The Sopranos' Ties to Sports
Born to run: Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Meadow Soprano) enjoys the company of former NFL greats Jerome Bettis and Emmitt Smith at a 2006 NFL Kickoff for a Cure charity dinner.
Before he directed the Sopranos, Timothy Van Patten (No. 3) played Salami on "The White Shadow."
James Gandolfini (Rutgers, Class of '83, communications) is the school's most famous alum. He often appears at games, including the 2005 Insight Bowl in Arizona, where he served as a honorary captain.
Prior to a White Sox-Yankees game in 2002, a number of cast members -- Lorraine Bracco (left), Tony Sirico (second from left), John Ventimiglia (center), Steve R. Schirripa (rear) and James Gandolfini (unseen) -- promoted the show's season premiere, throwing out simultaneous first pitches. Later, Jamie-Lynn Sigler sang the national anthem.
Prior to Game 2 of this year's NBA Finals, Cavs star LeBron James professed his love for the Sopranos. Mobs? "I'll be more focused on Tony Parker," said James, "even though I am a fan of Tony Soprano."
NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer sits in the driver's seat of the "Sopranos" car prior to last year's UAW-Daimer Chrysler 400 in Las Vegas. Bowyer finished in 15th but was not whacked after the race.
The Richard Childress Racing No. 07 Nextel Cup Chevrolet sported a "Sopranos" paint scheme at the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 in Las Vegas in March 2006
Jets coach Eric Mangini and his wife, Julie, appeared in the penultimate episode as guests at Artie Bucco's restaurant. "Know who's in tonight?" Bucco tells Tony Soprano. "'Mangenius'." Soprano then turned to his puzzled wife and said: "It's the Jets coach, sweetie. I should go say hello." Said Mangini of his performance: "It took me a long time to get into character. "Playing me eating dinner is a real stretch, but I worked with an acting coach and I think I really nailed it."
Fox NFL sideline reporter and former Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa appeared in four episodes as Frankie Cortese during season five.
Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath and Dan Grimaldi (Patsy Parisi) pose at the March of Dimes Walk America.
Sigler sang the national anthem prior to Game 3 of the Spurs-Nets NBA Finals in 2003. Alas, the Nets were taken by the Spurs in six games.
Real life tough guy Vito Antuofermo, the former world middleweight champion, made two appearances as a member of Richie Aprile's crew
Sigler pals around with fellow actors William Fitcher and Patrick Dempsey on pit road during the Nextel Cup Auto Club 500 at Fontana, Calif.
Lorraine Bracco and Edie Falco joined forces for Knicks Bowl 5 to benefit Red Holtzman Knicks Cheering for Children Foundation.
James Gandolfini took in a Nets game earlier this year with his son, Michael.
Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts) pals around with Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. in 2005 at Gulfstream Park.
Dominic Chianese, who played Uncle Junior, is a frequent singer of the national anthem around the New York area. He sang prior to the Giants-Jets game in 2003 and before Game 5 of the 2003 Spurs-Nets NBA Finals.
Jets fan Michael Imperoli (Christopher Moltisanti) stands for the national anthem at Giants Stadium prior to a New York win over San Francisco in 2004.
In the fourth season, Tony Soprano and Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano) purchased the filly, Pie-O-My, who went on to win a couple of races and become a favorite of the mob boss. Tony later killed Ralphie Cifaretto because he suspected Ralphie burned down Pie-O-My's stable for the insurance money.
Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor played himself in the Michele "Feech" La Manna poker game, where Tony Soprano addreseed him as "Sir Lawrence of the Meadowlands."