Intercontinental Football League College and Air Force Games 1972-1973


IFL 1972 College GameRhein-Main, Germany
25.11.1972Air Force All-Stars42Rota Naval Base Admirals7
IFL 1973 Turkey BowlRhein-Main, Germany
22.11.1973U Rhode Island Rams34USAFE All-Stars6
Intercontinental Football League College and Air Force Games 1972-1973 [Ref: 1-2]


The Intercontinental Football League was the National Football League’s first attempt at starting Professional Football outside North America.

It started after the film M*A*S*H became a worldwide hit in 1970, with its’ climactic ball game between the 4077th and 325th EVAC. There was enough interest for people to start clubs, and in 1973 Bob Kap, who had introduced professional Soccer to sceptical Texans, decided to try and sell Professional American Football to Europeans.

The first games were matches between visiting US Colleges and Air force teams stationed in Europe during the Cold War, and playing in the United States Air Force in Europe League (USAFE) the matches were promoted as “Turkey Bowls”, taking place as they did on Thanksgiving.

The Air Force All-Stars a visiting College team from USA in 1972 and the University of Rhode Island Rams, also a visiting American College team in 1973, both beat their USAFE counterparts in the matches staged in Rhein-Main, Germany.

The next step for Bob Kapp and the Intercontinental Football League wasto be the establishment of a Professional League in Europe.


Website / Sources

[1] 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: [Accessed 20 October 2019]


[2] 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

You may quote this document in part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All Rights Resereved.

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