Barcelona Dragons

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Barcelona Dragons
Barcelona Dragons logo Barcelona Dragons Logo.svg
Barcelona Dragons logo
Year founded1991
Year retired2003
City Barcelona, Spain
Team colorsDark Green, Scarlet Red, Gold, White
    
Franchise W-L-T recordRegular Season: 59–51–0
Postseason: 2–4
Championships
The Dragons in action. BarcelonaDragonsPlay.jpg
The Dragons in action.

The Barcelona Dragons was an American football team that was a part of the World League of American Football and later in the resurrected NFL Europe. Their home field in Barcelona was the Estadi Olímpic de Montjuic, the 1992 Olympic Stadium, and later the Mini Estadi.

Contents

The Dragons were successful on the field, making it to 4 World Bowls (1991, 1997, 1999, 2001) and winning World Bowl V in 1997.

The team was made part of the FC Barcelona organization in 2002 as the FC Barcelona Dragons, which saw them move mid-season from the city's Olympic stadium to FC Barcelona's second stadium, the Mini Estadi, with its capacity of 15,276.

Despite these efforts, the franchise's fan support decreased and the team began to struggle financially. After the 2003 season, the Dragons were discontinued and they were replaced in the league by the Cologne Centurions.

For the entire duration of the Dragons' history they had only one head coach, "Cowboy" Jack Bicknell. His nickname was translated by his adoptive city to El Caballero (with its additional connotations of "Knight" or "Gentleman" in Spanish).

From 1991–2002, Seymour "Red" Kelin was responsible for Defensive Coordinating duties. Bicknell and Kelin had been coaching together since their days at Boston College, where they helped lead the Eagles to a Cotton Bowl Classic victory in 1984.

In 2021, an unrelated entity of the same name was founded to participate in the inaugural season of the new European League of Football. This new team has announced the Estadi Municipal de Reus as their home field for their participation in this new league.

Season-by-season

The Dragons lost the inaugural World Bowl 21–0 to the London Monarchs in 1991. The game was played at Wembley Stadium in front of more than 60,000 fans.

That was to be the first of four World Bowl appearances for the Dragons, with the second bringing their first success in 1997. In an extremely tight group stage that year, the Dragons finished second with a .500 record, and then beat Rhein Fire 38–24 in the final.

That would prove to be the Dragons' only trophy, but they made it to the World Bowl twice more, losing 38–24 to Frankfurt Galaxy in 1999, and 24–17 to Berlin Thunder in 2001. In both years they had finished top of the regular season standings.

SeasonLeagueRegular seasonPostseason
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
1991 WLAF820.8002nd (European)11.500Lost to London Monarchs in World Bowl '91
1992 WLAF550.5001st (European)01.000Lost to Sacramento Surge in semifinal
1993WLAF suspended operations from 1993 to 1994
1994
1995 WLAF550.5003rd (League)
1996 WLAF550.5004th (League)
1997 WLAF550.5002nd (League)101.000 World Bowl '97 champions
1998 NFLE460.4004th (League)
1999 NFLE730.7001st (League)01.000Lost to Frankfurt Galaxy in World Bowl '99
2000 NFLE550.5003rd (League)
2001 NFLE820.8001st (League)01.000Lost to Berlin Thunder in World Bowl IX
2002 NFLE280.2006th (League)
2003 NFLE550.5004th (League)
Total59510.53624.333

Head coaches

#NameTermRegular seasonPostseasonAchievements
GCWonLostTiesWin %GCWonLostWin %
1 Jack Bicknell 19912003 11059510.536624.333 World Bowl '97 championship
NFL Europe Coach of the Year (2001)

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The 1991 Barcelona Dragons season was the inaugural season for the franchise in the newly created World League of American Football (WLAF). The team was led by head coach Jack Bicknell, and played its home games at Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. They finished the regular season in second place of the European Division with a record of eight wins and two losses. In the postseason, the Dragons beat the Birmingham Fire in the semifinals before losing to the London Monarchs in World Bowl '91.

The 1997 Barcelona Dragons season was the fifth season for the franchise in the World League of American Football (WLAF). The team was led by head coach Jack Bicknell in his fifth year, and played its home games at Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. They finished the regular season in second place with a record of five wins and five losses. In World Bowl '97, Barcelona defeated the Rhein Fire 38–24. The victory marked the franchise's first World Bowl championship.

The 1998 Barcelona Dragons season was the sixth season for the franchise in the NFL Europe League (NFLEL). The team was led by head coach Jack Bicknell in his sixth year, and played its home games at Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. They finished the regular season in fourth place with a record of four wins and six losses.

The 1996 Barcelona Dragons season was the fourth season for the franchise in the World League of American Football (WLAF). The team was led by head coach Jack Bicknell in his fourth year, and played its home games at Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. They finished the regular season in fourth place with a record of five wins and five losses.

The 2003 FC Barcelona Dragons season was the 11th and final season for the franchise in the NFL Europe League (NFLEL). The team was led by head coach Jack Bicknell in his 11th year, and played its home games at Mini Estadi in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. They finished the regular season in fourth place with a record of five wins and five losses.

The 2001 Barcelona Dragons season was the ninth season for the franchise in the NFL Europe League (NFLEL). The team was led by head coach Jack Bicknell in his ninth year, and played its home games at Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. They finished the regular season in first place with a record of eight wins and two losses. In World Bowl IX, Barcelona lost to the Berlin Thunder 24–17.

The 2002 FC Barcelona Dragons season was the tenth season for the franchise in the NFL Europe League (NFLEL). The team was led by head coach Jack Bicknell in his tenth year, and played its home games at Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc and Mini Estadi in Barcelona, Spain. They finished the regular season in sixth place with a record of two wins and eight losses.

The 1999 Barcelona Dragons season was the seventh season for the franchise in the NFL Europe League (NFLEL). The team was led by head coach Jack Bicknell in his seventh year, and played its home games at Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. They finished the regular season in first place with a record of seven wins and three losses. In World Bowl '99, Barcelona lost to the Frankfurt Galaxy 38–24.

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is the second largest city and metropolitan area in Spain and sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union. It has hosted many major international tournaments and has professional teams in different sports.

The 1997 World League of American Football season was the fifth campaign of the WLAF professional American football league, and the third under its six-team Europe-only format. World Bowl '97 was won by the Barcelona Dragons, whose quarterback was Jon Kitna, then on the roster of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL.

The 2003 NFL Europe season was the 11th season in 13 years of the American Football league that started out as the World League of American Football. Three NFL Europe teams had new homes for 2003, Berlin Thunder at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, the F.C. Barcelona Dragons at Mini Estadi, and the Rhein Fire, at Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen.