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):