World Bowl (WFL)

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For the World League of American Football/NFL Europe championship game, see World Bowl.

The World Bowl, also known as World Bowl 1, was the American football championship game of the short-lived World Football League. It was televised on TVS Television Network.

Original plans for the World Bowl had the 1974 championship scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving 1974 at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida. However, the WFL decided to expand its playoff field from four to six games, pushing the championship back a week; furthermore, the host Jacksonville Sharks folded during the season, leading to the league moving the game to the home stadium of the higher seeded playoff team (in this case, Birmingham). In the end, the Birmingham Americans defeated the Florida Blazers 22–21 on Thursday, December 5, 1974[1][2] at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.[3] A cash prize of $10,000 was brought onto Legion Field for the league's MVP award, which was split between three players. However, after the ceremonies, the locker room of the champion Americans was raided and all team assets, including uniforms, were seized to collect on the team's debts.

Later use of the term[edit]

The World Indoor Football League had planned on using the World Bowl name for its championship in 1988, but the league folded without playing any games. The World League of American Football used the name in 1991 and 1992, as did its successor, NFL Europe, from 1995 to 2007.

When the World Football League was revived as a minor league in 2008, the new league's championship game was also called the World Bowl with the numbering continued from the original. Thus the 2008, 2009, and 2010 championships, all won by the Oklahoma Thunder, were respectively designated World Bowl II, World Bowl III, and World Bowl IV.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Americans capture World Bowl honors". The Ottawa Citizen. CP-AP. December 5, 1974. p. 19. Retrieved April 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ Wallace, William N. (December 6, 1974). "Americans Win World Bowl". The New York Times. p. 49. Retrieved April 7, 2010. 
  3. ^ Martz, Ron (December 5, 1974). "Hunger Bowl". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1C. Retrieved April 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ "WFL in Tulsa, OK on July 31st 7:00 PM". World Football League. July 26, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Thunder wins World Bowl". Tulsa World. August 31, 2009. 

External links[edit]