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2013 Sit Down Banquet

By Lou Bouris
August 08, 2013

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Louis Lipps talking with La Famiglia

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2013 Class of Made Bosses




After a short time away from Training Camp, the Steel City Mafia flocked to town and took over Latrobe this past weekend.  The “annual” SCM gathering was back, and it definitely did not disappoint those members who made the pilgrimage into the Black and Gold ‘Holy Land’ called St. Vincent’s College.


It started at camp Friday afternoon.  The practice field was swarmed by thousands of fans for a rare evening practice, and Mafia shirts could be seen throughout the crowds.  People were asking me left and right where I got my shirt, and how could they join.  I have a feeling that the Famiglia is going to be seeing a quick boost in members here shortly by the responses I was getting.


Watching practice is a sure sign that the new season is upon us, but the real start of the Mafia’s season came Saturday night when La Famiglia gathered once again at DiSalvo’s Ristorante for the Mafia’s fifth installment of their Sit Down Banquet.


The old train station is a perfect setting for a gathering of Mafiosos, and once again the Family gathered from all over to honor a few of their own.  This year, four Bosses were being pinned as “Made” Bosses for their contributions to the organization.  They would be pinned by the Famiglia’s very special guest, Mr Louis Lipps.


That’s right, good old #83.  The former wide receiver and punt returner for the Black and Gold himself would be doing the honors.    A first round draft pick in 1984, Louis played 8 seasons with the Steelers.  Racking up an NFL Rookie of the Year award, a couple Pro-Bowl selections, and was twice named by his teammates at the Steelers team MVP, Lipps was a dynamic player on a team trying to live in the HUGE shadow left by the 1970s Championship teams.  Louis definitely did his part to help the team, racking up almost 8,000 all purpose yards during his stint with the team.


 Louis, who has been known to frequent SCM tailgate parties in the past, felt right at home with La Famiglia.  Working the room before dinner, taking pictures with people and signing autographs, having a drink at the bar, he was making sure everyone was having a good time.


After a dinner, Louis got up to say a few words.   After talking a bit on how incredible it felt to still be a part of Steeler Nation, Louis wanted to know what we were interested in hearing.  He opened it up to a Question and Answer session.  He did make sure to say that there were some ‘locker room’ stuff that he is obligated not to talk about under the players’ code of conduct..but if we asked the RIGHT questions, we would get all the good answers. 


The questions flew in left and right.  From who was the biggest prankster on his team (that would be Keith Willis), to what was Chuck Noll really like (no nonsense but with a good sense of humor, and respected by everybody!) to what he thinks of the rule changes of today. (he doesn’t like them…)


He ended his talk by looking around the room, and said he loves the way Steeler fans are so passionate, and he said “Make no mistake, the players feel it.  When I went back to return a punt, and the whole crowd was saying LOOOOOOOOU, I knew I had to do something special for them!”


After a rousing round of applause for our featured speaker, Boss Shawn Kennedy called him up front to help with the Made ceremony.  This year four Bosses were being honored, each with their own unique talents and skills that they bring to La Famiglia.


Up first was Boss Lou Bouris (yeah…that’s me) from Dayton, Ohio.  I like to be a ‘behind the scene’ type of Boss, that writes these little articles, answers members questions online, help out at shows, and basically just be there to help the Godfather out whenever he needs anything. 


Next up to get pinned was (Big) Boss Yoshia Walker from Biloxi, Mississippi.  Boss Yosh took over a venue in Biloxi and ran with it.  Whatever his members need, he gets for them.  It’s all about family, and he’s grown the Mississippi family tremendously.  Recently he brought in the one and only Rocky Bleir for a Mafia event at his venue, opening the Rock’s eyes to La Famiglia and paving the way for hopefully a long relationship with the Steeler great. 


The third Boss to get made was Boss Dennis Shaffer from Chambersburg PA.  While Boss Denny helps coordinate and run a huge Mafia chapter in his area, a lot of what he’s done is also behind the scenes where most members can’t see.  He is currently heading up the Membership Fullfillment department of the organization, and through his ingenuity and hard work has cleared up a huge backlog and has everything running smoothly and efficiently.  He can be seen running events, organizing signings, and recruiting members for his area, but his behind the scenes efforts help just about the entire Family.


Last but not least, was Boss Jenn Menichini from Shavertown PA.  Now, anyone who’s met Boss Jenn knows what the Family means to her.  She’s a bundle of energy, who seems to be everywhere at once.  Something needs done, she’ll do it.  Event needs organized, she’s on it.  Need players at an event, she’s on the phone.  Your drink is empty; she’ll have a waitress right over.  She’s a do it all type of Boss that truly believes there are no strangers within Steeler Nation.


Another fun filled Sit Down in the books, with four Bosses joining the elite club of Made Bosses.  While there is no off-season for fans, especially those in the Steel City Mafia, the real season is about to start.  Big things are being planned nationwide by its members, and it looks like this will be another great season not only for the Mafia, but for the Steelers as well.   


La Famiglia is still growing quickly, and Bosses everywhere will be looking forward to introducing their new members to their chapters all over the country.


And if this weekend pointed one thing out, it is definitely that there are no strangers within this Family, just ‘relatives’ we haven’t met yet.


Family is Family, and these four Bosses would do anything for this Family.


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