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.