'Goose' and Art Talk Ravens, Colts

As the Baltimore Ravens host the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL playoffs, former Baltimore linemen Tony Siragusa and Art Donovan chat about a matchup that presents many Balmer fans with conflicting emotions.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

The Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts play today in the second round of the NFL playoffs in Baltimore. This is the first time the two clubs have played each other in the postseason playoffs. And sports radio stations have been lobbing verbal shells back and forth.

The Colts used to belong to Baltimore. The Ravens used to belong to Cleveland. And Baltimore's big old crab-encrusted heart was broken when their owner moved them in the middle of the night in 1984 out to Indianapolis, where he got a new stadium, domed stadium, and a better deal.

So we're going to talk with a couple of great defensive tackles. Art Donovan played for the Baltimore Colts in the 1950s. He was the first Colt elected to the Football Hall of Fame. Art, thanks very much for being with us.

Mr. ART DONOVAN (Former Baltimore Colt): Okay. You hear that, Tony?

Mr. TONY SIRAGUSA (Former Baltimore Raven): Yeah, I got him.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: I'm sure his time in the Hall of Fame is coming. Tony Siragusa joins us too. He played for both the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens in the 1990s, including that 2000 Ravens team that went to the Super Bowl. He's now a sideline reporter for Fox, and also plays a bodyguard in "The Sopranos." Mr. Siragusa, thank you for being with us.

Mr. SIRAGUSA: Oh, thank you. I really appreciate you calling me. No one ever calls me anymore.

Mr. DONOVAN: Give me your number. I'll call you, Tony.

Mr. SIRAGUSA: I'll get your number, Art.

Mr. DONOVAN: I have nothing else to do.

SIMON: Do you gentlemen find it hard to know who to root for in this game? Tony?

Mr. SIRAGUSA: Obviously I got purple blood in my system here. The Ravens, and I've been a Raven. Even though I played for the Colts for seven years. But I think it's more of a town you got to root for. You got to root for, you know, Baltimore. Me being there and winning the Super Bowl there, and we've built a tradition of playing defense. And Art started it a long time ago. I don't think I was even born when he started it.

Mr. DONOVAN: Thanks a lot.

Mr. SIRAGUSA: I heard about it I think when I was one or two and I was nursing. I heard of Art Donovan and he started that tradition of tough defense at Baltimore, sort of exemplifying what the town is like, blue collar. And we just carried on the tradition. I think that they're still going with a pretty good defense right now, and that's how they're winning games.

SIMON: And Art, you have no problem figuring out who to root for?

Mr. DONOVAN: I don't go to the games. I sit home here and watch them on TV. And I watched Tony when it comes on when he's doing a game and I say, my God, Tony, move on the other side of the field. You're tilting it. But anyhow, I'm going to go to the game tomorrow and I'll root for the Ravens and I'll eat about maybe 12 hot dogs, have a couple of cans of beer, and that's it.

Mr. SIRAGUSA: That's it. That's what football's all about, right, Artie?

Mr. DONOVAN: How about that, Tony, huh?

SIMON: People in Baltimore still remember the Colts leaving in the middle of the night, don't they?

Mr. SIRAGUSA: It was pretty crazy for me being a free agent and going out to Indianapolis. And I thought I was in Annapolis. I didn't know where the heck I was. Being from New Jersey.

Mr. DONOVAN: But Tony, you knew how to get across the Hudson River, didn't you?

Mr. SIRAGUSA: Yeah...

Mr. DONOVAN: Well, you got to cross the...

Mr. SIRAGUSA: I got a paddle and a canoe.

Mr. DONOVAN: You looked like George Washington crossing the Delaware.

Mr. SIRAGUSA: This will be a good game though. I think it's going to be a fun game. Peyton Manning sitting back there, you know, and he gets back in his shotgun and 46-37-6-right. Give me a hotdog, Artie Donovan.

Mr. DONOVAN: Yeah.

Mr. SIRAGUSA: Saying all them different calls trying to confuse people. That's, you know, that ain't going to play with the Ravens.

SIMON: Well, gentlemen, it's been a pleasure talking to both of you. Good game day to you.

Mr. SIRAGUSA: It was nice talking to you, even though you didn't get much in. But that's all right. All right, Arthur, be good, buddy.

Mr. DONOVAN: All right. Take care.

Mr. SIRAGUSA: All right. Goodbye.

SIMON: Thank you. Bye bye. Former Colts Tony Siragusa and Artie Donovan.

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