vodka.
During a recent visit to Ravens training camp he appeared in great shape and weighed about 330, which is 12 pounds below his playing weight and 120 under the 450 pounds he ballooned to years ago.
"I've kept it off," Siragusa said. "When I stopped playing I still kept eating, still had that competitive mind. I ate all the food that came to the table, I was always the first one done. When you stop playing, the competition thing doesn't stop. I have it under control now.
"I'm still a little fat, but I can wear Spanx," he said, laughing.
That's a little too much information there, but not a lot has changed for Siragusa. He is still great with the one-liners, is funny but vicious at times, but if you ask him a question you're going to get a direct answer.
So "Goose," what do you think about all of this kneeling in NFL games before the national anthem?
"I am a big advocate of knowing and having a place for everything, and the national anthem is not a time for kneeling," Siragusa said. "I'd choose another forum, hold a press conference, call you, something."
Siragusa says he feels the same way as a lot of fans. Sports are the great escape from everyday life and those three to four hours every Sunday during the fall and winter are precious.
"My father was blue collar," said Siragusa, a native of Kenilworth, N.J. "My mother would cook food on weekends and that was his time to decompress. On Sunday he'd watch football. There were no politics or other bull crap that turned sports sideways or in a crooked fashion. The NFL offered a great alternative because they always seemed to stay clear of the politics, just straddled the fence on a lot of issues.
"Now, they have pissed people off. I think the league didn't understand the emotion of the game. Football is different than other sports. When you ask a football fan who they are playing today, they don't say 'they' are playing but 'we' are playing. It is an attachment, but they want no parts of this national anthem deal."
Siragusa said he believes the NFL can bring that part of the fan base back in time but that owners need to stop tinkering with the game. Like many others, he has noticed the decrease in the quality of games and said some of it can be traced to the limited time allowed in both college and NFL practices.
The art of tackling and blocking has taken major hits.
"You only get 20 hours of practice time a week in college and the collective bargaining agreement has cut down on practice time in full gear in the NFL," Siragusa said. "So they are spending more time running plays and formations than teaching fundamentals. It's football and there has to be a certain amount of contact to teach and develop players.
"I understand the safety issue but there are certain aspects of this game that can only be addressed in practice."
Siragusa played most of his NFL career in Indianapolis and Baltimore under the same head coach, Ted Marchibroda. Marchibroda ran some of the most-intense training camps in the league, and Siragusa recalled once practicing three times a day for 16 straight days.
Today's teams have gone to the opposite side of the spectrum.
"There has to be a midway point," Siragusa said. "With Ted, it was hard work but you knew who was going to be with you when it got tough and who was going to cry when the silver spoon got taken away. There isn't much passion and sacrifice now. I loved looking in the eyes of Ray Lewis and Michael McCrary knowing they were in this with me. You played through injury and tape it up until the game was over. Now, players are coming out with a hangnail."
Siragusa recommends a six-team minor league system where players can hone their skills. Quarterbacks can go work on five- to seven-step dropbacks and offensive linemen can improve in areas such as stances and hand placement. Once they get better, than they can move up to the big league.
"Instead of the NFL teaching so much about concussion and concussion protocol in Pop Warner or recreation league, I think they should start working on improving the coaching in the game so that will help with development," Siragusa said.
He also wants fewer rule changes. It has become ridiculous with all of the changes – it's hard to keep track of them. They've change the distance of the extra point. Then they changed the yard line to start a drive after a touchback. Rules for pass interference appear open to individual interpretation. The chop-block rule changes every year and to a new part of the body.
And if you really want to make Siragusa angry, start talking about defenseless wide receivers, running backs and quarterbacks.
He might deliver another Gannon knockout blow.
"I don't understand why certain players are protected and others aren't," Siragusa said. "Isn't a linebacker defenseless when a receiver comes out of the slot and cracks down on him? I've never heard of a defenseless D-lineman even though they are still getting chopped.
"The best teams in the league still play the same way. They run the ball and play great defense, and all you have to do is look at Alabama. But in no other sport do they have as many rule changes as the NFL. Not in the NBA, baseball or soccer. We've had like a hundred in the last 20 years. If it ain't broke and people love it, then why tamper with it?"
Despite what he sees in today's game, Siragusa would play again. The memories and the Super Bowl ring will be cherished forever.
"Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur, but I loved the game," Siragusa said. "I'd play it for free."
Then he quickly adds: "But you'd have to pay me to practice."