Daily News Missed Major Sopranos' Cue

Bada Bing bada boop
The New York Daily News doesn't know a good lede when it sees one...

(With apologies to "Chin" author Larry McShane, who had nothing to do with this Confidential article published today.)

The newspaper, in a piece that highlights newly released book Big Blue Wrecking Crew, notes how the championship-winning 1986 New York Giants played hard but partied even harder.

"Drugs, sex and all-night partying were key parts of the game plan for some of the players, according to a new book about Big Blue's run-up to its Super Bowl win," as the New writes.

Some members of the team liked to frequent a specific club, called The Bench, which was "a go-go bar in Carlstadt, N.J., owned by Genovese crime family associate Vicent (sic) Ravo— a “den of debauchery” where sex and other vices were for sale. Team star Lawrence Taylor and fellow linebackers Brad Van Pelt and Brian Kelley were tight enough with Ravo — who'd been arrested for assault, kidnapping, rape and homicide — that they wrote letters of reference when the mobster pleaded guilty to a weapons charge in 1984. Taylor vacationed in the Bahamas with Ravo, and at his request made appearances at a Mob-connected furniture store and kid's birthday party."

They're missing a huge Sopranos reference. 

Linking a story to that classic HBO series seems to be mandatory these days when referencing the mob in New Jersey, never mind the fact that VINCENT Ravo also owned another club, called Satin Dolls, which served double-duty as The Sopranos' infamous Bada Bing topless bar where Tony Soprano liked to hold court. (Dear fans of the show also will recall that the Bada Bing was where Paulie "Walnuts" Gaultieri had a vision of the Virgin Mary. See below....)

An investigation in 1986 by the New Jersey State Police Enforcement Bureau alleged that as of 1982, Ravo had "an undisclosed interest" in The Bench as well as in Satin Dolls in Lodi and The Emergency Room/Kathy’s Kafe in Garfield.

All three establishments operated under various names in the period of the investigation, which focused on the mob's infiltration of New Jersey's nightclub industry.

New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor caught the Feds' attention due to his very public friendship with Ravo.

As part of the state investigation, Taylor was alleged to have had an interest in The Bench, which probably is in the book Big Blue Wrecking Crew.

Ravo owned the club prior to its recent notorious owner, Anthony Cardinalle, who was indicted back in 2013 as part of that "Papa Smurf" case that slowly collapsed on the Feds following revelations that its key mole had faced pedophilia-related allegations.

Cardinalle, a longtime Genovese associate known as "Tony Lodi," began cooperating with the FBI and Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office a week before Christmas of 2013, though he might have started talking a couple of months earlier.

Paying homage: the Bada-Bing as it really is, with a sign placed out front
following James Gandolfini's death. Too young to go.

Tony Lodi pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit extortion and also admitted his role in a plot to shake down a cooperating witness who owned a waste hauling company. That cooperating witness grew into a major problem for the Feds.

Tony Lodi was a big fan of HBO's The Sopranos series.

When James Gandolfini, the actor who played Tony, died, a sign hung out front, saying: "Thank You Jimmy, Farewell Boss."