IFL European Cup 1976
|Texas A&I Javelinas (C)||5||5||0||0||96||47||1.000|
|Henderson State Reddies||5||0||5||0||47||96||.000|
Note: the IFL European Cup of 1976 was a 5-game tour by two NAIA Colleges.
IFL European Championship 1977
|Newton Nite Hawks (C)||5||5||0||0||126||41||1.000|
Note: The IFL European Championship of 1977 was a 5-game tour by two Chicagoland League Semi-Pro teams.
IFL European Championship 1978
|Quad Cities Black Hawks (C)||4||4||0||0||95||29||1.000|
Note: The IFL European Championship of 1978 was a 5-game tour by two Northern States Football League AA Professional Football teams.
In 1970 the film M*A*S*H featured a climactic end-sequence with an American Football game. this was the first ever time an American Football game had been seen on Major TV or Cinema screens in Europe, and started an interest in the American version of Rugby or Football in the continent.
The Intercontinental Football League was set up by Bob Kapp, a Texan who had introduced Professional Soccer to Texas. The intention was to start a Professional American Football League in Europe.
The National Football League had played its first game outside North American between NFL Bleu and NFL rouge in Paris, and the IFL had brought Bruno Beneck, a Media mogul who had successfully introduced Baseball to Italy, and had enough interest to have sold six francises. However, the Oil crisis and the spectre of terrorism in Europe put an end to the League in 1975 before it started.
In the meantime the World Football League had started in the USA with intention of bringing the game to the World. The League played two seasons from 1974 to 1975, although the furthest it got from the American mainland was Hawaii.
The IFL was undeterred, however, and arranged a series of tours by United States College, and Professional teams in Europe. The first Tour was during June 1976 in Germany, Austria and France. The teams were NAIA Colleges (Junior Colleges) Texas A&I Javelinas, who won all five games of the series, and Henderson State College Reddies.
In 1977 the tour featured Semi-Pro teams from the Chicagoland League and the five-game tour visited France, Germany and Austria, and again all five games were won by the same team: Newton Nite Hawks, who defeated Chicago Lions.
The final tour featured AA Professional teams from the Northern States Football League, Quad Cities Black Hawks (who won all five games) and the Indianapolis Capitols. This tour, like the two previous tours, lost a lot of money and Bob Kapp abandoned the venture. However, the long-term impact was the creation of the first teams and Leagues in Germany, Austria, Finland and Italy, one of which, the Dusseldorf Panther, is still in existence. American Football has had a continuous presence in those countries since and has since spread as far as Turkey, Portugal and Iceland.
Website / Sources
 Mark L. Ford and Massimo Foglio, The Coffin Corner Volume 27,No. 6, Pro Football Researchers Association (2002) THE FIRST “NFL EUROPE”[Internet] Available from: http://www.profootballresearchers.org/archives/Website_Files/Coffin_Corner/27-06-1101.pdf [Accessed 20 October 2019]
 Massimo Foglio with Mark L. Ford (2017), Touchdown in Europe – How American Football Came to the Old Continent. Second Edition “The Trailblazers: Bleu et Rouge, College and Semi-Pro”. pg. 151-188. Published by the Author (2015, 2017)
Thanks to Louise Wills (Kenny) and John Wills.
About this document
Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the
Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive
Last Updated: 11 May 2020
(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2020
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