James Gandolfini: Jersey sports fan

James Gandolfini was an avid sports fan, sometimes attending contests in the Jersey area and beyond, like Game 4 of last year's Stanley Cup final in L.A. As a tribute to the late, great actor, we visit a few of Tony Soprano's brushes with the sports world.

Late Sopranos actor supported New York Jets, Rutgers football

Late actor James Gandolfini, here watching a Rutgers football game from the sidelines at the 2005 Insight Bowl in Phoenix, could be spotted at games in the New Jersey area. (Paul Connors/Associated)

Actor James Gandolfini, best known for his iconic role as conflicted mobster Tony Soprano on the seminal HBO TV series The Sopranos, died of a heart attack Wednesday while vacationing in Italy. He was 51.

The New Jersey born and bred actor was also a sports fan, sometimes spotted at games in the Jersey area — New York Jets, New York Rangers, Rutgers football — and beyond, like Game 4 of last year’s Stanley Cup final in Los Angeles.

After news of Gandolfini's death surfaced, the Jets tweeted: "We're deeply saddened to hear about the passing of our friend James Gandolfini. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family & friends." His alma mater tweeted: "Rutgers remembers one of its own: 'Sopranos' star and legendary actor James Gandolfini."

As a tribute to Gandolfini, we visit a few of Tony Soprano's brushes with the sports world.

Tony bumps into then Jets coach Eric "The Mangenius" Mangini at his favourite restaurant:


Tony cheers son AJ’s fumble recovery:


Tony roots for daughter Meadow’s soccer team (some explicit language):


We’re also fans of Tony on the golf course with Uncle Junior and Tony losing a big bet on the Buffalo Bills. Those are a little salty for posting directly here.