The Chicago Syndicate: Did the Mafia Influence Rich Rodriquez to Stay at West Virginia?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Did the Mafia Influence Rich Rodriquez to Stay at West Virginia?

Instead of looking for gangsters in movies and television like "Goodfellas" and "The Sopranos," Morgantown residents can see a mafia right here in town. Though they may not wear $5,000 suits and kill people for a living, the people who work at the local bars and clubs of the area are structured as Morgantown's mafia.

For West Virginia University students to understand the organization of Morgantown's mafia of bouncers, doormen, bartenders and bar owners, we must look at what they do and how they do it.

The Associates
One of the most important jobs doormen have is regulating the line waiting to get inside. Unless you are on the coveted VIP list, you are bound to wait in line and freeze. Doormen are an interesting breed of enforcers. Unlike most bouncers, doormen can be swayed with a variety of tactics. Like the mob, you can pay a "tribute" to the doormen to get in. I have personally seen doormen take money from wanna-be big shots who don't think they should wait in line.
Some doormen are insulted by an offering of money, but others are quite fond of the tactic used by desperate unattractive males who can't wait in line like the rest. In the hierarchy of the mafia/bar structure, doormen are the associates. With a pretty smile and D-cups, you can get past many Morgantown associates.Since they are forced to wait out in the cold and regulate drunk people from getting into the club, we can assume they have the most unappealing job in the structure. The associates, though crucial to the structure, are more worried about making money and watching pretty women than advancing in the "family." The moral of the story is if you have a $20 bill or a pretty smile and D-cups, you can get past many Morgantown associates.

The Soldiers
Patrons who finally make it inside of the club or bar find themselves in the domain of the bouncers, or soldiers of Morgantown's mafia. Though I highly respect both doormen and bouncers for the stuff they have to put up with, sometimes their ability to wrangle drunk kids can be a bit excessive. For the most part, soldiers work their tails off to try and de-escalate situations, but some just like to fight. Soldiers are the blunt instrument used to both stop and start fighting in the club. Much like the real mafia, a bouncer's job is to intimidate people and protect the other members of the "family." If another bouncer is in a scrap, you can guarantee his fellow soldiers will be the first ones there to get the job done. Any thug who simply enjoys fighting doesn't have the ability to protect their patrons and fellow "family" members. On top of sometimes beating the crap out of people who smart-eye them, soldiers also confiscate illegal items like drugs, weapons and fake IDs. My question is: Where do all the dangerous confiscated drugs and weapons go? Are they reported to the cops? Thrown away? Or are they sold or kept for personal use? Questions like these should be answered. Due to their intimidation factor and enormous size, soldiers and associates are hardly questioned for fear of reprisal.

The Underboss

The bartenders of the nightclubs in Morgantown are the most crucial to the entire operation of Morgantown's mafia. "Knowing" a bartender can get frequent patrons hundreds of dollars of free drinks in a year. Not only are they in charge of the bar, they are also in charge of your buzz as well as the people directly under them. Underbosses have the ability to serve you quickly or not at all. Often, people who don't tip or don't tip to the satisfaction of the bartenders don't get served in a timely manner. Bartenders have at their disposal bouncers, bar-backs and doormen to regulate any patron they want. The bartenders wield a lot of power as the underbosses in the mafia. They are able to influence the rest of the members while only taking cues from the boss.

The Boss

The various club owners in Morgantown are the heads of their families. Their main responsibility is to make sure their competition isn't ganging on them, to make money and to lead their employees. The Boss doesn't have to get his hands dirty with the nightly business of the bar; they leave that up to the associates, soldiers and underbosses. Each position in the Morgantown club and bar scene is very similar to the jobs and responsibilities of the mafia. Some may disagree and say that they are just employees of a company but not in a hierarchy of beatings, intimation and bribes, but they are. Every bar or "family" has their own set of rules, and everybody knows that if those rules are broken, you can end up in the alley with hell of a beating. If that's not the mafia, what is?

Thanks to Christian Alexandersen

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