The Modern Day Art Donovan, Tony Siragusa

Goose: The Outrageous Life and Times of a Football Guy by Tony Siragusa with Don Yaeger
Crown Archetype, 2012
ISBN:978-0-307-95598-2

If you have ever seen Tony Siragusa on television you’ll have a very good idea of what this book is going to be like.  Siragusa is absolutely hilarious in how he relates his life and antics in the National Football League.  Ironically much of his career was spent with the Indianapolis Colts (formerly Baltimore Colts) and the Baltimore Ravens, a team and city that embraced the last great comedic defensive tackle Art Donovan who played for the Colts in the 1950’s and had a good career in media afterwards because of his wit and humor.  Thus I have dubbed Tony Siragusa the modern day Art Donovan.

Siragusa relates his life growing up in an Italian New Jersey town through his college football career and then ultimately his professional career and beyond.  This is not a book about the X’s and O’s of football.  It’s about a large guy leading a large life.

Beyond just the absolutely hilarious stories Goose tells what is refreshing about this book is he pulls no punches.  You know who he does and does not like, and those he does not like get it with both barrels.

One of the funnier stories is Goose relating a college recruiting trip to the University of West Virginia:

“My next visit was to West Virginia. That was a little wacky. I went to the place, and I was waiting in this room when two white guys with Mohawks and flannel shirts showed up.

What the hell is this? Did I just land in a remake of Deliverance?

We went around the campus and the whole thing was a little weird. The campus seemed like it was literally surrounded by a trailer park.”

Hey, Tony Siragusa said it not me.

And the way he describes the incompetent head coach Ron Meyer and the “different kind of guy” Eric Dickerson when they were all Indianapolis Colts together is gut busting hilarious.  Goose clearly has no respect for Meyer, essentially discussing what a buffoon he was in words not suitable to place in this review.  And the self-absorbed drama king Eric Dickerson doesn’t get off too lightly either.

After “the whole Slick Meyer disaster was over” the Colts hired Ted Marchibroda who was attempting to turn a losing team around and had some modest success.  Goose clearly is a big fan of Marchibroda and has a lot of respect for him as a coach.

The funniest story during this era is when one of Goose’s friends from the team had a, shall we say, liaison with a one legged woman.  The woman took off her prosthetic limb and left it in the next room where the player had a Pit Bull puppy.  Well, next morning the dog had chewed up the prosthetic limb so the player had to go get her another one.  He asked Goose to cover for him with the coach so he wouldn’t be fined for missing meetings.

Once Marchibroda retired they brought in Lindy Infante as head coach and Goose clearly loathes this man, so much so that it ultimately saw him out of Indianapolis and to the Baltimore Ravens.

Goose of course won a Super Bowl of with Baltimore after the 2000 season and was one of the big guys up front doing the dirty work to keep the young and super talented Ray Lewis and his linebacker mates clean of blocks so they wreak havoc on the offense.  Clearly Goose enjoyed his time with the Ravens.

Goose also talks about his post-football endeavors, which are often equally as funny as his exploits in football.  And finally, there are some very cleaver asides told from people who knew Goose best like his mother, his best friend, and Ted Marchibroda.  You get a glimpse of what a likable goofball this guy is.

So if you want a very funny romp through the life of a gregarious football player, pick this one up.  You won’t be disappointed.

Goose: The Outrageous Life and Times of a Football Guy

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