World Bowl '91

World Bowl '91 (also referred to as World Bowl I) was the first annual championship game of the World League of American Football. It took place on June 9, 1991 at London's Wembley Stadium. The game featured a matchup between the Barcelona Dragons and the London Monarchs. The Monarchs would win 21–0 in front of 61,108 fans.

World Bowl '91
World Bowl 91 logo
Barcelona Dragons London Monarchs
0 21
1234 Total
BAR 0000 0
LON 71400 21
DateSunday, June 9, 1991
StadiumWembley Stadium, London, England
MVPDan Crossman, Safety
Attendance61,108
TV in the United States
NetworkABC
AnnouncersBrent Musburger and Dick Vermeil

Background

The teams finished the 1991 season with the two best records in the WLAF. The Monarchs' 9–1 mark qualified them for the playoffs as European division champions, while the Dragons finished 8–2 and qualified as a wildcard. The Monarchs' only blemish on their record came at the hands of the Dragons, 20–17, at Wembley Stadium in the last week of the regular season.

For both of the Europe-based finalists, the road to the World Bowl went through North America. The Dragons travelled to Birmingham and knocked off the Birmingham Fire (North American West champions), 10–3, while the Monarchs stopped North American East champion New York-New Jersey, 42-26. (Despite having a better record than the Knights, the semifinal game was held at Giants Stadium due to a scheduling conflict with an association football match at Wembley Stadium).

The two starting quarterbacks, Barcelona's Scott Erney and London's Stan Gelbaugh, knew each other well: they played high school football less than five minutes away from each other, at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High and Cumberland Valley High School, respectively.

Game summary

Barcelona started the game with excellent field position, as London wide receiver Dana Brinson fumbled the opening kickoff, and the Dragons took over on the Monarchs 18-yard line. However, the Monarchs defense shut down the Dragons offense, and London recovered a muffed field goal attempt (the first of 6 Dragon turnovers on the day). The teams traded possessions, with London taking over just before the end of the first quarter. Monarchs quarterback Stan Gelbaugh, who had finished the season as the league's offensive MVP, hit Jon Horton with a 69-yard touchdown pass to give the Monarchs a 7–0 lead at the close of the 1st quarter. On the Dragons' next possession, quarterback Scott Erney was intercepted by Dan Crossman, who returned his second pick of the game for a touchdown. Crossman would add another interception later in the second quarter, setting up a 14-yard pass from Gelbaugh to Judd Garrett, giving London a 21-0 lead and all the offense it would need.

Barcelona tried, but could not come back in the second half, as the hometown Monarchs won in front of a raucous London crowd. The crowd was also treated late in the game by the entry of running back Victor Ebubedike, born in London and a member of the Monarchs as per WLAF rules; he would gain 3 yards on his only carry of the game.

The Monarchs' win turned out to be the only shutout in World Bowl history. Judd Garrett finished the day with 13 receptions, a World Bowl record that would never be surpassed. Dan Crossman's 3 interceptions easily earned him the World Bowl MVP award, the only time a defensive player would be so honored.

1991 Barcelona Dragons season

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.

1991 London Monarchs season

The 1991 London Monarchs 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 Larry Kennan and played its home games at Wembley Stadium in London, England. They finished the regular season in first place of the European Division with a record of nine wins and one loss. In the postseason, the Monarchs beat the New York/New Jersey Knights in the semifinals before capturing the first World League championship with a win over the Barcelona Dragons in World Bowl '91.

1991 WLAF season

The 1991 WLAF season was the inaugural season of the World League of American Football and was the first transatlantic sports league. The regular season began on March 23, and concluded on May 27. The postseason ran from June 1 until June 9, when the London Monarchs defeated the Barcelona Dragons 21–0 in World Bowl '91 at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

1991 in sports

1991 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.

1998 England Monarchs season

The 1998 England Monarchs season was the sixth and final year of competition for the franchise in the NFL Europe League (NFLEL). The team was led by head coach Lionel Taylor in his third year, and played its home games at three different stadia across England — Crystal Palace in south London, Ashton Gate in Bristol, and Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. They finished the regular season in fifth place with a record of three wins and seven losses.

Alexander Stadium

Alexander Stadium is an international athletics stadium located within Perry Park in Perry Barr, Birmingham, England, at grid reference SP065925. It has staged the Amateur Athletics Association Championships, and was the venue of the 1998 Disability World Athletics Championships. It hosted one England Monarchs game in 1998 with an attendance of 8,000. It frequently hosts the English Schools' Athletics Championships, alternating every few years with Gateshead. 2019 will be the last year the ESAA Championships will be held there due to its demolition and rebuild for the commonwealth games.It hosts the annual British Grand Prix and will be the main athletics venue of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The construction of the stadium began in 1975 and it opened in 1976. It is the home of Birchfield Harriers, one of the best known athletics clubs in the United Kingdom, replacing their former home at Alexander Sports Ground.

Ashton Gate Stadium

Ashton Gate is a stadium in Ashton Gate, Bristol, England, and is the home of Bristol City F.C. and the Bristol Bears. Located in the south-west of the city, just south of the River Avon, it currently has an all-seated capacity of 27,000.

Barcelona Dragons

The Barcelona Dragons were a team originally in 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. 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. 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 roughly translated by his adoptive city to El Caballero (meaning, literally, "The Knight" or "The 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.

Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

The National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace in south London, England is a large sports centre and athletics stadium. It was opened in 1964 in Crystal Palace Park, close to the site of the former Crystal Palace Exhibition building which had been destroyed by fire in 1936, and is on the same site as the former FA Cup Final venue which was used here between 1895 and 1914.

It was one of the five National Sports Centres, run on behalf of Sport England, but responsibility was transferred to the London Development Agency (now GLA Land and Property) and is managed by Greenwich Leisure Limited, under their Better brand logo.

The athletics stadium has a capacity of 15,500, which can be increased to 24,000 with temporary seating. It hosts international athletics meetings.

Dave Harbour

David Lynn Harbour (born October 23, 1965) is a former American football center in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins. He played college football at the University of Illinois.

Harbour was signed by the Washington Redskins after former Illinois teammate Mike Scully long snapped two balls over the head of punter Steve Cox in a 20–27 loss against the New York Giants, and was cut the next day.Harbour also played for the London Monarchs in NFL Europe. He was part of the 1991 NFL Europe Championship team in 1991. The Monarchs defeated the Barcelona Dragons 21–0.

World Bowl '91 (also referred to as World Bowl I) was the first annual championship game of the World League of American Football. It took place on June 9, 1991 at London's Wembley Stadium. The game featured a matchup between the Barcelona Dragons and the London Monarchs. The Monarchs would win 21–0 in front of 61,108 fans.

Larry Kennan

Lawrence W. Kennan (born June 13, 1944) is an American football coach and former player. Kennan was most recently the head football coach for the University of the Incarnate Word from 2012 to 2017. He was also the head coach at Lamar University from 1979 to 1981 and for the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football (WLAF) in 1991. Kennan served as the executive director of the NFL Coaches Association from 1998 until 2011.

London Monarchs

The London Monarchs were a professional American football team in NFL Europe and its predecessor league, the World League of American Football (WLAF). The Monarchs played their final season in 1998 as the England Monarchs. In 1999, they were replaced by the new Berlin Thunder.

NFL Europe

The World League of American Football (shortened to WLAF or World League), later renamed the NFL Europe League (NFL Europe for short) and then NFL Europa, was a professional American football league which operated between 1991 and 2007. It was backed by the National Football League (NFL), the largest league in the United States. Each season culminated with the World Bowl.

The World League of American Football was founded in 1989 to serve as a type of spring league. Seven of the ten teams were based in North America, and the other three in Europe. This format lasted for two seasons, with no league in 1993–94.

The WLAF returned in 1995 with six teams, all in Europe, and in 1998 the league was rebranded as the NFL Europe League or NFL Europe, until 2006. For the league's last season, 2007, it officially changed its name to NFL Europa.

The league's squads were predominantly assigned by NFL teams, who wanted these younger, developmental players to get additional game experience and coaching. The NFL assumed the expenses of players and coaches living in Europe. The European six-team format was maintained for 12 seasons, from 1995 to 2008, but by 2008 five teams were based in Germany. Making a reported $30 million loss per season, and with teams such as the inaugural league champion London Monarchs having gone defunct, on 29 June 2008, the NFL announced the end of NFL Europa.

Roy Hart (gridiron football)

Roy Hart Jr. (born July 10, 1965) is a former American football defensive tackle. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the sixth round of the 1988 NFL Draft. He played college football at South Carolina.

Hart has also played for the London Monarchs, Los Angeles Raiders, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Las Vegas Posse.

Steve Gabbard

Stephen Edward Gabbard (born July 19, 1966) is a former offensive tackle in the National Football League.

Theo Adams (American football)

Theo P. Adams (born April 24, 1966) is a former American football offensive lineman. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Rams, he was part of the inaugural London Monarchs that won the World Bowl '91. Adams later played for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Wembley Stadium (1923)

The original Wembley Stadium (; formerly known as the Empire 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.

Wembley hosted the FA Cup final annually, the first in 1923, the League Cup final annually, five European Cup finals, the 1966 World Cup Final, and the final of Euro 96. Brazilian footballer Pelé once said of the stadium: "Wembley is the cathedral of football. It is the capital of football and it is the heart of football," in recognition of its status as the world's best-known football stadium. The stadium hosted the 1948 Summer Olympics, rugby league’s Challenge Cup final, and the 1992 and 1995 Rugby League World Cup Finals. It also hosted numerous music events, including the 1985 Live Aid charity concert, and in professional wrestling hosted the WWF’s SummerSlam in 1992.

World Bowl

The World Bowl was an annual American football Championship game, to decide the winning team in each season of the World League of American Football/NFL Europe. The World Bowl was played between 1991 and 2007 each year (except 1993 and 1994).

The game was conceived as the final of the NFL-related spring league, the World League. The first World Bowl was played in 1991 in London. 1995 saw a relaunch of the World League, with the North American teams removed, as it had been unsuccessful there. All subsequent World Bowls were played in Europe between European clubs. The league was renamed NFL Europe in 1998. Thus the only World Bowl to take place outside Europe was World Bowl '92 in Montreal, Canada.

The World Bowl trophy itself was a globe made of glass measuring 35.5 cm (14 inches) in diameter and weighing 18.6 kg (41 lbs).

World Bowl I

World Bowl I could refer to:

World Bowl (WFL), the first (and only) championship game of the World Football League (held in 1974)

World Bowl '91, the first annual championship game of the World League of American Football (held in 1991)

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP Barcelona    London   
1
0:00
4 80
London
Jon Horton 59-yard touchdown reception from Stan Gelbaugh, Phil Alexander kick good 0 7
2
11:18
1 20
London
Interception returned 20 yards for touchdown by Dan Crossman, Phil Alexander kick good 0 14
2
0:43
9 55
London
Judd Garrett 14-yard touchdown reception from Stan Gelbaugh, Phil Alexander kick good 0 21
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 0 21
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