Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

James Gandolfini loved his Jets

James Gandolfini accepting the award for outstanding performance

James Gandolfini accepting the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series for his work in "The Sopranos" at the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (Jan. 27, 2008) (Credit: AP )

Outside of his two children’s games, Tony Soprano’s sports interests focused primarily on wagering, a business in which he might have dabbled.

But the actor who portrayed him, James Gandolfini, who died Wednesday, was a genuine fan who was a regular at metropolitan-area games, notably involving Rutgers and the Jets.

In a 2007 episode of “The Sopranos,’’ Tony is told Eric Mangini – “Mangenius’’ – is sitting at a nearby restaurant table. The mob boss seems uncharacteristically star-struck.

“It’s the Jets coach, Sweetie,’’ he tells his wife, Carmela, played by Edie Falco (Northport High ‘81). “I should go say hello.’’ One week later, the show went dark, forever.

Tags: HBO , Jets

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