I know the mafia is dangerous. I know organized crime runs underground in almost all of our cities, and is responsible for crime of all sorts. But the mafia’s latest scandal is probably the greatest scam I have ever heard.
According to The Guardian, mafia clans have been using the ESPN Bottom Line-like ticker of a popular Italian soccer show to relay messages to “godfathers” locked up in the big house. “Imprisoned crime bosses were kept up to date on mob business through mobile phone texts sent to the show, Quelli Che il Calcio, which unwittingly scrolled them across the bottom of the screen, among innocent messages from supporters of Italian football teams,” the newspaper reports.
Officials were notified of the breach through a letter to an inmate that was intercepted. The letter allegedly told one mafioso to watch the show for secret messages. One of the texts reportedly read “Everything is OK – Paolo,” which to me is more of a calming reassurance than it is the directions to Jimmy Hoffa’s body.
Show producers have now stopped the airing of text messages along with the show, and despite the backlash, are still looking on the bright side, which in TV basically means “no publicity is bad publicity.”
“The show has always had universal appeal,” said program presenter Simona Ventura. “From the young, to graduates, to the old, and now, I discover, mob bosses and their families too.”