Forgive us for squeezing as much as we can out of the release of Team Marco, Julio Vincent Gambuto’s new movie about a grandfather and grandson coming together over the sport of bocce ball.
When it comes to seeing our favorite sport in the spotlight, us bocce fanatics are a deprived bunch. It’s so so scarce to see bocce on the big screen, that when it happens, it sends a ripple amongst us. Last winter, somewhere around hour 17 of The Irishman, there was a five second shot of the guys playing bocce on concrete in prison - and that alone was enough to flood my inbox with screenshots and mentions.
Between the release of Team Marco and a short clip from The Bachelorette, it's been a big week for bocce. So just as soon as we got done washing our eyes out from Ivan’s form, we put together an exit survey for some of our bocce diehards across the country. Let’s talk Team Marco!
1. What is your version of the rainbow cookie? E.g. the treat that you would force on someone with self-imposed dietary restrictions to get them to “live a little”?
Alex Gara: That’s an easy one: Leeky Monster Cookies. I would love to see the joy from all of that butter and brown sugar and salt overcome some deprived soul.
Lolo Schroeder, American Bocce: Butter drenched crab legs and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
The Bocce Bros, Columbus Italian Club / Pacentrano Club: Homemade Clothespin Cookies.
Amico Gino, River Club Bocce: Affogato al cafe. You don't have to like espresso to enjoy this wonderful dessert. It is quite simply the best way to end any meal.
Theresa Robarge, Las Vegas National: Vanilla ice cream. It's an important part of life's simple pleasures. It doesn't need to be extravagant. Sometimes less is more.
Dave Krone, American Bocce: Paseis de Nata - egg custard tarts from Portugal.
Matt David, American Bocce: Fried calamari, but the tentacle-y looking kind, with a bit of lemon juice and marinara.
2. You get first pick in the Team Marco draft as your bocce partner. All characters are on the table. Who do you choose and why?
Alex Gara: Nonno seems like the obvious choice here but I don’t trust his raffa game. Larry looks like he still has some pep in his step and is a top tier smack talker so I’m taking Larry.
Lolo Schroeder: Sara- those braids, that sass—she’s rocking’ strong Pippi Longstocking energy. On the courts, she’d be merciless. A natural D-chopper.
The Bocce Bros: We are taking Cheech all day every day aka Nonno - He has years of experience and I love someone who can talk the talk and walk the walk.
Andy Zimmerman, American Bocce: Gotta go with Nonno. Obviously practices everyday, plus the trophies. I'd have to carry his ass though.
Amico Gino: Well, seeing that my name is Gino I'm hesitant to choose anyone other than the character Gino or Ginolino in the movie. I'd go with big Gino though as he seemed to hang out at the courts everyday plus that hairstyle leads me to believe he commands the respect of his opponents and damn near everyone in life.
Matt David: Larry. He coats his wisdom in wit and sass and I need that on the court with me.
3. This family movie is feel as good as frick. What was your favorite feel good moment of the movie?
Alex Gara: There’s a tiny moment where Marco puts his arm around Fred after a solid practice sesh at the JCC that just melted me.
Lolo Schroeder: "God made you my grandson. Bocce ball made you my friend."
The Bocce Bros: Our favorite feel good moment was when Marco put the old school videos and pictures on the VR headset for his nonno. We each have experienced a similar moment when our Nonno’s passed. It’s a very emotional but enjoyable moment to be able to look back on their lives and cherish the moments we had together.
Andy Zimmerman: Bocce set birthday gift. I’m not crying! You’re crying!
Amico Gino: The scooter rides in the movie inspired me to dust off my scooter in the garage and hop on with my son to go around our neighborhood. The joy of a scooter ride with your partner in crime is unmatched.
Theresa Roberge: When Marco kissed the pallino for the first time. He was so excited, and Nonno was thrilled for him. I teared up, as it reminded me of playing bocce with my beloved "POPS".
Dave Krone: When Marco touches the pallino blindfolded at the restaurant courts, because all my feel good emotions come during gameplay.
Matt David: Watching the old home movies of Nonno and Nonna when they were young.
4. Did you have a bocce snob moment? This is a safe space, go ahead and let it out!
Lolo: Yeah, that little jerk who thought he would be an ace the first time he ever threw.
Andy Zimmerman: Zero Raffa, which is acceptable yet further illustrates how badly I’d crush Nonno.
Dave Krone: I criticized the form of basically all the JCC kids on Marco's team.
Matt David: The extra points for a “kiss”.
5. Assuming you're going to turn into Nonno in 30-50 years, who is in your regular bocce game and where are the courts?
Alex Gara: I reunite with Nick Griffin, Scott Sanville, and Rick Swanson as the Great Grand Daddy’s and we routinely square off against old ABC foes in some yet-to-be-developed old man park in Chicago.
Lolo Schroeder: Real talk: a bocce retirement community with all lovers of the game, anywhere the weather is 75 and sunny. Can we get on that please?
The Bocce Bros: Hopefully The Bocce Bros and our families! Our courts would be on the beaches of Florida.
Andy Zimmerman: Alex P Bocce on my end with the old ass, dirty Krone Bros on the other. Home court? The all inclusive, state of the art, well reviewed, 10 court American Bocce Company Megadome in west loop, Chicago. (Yet to be built/conceptualized)
Amico Gino: I'm hoping to be close to a beach and play on the sand with my son and hopefully his kids, just how I was introduced to the game by my grandparents.
Dave Krone: Andy, Sean, Joe, and Vito - the courts are in space.
Matt David: I’d love to get as many of my teammates over the years with me as possible—my wife, Rachel, my brother, Blake, and all my long time buddies from Alex and Keith to the various Bradys. And we're playing in Portugal because it is very nice there.
6. My Sister’s Teeth is pretty good, right? Give us another bocce scenario and colloquialism for the sequel.
Lolo Schroeder: A ball pinned on the super high side is called a Willie Nelson.
The Bocce Bros: A Youngstown Tuck. You plant your ball (with a roll) a little bit behind the pallino and tuck it in there real nice. Then they can't hit your ball out of the way and if the roll straight they'll roll the pallino right into your ball! "And That's What you Call A Youngstown Tucker"
Andy Zimmerman: Smooooooooth deuce!
Amico Gino: I don't believe they ever covered the "casino" term in the movie? That's a classic and favorite anytime I'm playing with folks. Notching a casino just sinks the hearts of your competitors.
Theresa Roberge: Kiss My Ass! Stealing the point by touching the pallino.
Dave Krone: Pallino Excalibur - when the pallino is blocked in the corner by a ball and you can't hit it out (aka Log Cabin Invitational against Vito and Maurizio)
Matt David: “The Bandit’s Railway” is when there are 3 balls in a line in front of the pallino with the opponents closest and your shot knocks the first ball in the line and sets of a chain reaction that sends the opponent out.
7. Lastly, give us your one-sentence review of the movie!
Alex Gara: Bocce and family and all the feels.
The Bocce Bros: We laughed, We cried, and we felt like a kid again as we thought back to time with our Nonna.
Andy Zimmerman: A feel good, feel good that felt pretty pretty pretty good.
Amico Gino: Bocce, family and learning to put down technology for life's best moments.
Theresa Roberge: A truly feel-good, bittersweet, family flick.
Matt David: The family patriarch replaces the monotony of his grandson’s digital life with the joy of bocce.
Team Marco is available to rent or purchase today on any of the following streaming platforms: