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James Gandolfini, Narrator for “2007 America’s Game: New York Giants,” Passes Away at Age 51

June 20th, 2013 at 2:30 PM
By Dan Benton

James Gandolfini, perhaps best know for his role as Tony Soprano in HBO's "The Sorpano's," died of a heart attack while on vacation in Italy late Wednesday night. He was only 51-years-old.

"It is with immense sorrow that we report our client, James Gandolfini, passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy," managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders said in a joint statement. "Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving."

For fans New York Giants, Gandolfini will forever be remembered as the narrator to "2007 America's Game: New York Giants" — a fitting role for one of New Jersey's finest and most famous.

During filming of 2007 America's Game, quarterback Eli Manning actually got one over on Gandolfini, who quoted the Super Bowl MVP regarding a game against the Dallas Cowboys.

"I'm not superstitious," Eli said about watching the game on the big screen, "but I am a little 'stitious. I know that's not a real word, but it's my own little saying."

It was a joke taken from Michael Scott of "The Office," but one Gandolfini and other NFL Network producers failed to realize. It made it into final cuts and can be heard with each re-airing of the episode. Just another of Manning's many good-hearted pranks.

Despite his participation in 2007 America's Game, Gandolfini was actually a fan of the New York Jets, who also sent out their condolences last night.

We at Giants 101 send out our condolences to Gandolfini's family and many friends. It's a very sad day, indeed. He will be missed by many forever.

Note: In honor of the life of Gandolfini, NFL Network will re-air "2007 America's Game: New York Giants" this Friday at 8:00 PM EST.


Tags: Eli Manning, Football, James Gandolfini, New Jersey, New York, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL

11 Responses to “James Gandolfini, Narrator for “2007 America’s Game: New York Giants,” Passes Away at Age 51”

  1.  norm says:


    norm says:
    June 20, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    If recent history teaches us anything, it’s that what we “know” to be true about the effect of specific injuries and medical procedures on the playing careers of professional athletes is never fixed; it’s constantly evolving.

    Why, it wasn’t all that long ago when a torn ACL meant a death knell for an NFL or NBA career. Today, an Adrian Peterson can suffer that same injury and then go on to nearly break the NFL single season rushing record in the following year.

    When Andre Brown ruptured his Achilles in camp in 2009, several people here linked to a then recently published medical journal article discussing the poor outcomes for NFL players who attempted to return from such an injury. That led me to believe that the prognosis for Brown was extremely poor – and I openly scoffed at anyone here who suggested otherwise. Lo and behold – four years later he will be battling for the starting RB job in the Giants camp this year.

    As did Rosedale and many others here, I reflexively recoiled when I heard “JPP” and “back surgery” used in the same sentence. But now I know better than to completely surrender to the wholly understandable belief that he will never again be the same player that we saw in 2011. As the medical study referenced above states, outcomes for NFL lineman following back surgery are surprisingly good. And that was based on data that is now four years old. I suspect that advances that have been made since then would indicate an even better prognosis for JPP than was possible for many of the players in that Northwestern University study.

    •  rlhjr says:

      I hear you Norm. Ten years of medical advances is like a century.
      I mean stuff changes daily even hourly in medicine.
      It’s just amazing.
      I remember “Tommy John” was thought to be a freak of nature.
      Now that surgery is run of the mill.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Agreed. And I will, again, add that according to a friend who is a true expert, this can truly be characterized as pretty minor surgery. I’ve been told that absent complications from the surgery itself it is likely that it will have almost no affect on JPP’s career in the NFL. There is a 10% chance that the loss of a very small fraction of the disc will eventually create an imbalance that will push some more of the disc out of proper alignment and create pressure on the nerves, but that is likely to take years and can, itself, be corrected. Those sound like pretty good odds to me.

      I was skeptical about Andre Brown but noted a number of times that surgical techniques might create “miracles” (I didn’t believe they would but it was worth hoping because I REALLY liked him as a player). In the case of JPP, no miracles are required. Only bad luck will lead to real problems for him down the road. I think it’s reasonable to expect the best.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    I’ll never get tired of that video.

    And I will miss James Gandolfini. I’m not a big TV fan, but the Sopranos was something that goes beyond mere television. The character he created was so memorable, and complicated, and contradictory, and despicable and lovable that he (and Edie Falco) essentially created a new era on cable television. That was a truly great role, and had he lived I’m sure he’d have found a few others because his presence (both in regard to size and talent) was extraordinary. Even in modest roles, like his in Zero Dark Thirty and In the Loop, he stood out. Great actor, great loss.

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    Per @patkirwancbs: Linebacker Desmond Bishop lists the Giants as one of the team he may consider.

    Unless there is more a star that comes free I want to see what we have with Herzlich. We don’t need to add another LB to the mix because if Herzlich is going to develop I think he needs all the reps he can get. On the outside I would welcome competition more. But the MLB needs to master the defense and with a vet in the defense for the first time and a younger player who has limited experience I think those 2 need the reps. We have who have at this point. LEt them be the best MLBs they can be. Unless we would just sign him to replace Bozworth which is fine.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      Desmond Bishop is better than any LB we have. Fact.

      •  GIANTT says:

        I get annoyed by these pronouncements by players just as Im sure Reese does . He will do his due diligence about how Bishop could fit in . Then he will look at what Bishop wants . Then he will decide if its worth it to the Giants to spend the limited amount of cap room left to them . How much is Bishop looking for ?

        •  BigBlueGiant says:

          I’m not saying that we’re gonna even sign him or look at him… just5saying that he’s better than the LB’s on our team.

  4.  demo3356 says:

    Man I always get a little choked up watching that video and now with Gandolfini passing it is even more so. What a great ride that 2007 season was and what a great actor Ganalfini was. The Sopranos was by far the greatest television show ever and Tony Soprano was the best Character ever. Tuning in every Sunday night after the big family dinner was something I’ll never forget. I had a Tony Soprano avatar for my first 3-4 years on G101.

  5.  kujo says:


    Just saw your congratulations from earlier in the day. It’s been a busy couple of weeks down here in Orlando, so I’ve not been on G101 nearly as much as I usually am. Plus, what else is there to say–we just drafted our future All Pro left guard at #19, thereby ending a 5 year debate between myself and Demo. I will now ascend into heaven, body and spirit, where I will piss on jughead’s garguatan noggin on Sundays as I watch Pugh annihilate people on the interior of this OL for the next decade.

    So yeah, thanks for the kind words. And no, my more rambunctious side has not been tempered just yet!

  6.  kujo says:

    Damn that’s a great video…

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