Early yesterday morning, I was having a meeting with my partner and a potential new content provider. I was groggy, like I have been just about every morning this spring because of allergies and a COVID bout that laid me low for five or six days.

My partner John Coulson says, “It’s really sad about what happened to Ferguson.” The person we are meeting with says, “Yeah, awful … and he was really starting to raise the level of his game.”

I say, “What? What Ferguson are you talking about?”

John says, “Jaylon Ferguson of the Ravens. He was found unresponsive at a house …”

I didn’t really know Ferguson. I had never heard one bad word about him as a teammate. I know like so many young Ravens linebackers and lineman, they sometimes aren’t overnight stars.

But usually when Ozzie Newsome or Eric DeCosta draft one of these guys, they eventually grow into very solid contributors and turn out to be worth the wait. Lots of them don’t get their big paydays as Ravens, but they usually get at least one big contract.

I can’t tell you Ferguson would have been a Raven for life in the way we usually say that, but the sad events that occurred Tuesday night essentially made that a moot point.

Suddenly and sadly, he was a Raven in life and death.

As my hectic day moved me from groggy to stunned and on to other things, I had to make sure I could be back at my house by 3 p.m. to record a Facebook Live with Glenn Clark and Luke Jackson. Each week each of us brings one sort of obscure or under-the-radar sports story and we chat about the three of them.

None of us was prepared to do our One More Thing discourse on the shocking news concerning the death of Ferguson. Just as we are about to begin the Zoom, we all agree we’ll talk briefly about this stunning Ferguson news.

Glenn says about a minute before we are to go live, “There is a rumor making its way around Twitter that Tony Siragusa has passed away, but I can’t get confirmation.” Suddenly, my cousin Ron Matz calls me. I just knew he had more news on Siragusa. I answer the call telling Glenn I have a feeling that it is going to be about Siragusa.

Ron says, “Hey, I just wanted to tell you there are reports that Tony Siragusa has passed away.” I said, “Can you confirm it, we are hearing rumors but can’t confirm it.” Ron says, “I spoke to a person at [WJZ] and they have heard it but haven’t been able to confirm it.”

We go live and offer our condolences to the Ferguson family and the Ravens. We say nothing about Siragusa. After we’re done, I go outside to do some yard work around my house, and my wife comes out and tells me Siragusa has passed away.

I call Glenn and we agree to do another Zoom on Siragusa. Glenn remembers the special relationship my partner John had with Siragusa back when John ran Ravens Radio. The two of them always made sweet music together when it came to putting money on the books.

Siragusa was a lock to close any deal he was part of. All of those old Pizza Hut commercials? John sold them. All the talk shows that Goose did at The Barn or almost anywhere else for four or five years? John sold them and Goose got his share, because he delivered the audience.

It’s 5 p.m. Glenn, John and I hop on Facebook Live. We go about 20 minutes. John and I both mention that Tony was perhaps the funniest man we had ever met … but we couldn’t share the stories, because they often contained a multitude of four-letter words and were more than a little off-color.

All three of us chat about Goose and the humor thing is all over the talk … but so are memories of how much he meant to that first Super Bowl victory in Tampa during the 2000 season. We talk about how he kept the team loose. We talk about how he and Sam Adams were 700 pounds of run-stuffing artistry.

We also talk about how without Goose, Haloti Ngata may have never come to Baltimore. Ray Lewis let Newsome know he needed another beast in front of him so he could be free to swoop from side to side and use his speed.

Usually, when we are talking Ravens football and we say it was a terrible day, it’s about a gut-wrenching loss to the Steelers, Patriots or Chiefs. But this past day may have been the worst in Ravens history. These losses are the kind you never get over.

Photo Credits: Kenya Allen/PressBox and Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

Stan Charles

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