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Madden vs. Mariucci in a bocce ball battle of NFL coaches

May 31, 2014
John Madden
Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster John Madden

This time they won’t be able to call on Ken Stabler or Joe Montana, or Cliff Branch or Jerry Rice to help decide the outcome. And this contest won’t take place on the gridiron.

Former NFL coaches John Madden of the Oakland Raiders and Steve Mariucci of the San Francisco 49ers will go mano-o-mano on the bocce ball court, a sport that dates back to ancient Rome.

Madden and Mariucci are co-hosting the annual Battle of the Bay Charity Bocce Tournament on Wednesday, June 4. The exclusive invite-only affair will be staged at Campo di Bocce in Livermore, Calif., just a short drive from The Rose Hotel, which is serving as one of the official lodging options for the event.

In addition, The Rose Hotel will field a team captained by Madden’s son Mike, who also manages The Rose. 

Event participants will play bocce, network and enjoy the company of the Bay Area professional and social elite, including athletes, celebrities and business icons. This is the only Bay Area Charity Event that includes the participation of all of the Bay Area’s major professional sports franchises — the Giants, Warriors, 49ers, Raiders, Sharks and A’s, in addition to local Fortune 500 companies. And the festivities are being conducted in the name of charity. The beneficiaries will be:

  • The Special Olympics of Northern California
  • Mariucci Family Foundation
  • Tri-Valley High School Football
  • Diabetes Youth Families
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International

Last year, John Madden and his team of six hoisted the winner’s trophy. Forty-eight teams took part in last year’s event.

“It gives you the opportunity to practice humility,” Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew after that victory. “It was all about guys working hard, preparing, working together, being a team. It’s all about your teammates.”

The tournament has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local children’s charities.

“That’s really what it’s all about,” Madden said. “We joke and laugh and play bocce and it’s fun and all that stuff, but it goes for a good cause… That’s the thing that you can really feel good about.”