KEY LARGO, Florida Keys -– Two-time Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson is to combine two of his favorite sports –- football and fishing -– into one event Feb. 4-6, with the Gridiron Greats Billfish Bowl in the Florida Keys.
The tournament is slated to begin a few days before Super Bowl XLIV is to be played at Landshark Stadium in Miami.
The event benefits Gridiron Greats, a charitable organization chaired by former Chicago Bears’ coach Mike Ditka that provides financial assistance and health services to retired NFL players in need.
A Thursday, Feb. 4, kickoff party is slated at Johnson’s Fisherman’s Cove, a residence club in Key Largo and home of the Big Chill, a bar, restaurant and cabana complex that has become a social hotspot in the Upper Keys. The venue also is to serve as tournament headquarters.
Some of football’s most notable players, coaches and owners who plan to be in South Florida for the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl have been invited to participate in the event.
“What’s better than enjoying fishing with NFL players and coaches, both current and former greats, while raising money for an outstanding charity,” said Johnson, who makes his home in the Keys and is a sports broadcaster on “Fox NFL Sunday.”
The tournament targets sailfish and other billfish species, and points are scored on releases. Fishing is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 5, and Saturday, Feb. 6. An evening awards ceremony on Saturday concludes the event a day before the Super Bowl.
Registration is $4,500 for a team of six and includes admission to all social events. Prize payoffs are to be based on the number of entries. The winning team’s names are to be engraved on the tournament’s perpetual trophy and displayed adjacent to Johnson’s Super Bowl rings and Vince Lombardi trophies at JJ’s Sports Bar in the Big Chill.
Professional charter boat operators in the Upper Keys are available for anglers who want to participate in the event, but who either do not own a boat or prefer to travel to the tournament without one.
More details are available at billfishbowl.com or call (866) 203-2720.