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It's the 20th anniversary of 'The Sopranos' debut and there's a new explanation for the show's ending.

By Jimmy Traina
January 10, 2019

1. Forget sports for today. The Sopranos made its HBO debut on this date 20 years ago and television was changed forever. There never has been and never will be acting performances as good as the ones James Gandolifini and Edie Falco gave over the show's six seasons. Along with the work done by Gandolfini and Falco, whenever someone mentions The Sopranos, inevitably the show's controversial final episode is mentioned. Did Tony die? is a question that has been asked by every person who has ever watched the show. 

ESPN investigative reporter, T.J. Quinn, dropped his own theory on Twitter yesterday and it's quite a doozy. According to Quinn, the show's creator, David Chase did not kill Tony Sopranos in the final scene. He killed us, The Sopranos audience. Take a look:

This is a pretty remarkable and convincing take by Quinn, although I'm not sure I buy it. Would David Chase really be that consumed by audience feedback that he'd use the ending of the greatest show in TV history for some kind of weird revenge? If the answer is yes, than Chase needs many sessions with Dr. Melfi.

I was a believer that Tony died after reading this manifesto many years ago. However, in a recent New York Times interview, Chase explained that the song, Don't Stop Believin,' which is famously played in the show's last scene, was key. Here is that exchange:

N.Y Times: I think the point isn’t whether or not Tony was killed. It’s the uncertainty that’s the point, and the way the scene’s crazy tension makes us aware of the passage of time and how choices shape the brief bit of life we get. Most people can’t control when or how they die, but the choices are ours. Is that totally off base?

Chase: No, that’s not off base at all.

N.Y. Times: I think there’s some hope in it.

Chase: You’re the first person who’s said that. There is some hope in it. Don’t Stop Believin’ is the name of the song, for Christ’s sake. I mean, what else can you say?

N.Y Times: Is there a correct answer to the question of whether Tony is alive or dead?

Chase: I don’t think so. I don’t think so.

I think Chase is saying, believe what you want to believe about the ending, which I kind of like, because some days I believe Tony is alive and some days I believe Tony is dead.

2. This was a thing of beauty.

3. The latest SI Media Podcast features interviews with Joe Buck and Jim Ross.

Buck talks about mispronouncing Mark-Paul Gosselaar's name last week, his philosophy on criticizing officials, why he thinks this was Troy Aikman's best year in the booth, what it was like to call two NFL games each week thanks to Thursday Night Football, his all-time best call and whether he'll continue to call both MLB and NFL in the future.

Ross joins the podcast the 45-minute mark to share stories and memories of the late, great Mean Gene Okerlund and talk about the differences in wrestling announcers from the '80s and today.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes.

4. Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer spent a couple of days recently sending a slew of tweets to a young woman who had tweeted that Bauer was her least favorite player in MLB. Bauer continually defended his bullying on Twitter and said he did nothing wrong. But clearly the Indians intervened because this is what it looks like on Twitter when someone gets in trouble.


5. Here's some good motivation for the Eagles.

6. Welcome to New York, Adam Gase.

7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: It's impossible to pick one scene to pay tribute to The Sopranos 20th anniversary, but I had to go with Christopher's intervention. Absolute gold from start to finish.

Traina Thoughts is the best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts right here.And make sure to listen to and subscribe to the SI Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina.

IN CLOSING: Gregg Williams got a raw deal by the Browns.

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