Siragusa calls hit on McNair legal, fine unjust
Updated: Saturday January 20, 2001 7:31 PM
Siragusa, the Baltimore Ravens' husky defensive tackle, received the fine for slamming Oakland's Rich Gannon to the ground after the Raiders' quarterback in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 14. Gannon bruised his collarbone and left the game, returned in the third quarter but was ineffective.
The "Goose" will make much more than $10,000 for playing in the Super Bowl, but that didn't stop him from complaining about being disciplined for doing what he perceives to be part of his job.
"I'm a football player and that's what I do," Siragusa said Friday after the Ravens completed practice in the rain.
Asked if he would appeal the ruling, he replied, "Without a doubt. I might call up O.J.'s crew."
Actually, Siragusa was proud of the hit.
"I think it was the greatest move I've ever done," he said. "I have it [on tape] at home and I'm trying to get picture by picture as I actually did that. I really can't believe that I got 340 pounds that high. I looked like sort of a ballet dancer."
Regardless of how it looked, Siragusa had one word for the play: legal.
"We are taught to play the game a certain way, and we always have been. I am not going to change," he said. "If I was to go and have that play over again, I would hit him the same way. Even if I got fined $10,000 and or got fined $50,000."
Even though he made $1.5 million this year, the fine had an impact on his wallet.
"I'm ticked off about the 10 grand because I have to pay for nursery school for my daughter," he said.
Siragusa is the centerpiece of a Baltimore defensive line that has stuffed the run throughout the season, allowing a record-low 970 yards rushing in a 16-game season.
Although it's seemingly an impossible task to establish the run against the Ravens, Siragusa expects the Giants head coach Jim Fassel to allow Tiki Barber to soften up the line with repeated bursts between the tackles.
"I think coach Fassel is thinking that we're going to have to run the ball on this team. Even though people think they can't run on us, we're expecting the Giants to come out and prove us wrong," Siragusa said.
Siragusa entered the crowded room munching on an egg salad sandwich, which someone mistakenly thought was a pastry.
"That was egg salad. I'm trying to stick with the high protein and stuff like that," he said. "Maybe I'll drop a couple of tons before the big game and look svelte in my uniform."