EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY--OCTOBER 01: James Gandolfini meets with New York Jets owner Woody Johnson when he attends the New York Jets vs Indianapolis Colts game at The Meadowlands (aka Giants Stadium) on October 1, 2006 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives)

The recent “Many Saints of Newark” trailer rekindled fierce New York Jets nostalgia for many fans on a bland Tuesday in Northern New Jersey.

Robby Sabo

He may not have ever had the makings of a varsity athlete, but he sure knew how to win the game—depending on one’s perspective, of course.

Tony Soprano is back, this time as a youngster on the big screen. A The Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark is a movie Northern New Jersey has been waiting for since it was pushed back a year thanks in part to a COVID-19-altering year.

Tuesday marked the release of the film’s first trailer, which meant New York Jets nostalgia was in the air.

Set in Northern New Jersey, Newark mainly, while using the 1967 riots as a backdrop, director Alan Taylor and writer David Chase are allowing rabid Sopranos fans to return to the scene of many crimes this coming fall.

Tony Soprano is played by James Gandolfini’s son, Michael Gandolfini. Corey Stoll plays a much younger and spryer Junior Soprano, Jon Bernthal assumes Johnny Boy Soprano (Tony’s script father), and Vera Farmiga takes on the role of Livia Soprano.

Dicki Multisanti (Christopher’s father), a younger Paulie Walnuts, and a younger Silvio Dante are also characters set to appear in the upcoming film.

The Jets notice the trailer

A crime-free-related Sopranos angle deals with the Jets, the professional sports team tied more closely to the franchise than any other. Naturally, the Jets social media account approved of the trailer.

Why not? After all, former head coach Eric Mangini was once visited by Tony Soprano at Vesuvio.

Eric Mangini’s cameo

The penultimate episode of the series featured a scrambling Soprano. With things breaking down around him, he found himself at Vesuvio with his wife Carmela. Despite Carmela having no idea what Artie Bucco had just said (Mangenius), Tony decided to say hello, despite his non-varsity status.

This Jets-specific pop-culture reference ranks right up there with the likes of Big Daddy’s “The God-damn Jets,” The Wonder Years‘ old-school jacket worn by Kevin Arnold, and too many episodes to remember from The King of Queens.

Silvio misses the Jets’ first home game

Of course, Mangini’s cameo wasn’t the only Jet mention on the show. Silvio Dante once uttered a rage-filled sentence so many like-minded fans could relate with wholeheartedly.

“For this sh*t I miss the Jets’ first home game?”

***Video clip is NSFW.

While it was Livia Soprano’s funeral that kept the Soprano family’s consigliere from the Jets’ first home game, other fans have lived to experience similar frustration when kept from the stadium or TV.

The Sopranos at the games

Not only did the Jets sneak into the script at times, but many of the actors were also prominent faces on game day during the show’s run.

The late James Gandolfini was one of the world’s most recognizable Jets fans. When he passed suddenly in June 2013, the organization made sure to publicly acknowledge one of the all-time greats.

“We’re deeply saddened to hear about the passing of our friend James Gandolfini,” the Jets tweeted Wednesday night, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family & friends.”

Born in Westwood, NJ in 1961, Gandolfini was a Northern New Jersey guy his entire life. The Rutgers alumn was just as famous for his love of the Scarlet Knights as he was for his Jets fandom.

Jets X-Factor Membership

Another Sopranos stars who have personally attended Jets home games is Michael Imperioli, the actor who played Christopher Moltisanti.

The Sopranos’ six seasons on HBO aired during a much more pleasant Jets era. From the pilot that debuted the series on Jan. 10, 1999, to the finale that left everybody in darkness on June 10, 2007, Sopranos fans who also happened to love the Jets enjoyed the likes of Bill Parcells, Herm Edwards, Wayne Chrebet, Eric Mangini and Curtis Martin. In fact, the series’ second-ever episode, “46 Long,” aired on the same night the Jets lost to John Elway’s Denver Broncos in the 1998 AFC championship game.

As far as the new trailer is concerned, hey, it’s just a trailer. While it’s tough to bet against anything David Chase writes, Gandolfini was The Sopranos. It’s equally tough to envision anything Sopranos-authentic without adult Tony’s presence.

For now, fans will just have to hold onto that nostalgia—both Soprano and New York Jets-related considering how often both entities hooked up through the years.

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Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder/Consultant: Elite Sports NY - ESNY. Email: robby.sabo@jetsxfactor.com

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