The American Bowl was a series of National Football League pre-season exhibition games that were held at sites outside the United States between 1986 and 2005.
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.
The league started the American Bowl series in 1986 primarily to promote American football in other countries. After successful games in London's Wembley Stadium, the series was expanded to Japan. After 1990, games were also played in Montreal and Berlin to promote the new World League of American Football (later NFL Europe) which started in 1991.
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
The original Wembley Stadium was a football stadium in Wembley Park, London, which stood on the same site now occupied by its successor, the new Wembley Stadium. The demolition in 2003 of its famous Twin Towers upset many people worldwide. Debris from the stadium was used to make the Northala Fields in Northolt, London.
Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.
Several earlier pre-season games involved NFL teams and were played outside the United States, without being labeled "American Bowl" games. Between 1950 and 1983, there were 13 football games involving NFL or AFL teams played on foreign soil. Six games in Canada between 1950–1961 pitted NFL teams against CFL teams with the NFL team winning all six games. These games were a hybrid of US and Canadian football. One game involved an AFL team (the Buffalo Bills, who lost 38–21 to the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats).
The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football league that operated for ten seasons from 1960 until 1969, when it merged with the older National Football League (NFL), and became the American Football Conference. The upstart AFL operated in direct competition with the more established NFL throughout its existence. It was more successful than earlier rivals to the NFL with the same name, the 1926, 1936 and 1940 leagues, and the later All-America Football Conference.
The Canadian Football League is a professional sports league in Canada. The CFL is the highest level of competition in Canadian football. The league consists of nine teams, each located in a city in Canada. They are divided into two divisions: four teams in the East Division and five teams in the West Division.
The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. The Bills compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays their home games at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills are the only NFL team that plays its home games in the state of New York. The Bills conduct summer training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York, an eastern suburb of Rochester.
There was also a game in 1960 that pitted the Chicago Bears against the New York Giants played in Toronto; this was in return for a 1958 CFL matchup that was played in Philadelphia.[ 3 ]
The 1958 CFL season was the fifth season in modern Canadian professional football, although officially it would become known as the inaugural season of the Canadian Football League.
Five games also used the American Bowl format without the name prior to 1986. One of these games was an AFL–NFL matchup, Boston vs. Detroit on August 25, 1969. Firstly, two games were played in Montreal in 1969. Then NFL exhibition games took place in Tokyo (1976), Mexico City (1978), and London (1983) before the term American Bowl was coined. The game in Tokyo was called the "Mainichi Star Bowl" . The game in London was called the Global Cup.
At least one American Bowl game was played annually between 1986 and 2003. As many as four were played per year in the early 1990s. The two participating teams were selected by the league. The American Bowl was a fifth pre-season game, played the same weekend as the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, and did not take away a game from the participating teams' pre-season schedules.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game is an annual National Football League (NFL) exhibition game that is held the weekend of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's induction ceremonies. The game is played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, which is located adjacent to the Hall of Fame building in Canton, Ohio. It is traditionally the first game played in the NFL preseason for any given year, marking the end of the NFL's six-month off-season.
The largest crowd in NFL history was recorded at the American Bowl game at Mexico City on August 15, 1994, when 112,376 people attended the Governor's Cup game between the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers.
In 1996 it was played in Monterrey at the Estadio Universitario. The 1997 game was played in Dublin, Ireland as well as Toronto (Buffalo and Green Bay). These games usually played at times of local convenience; however, in the case of games in Japan, it was common for games to start at 5:00 AM local time as the scheduling was primarily for the benefit of US prime time television.
There were three games in 1998, two in 2000, and thereafter one per year. There was no American Bowl game played in 2004, and from 2000 to 2005 all American Bowl games were played in either Mexico or Japan.
Two 1988 games in Montreal and Gothenburg, Sweden, and a 1993 game in Toronto, are not classed as American Bowl games. This is because they were not arranged by the NFL but, rather, the scheduled home team elected to play there. Montreal held an American Bowl in 1990. At the time Montreal had no CFL team, after the Concordes/Alouettes had folded in 1987, but before the new Alouettes relocated there in 1996. The NFL-backed World League saw the Montreal Machine franchise compete in 1991 and 1992.
The last American Bowl was held in 2005. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell cited the league's new international strategy in the abandonment of international pre-season games as well as the closure of NFL Europe, instead focusing on playing regular season games in foreign countries.
The pre-season game that was scheduled to take place in August 2007 (later postponed to 2009) between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks at Beijing National Stadium in Beijing, China was named the China Bowl instead of the American Bowl; that game, too, was eventually canceled before being played.
The first regular season NFL game played outside the United States was held on October 2, 2005 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City before an NFL regular-season record of 103,467 fans. The Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 31-14. The New York Giants and Miami Dolphins played a regular season game at Wembley Stadium in London on October 28, 2007 (with the Giants winning 13-10), the first ever NFL regular season game to be played outside of North America; similarly, the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints followed suit in October 2008. These games are termed the NFL International Series. In addition to these games, the Buffalo Bills began the Bills Toronto Series, a number of pre- and annual regular season games in Toronto; the Miami Dolphins beat the Bills 16-3 in the first such game, on December 7, 2008. The series ran from 2008 to 2013.
|Date||Winning Team||Score||Losing Team||Score||Stadium||City|
|August 3, 1986||Chicago Bears||17||Dallas Cowboys||6||Wembley Stadium|
|August 9, 1987||Los Angeles Rams||28||Denver Broncos||27||Wembley Stadium|
|July 31, 1988||Miami Dolphins||27||San Francisco 49ers||21||Wembley Stadium|
|August 6, 1989||Los Angeles Rams||16||San Francisco 49ers||13||Tokyo Dome|
|August 6, 1989||Philadelphia Eagles||17||Cleveland Browns||13||Wembley Stadium|
|August 5, 1990||Denver Broncos||10||Seattle Seahawks||7||Tokyo Dome|
|August 5, 1990||New Orleans Saints||17||Los Angeles Raiders||10||Wembley Stadium|
|August 9, 1990||Pittsburgh Steelers||30||New England Patriots||14||Olympic Stadium|
|August 11, 1990||Los Angeles Rams||19||Kansas City Chiefs||3||Olympiastadion|
|July 28, 1991||Buffalo Bills||17||Philadelphia Eagles||13||Wembley Stadium|
|August 3, 1991||San Francisco 49ers||21||Chicago Bears||7||Olympiastadion|
|August 4, 1991||Miami Dolphins||19||Los Angeles Raiders||17||Tokyo Dome|
|August 2, 1992||Houston Oilers||34||Dallas Cowboys||23||Tokyo Dome|
|August 15, 1992||Miami Dolphins||31||Denver Broncos||27||Olympiastadion|
|August 16, 1992||San Francisco 49ers||17||Washington Redskins||15||Wembley Stadium|
|August 1, 1993||New Orleans Saints||28||Philadelphia Eagles||16||Tokyo Dome|
|August 1, 1993||San Francisco 49ers||21||Pittsburgh Steelers||14||Estadi Olímpic|
|August 7, 1993||Minnesota Vikings||20||Buffalo Bills||6||Olympiastadion|
|August 8, 1993||Dallas Cowboys||13||Detroit Lions||13||Wembley Stadium|
|July 31, 1994||Los Angeles Raiders||25||Denver Broncos||22||Estadi Olímpic|
|August 7, 1994||Minnesota Vikings||17||Kansas City Chiefs||9||Tokyo Dome|
|August 13, 1994||New York Giants||28||San Diego Chargers||20||Olympiastadion|
|August 15, 1994||Houston Oilers||6||Dallas Cowboys||0||Estadio Azteca|
|August 6, 1995||Denver Broncos||24||San Francisco 49ers||10||Tokyo Dome|
|August 12, 1995||Buffalo Bills||9||Dallas Cowboys||7||SkyDome|
|July 28, 1996||San Diego Chargers||20||Pittsburgh Steelers||10||Tokyo Dome|
|August 5, 1996||Kansas City Chiefs||32||Dallas Cowboys||6||Estadio Universitario|
|July 27, 1997||Pittsburgh Steelers||30||Chicago Bears||17||Croke Park|
|August 4, 1997||Miami Dolphins||38||Denver Broncos||19||Estadio Guillermo Cañedo|
|August 16, 1997||Green Bay Packers||35||Buffalo Bills||3||SkyDome|
|August 2, 1998||Green Bay Packers||27||Kansas City Chiefs||24||Tokyo Dome|
|August 15, 1998||San Francisco 49ers||24||Seattle Seahawks||21||BC Place Stadium|
|August 17, 1998||New England Patriots||21||Dallas Cowboys||3||Estadio Azteca|
|August 8, 1999||Denver Broncos||20||San Diego Chargers||17||Stadium Australia|
|August 6, 2000||Atlanta Falcons||20||Dallas Cowboys||9||Tokyo Dome|
|August 19, 2000||Indianapolis Colts||24||Pittsburgh Steelers||23||Estadio Azteca|
|August 27, 2001||Dallas Cowboys||21||Oakland Raiders||6||Estadio Azteca|
|August 3, 2002||Washington Redskins||38||San Francisco 49ers||7||Osaka Dome|
|August 2, 2003||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||30||New York Jets||14||Tokyo Dome|
|August 6, 2005||Atlanta Falcons||27||Indianapolis Colts||21||Tokyo Dome|
(GP (Games Played), W (Wins), L (Losses), T (Ties), PCT (Winning Percentage), PTS FOR (Points For), PTS AG (Points Against))
|Rank||Team||GP||W||L||T||PCT||PTS FOR||PTS AG|
|2||San Francisco 49ers||8||4||4||0||.500||134||162|
|3||Los Angeles Rams||3||3||0||0||1.000||63||43|
|5||Green Bay Packers||2||2||0||0||1.000||62||27|
|7||New Orleans Saints||2||2||0||0||1.000||45||26|
|12||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||1||0||0||1.000||30||14|
|13||New York Giants||1||1||0||0||1.000||28||20|
|16||New England Patriots||2||1||1||0||.500||35||33|
|17||San Diego Chargers||3||1||2||0||.333||57||58|
|20||Kansas City Chiefs||4||1||3||0||.250||68||69|
|24||New York Jets||1||0||1||0||.000||14||30|
Marvin Daniel Levy is a former American and Canadian football coach, front office executive, and author. He served as head coach in the Canadian Football League (CFL) for the Montreal Alouettes (1973–1977) and in the National Football League (NFL) for the Kansas City Chiefs (1978–1982) and the Buffalo Bills (1986–1997), coaching the Bills to four consecutive American Football Conference championships. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
The East Division is one of the two regional divisions of the Canadian Football League, their counterpart being the West Division. Although the CFL was not founded until 1958, the East Division and its clubs are descended from earlier leagues.
The Labour Day Classic is a particular week of the Canadian Football League (CFL) schedule that is played over the Labour Day weekend. Labour Day weekend, roughly 12 weeks into the CFL season, is known for its matchups that do not change from year to year, unlike other "rivalry" weeks of the CFL schedule. Labour Day weekend is also one of typically two weeks in the CFL schedule that the league plays on a Monday. Mark's is the presenting sponsor of the event as of 2014.
The 1961 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the eighth season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the fourth Canadian Football League season.
The 2008 CFL season was the 55th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it was the 51st season for the league. It was also the first CFL season in which all of the league's regular season and post-season games, including the Grey Cup game, were aired on TSN. This meant the CFL was no longer aired on broadcast television in Canada. As of 2008, TSN was available in approximately 8.8 million of Canada's 13 million households. Montreal hosted the 96th Grey Cup at Olympic Stadium on November 23, when the championship was won by the Calgary Stampeders.
"Fútbol Americano" was the marketing name used for the first National Football League (NFL) regular season game held outside the United States. Played on October 2, 2005 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 31–14. The game drew an NFL regular season record of 103,467 paid fans.
Kahlil Rafiq Carter, is a gridiron football coach who recently served as the Defensive Coordinator for the Montreal Alouettes. Carter is also a former professional gridiron football player in the Arena Football League, NFL, NFL Europe, and the Canadian Football League. His last season of professional football was spent playing defensive back in the AFL for the Iowa Barnstormers in 2010. Carter has also spent time in the NFL with Buffalo and NFL Europe with the Scottish Claymores. Carter also was a star defensive back in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts and the Montreal Alouettes.
The National Football League preseason is the period each year during which NFL teams play several not-for-the-record exhibition games before the actual "regular" season starts. Beginning with the featured Pro Football Hall of Fame game in early August, five weekends of exhibition games are currently played in the NFL. The start of the preseason is intrinsically tied to the last week of training camp.
Jerry Wayne Crafts is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League for the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles. He also played in the World League of American Football, XFL, Canadian Football League and Arena Football League. He is the only person to have been involved with teams that played in the championship games of each of the aforementioned Leagues. He played college football at the University of Oklahoma for Barry Switzer and the University of Louisville.
The National Football League (NFL) has been playing games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, since 1959 when an interleague game between an NFL team and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL) took place at Exhibition Stadium. Subsequently, a number of neutral site preseason and regular season games between NFL teams have been staged in the city. Toronto is one of three cities outside the United States, along with London and Mexico City, which have hosted regular season NFL games.
In the United States and Canada, the term professional football includes the professional forms of American and Canadian gridiron football. In common usage, it refers to former and existing major football leagues in either country. Currently (2016), there are multiple professional football leagues in North America: the three best known are the National Football League (NFL) and the Arena Football League (AFL) in the U.S. and the Canadian Football League (CFL) in Canada. The NFL has existed continuously since being so named in 1922.
The Bills Toronto Series was a series of National Football League (NFL) games featuring the Buffalo Bills played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The original series began in the 2008 season and ran through 2012. The Bills were originally scheduled to play eight home games over five seasons as part of the agreement, which included one regular-season game each of the five years and one pre-season game on the first, third and (originally) fifth year of the series. This included the first regular-season NFL game played in Canada, which the Bills lost to the Miami Dolphins. The agreement was renewed for five additional years, with an annual regular season game and one preseason game, on January 29, 2013, but following the 2013 contest it was announced that the 2014 game had been postponed for a year. On December 3, 2014, it was announced that a deal had been reached to terminate the remainder of the contract, ending the Bills' experiment in Toronto.
The 2010 CFL season is the 57th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it is the 53rd season of the league. Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton hosted the 98th Grey Cup on November 28 when the Montreal Alouettes became the first team to repeat as Grey Cup Champions in 13 years, defeating the Saskatchewan Roughriders, 21–18. The league announced on its Twitter page on January 29, 2010 that the season would start on July 1, 2010. As of 2016 this is the most recent CFL regular season to start in July.
Professional football is one of the most popular sports in Canada. Unlike most countries, but paralleling its counterpart, the United States, the term "football" in Canada refers to the gridiron-based game developed in both countries over the course of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and not to association football.
The 2015 CFL season was the 62nd season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it was the 58th season of the league. The Edmonton Eskimos won the 103rd Grey Cup on November 29, defeating the Ottawa Redblacks 26–20 in Winnipeg. The schedule was released February 13, 2015 and the regular season began on June 25, 2015.
Canada Day games in the Canadian Football League are an occasional part of the league's schedule and occur only when the league schedule begins on or before July 1. The games are not an annual occurrence, unlike the Labour Day or Thanksgiving Day games. As of the 2019 CFL season, there will have been 20 Canada Day games played.
The 2019 CFL season will be the 66th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it is the 62nd season of the league. Calgary is scheduled to host the 107th Grey Cup on November 24, 2019. The regular season will start on June 13, 2019 and be played over the course of 21 weeks, concluding on November 2, 2019.