Bacardi Bowl

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Bacardi Bowl (defunct)
"Rhumba Bowl"
Stadium Almandares Park and La Tropical Stadium
Location Havana, Cuba
Operated 1907, 1910, 1912, 1921, 1937, 1946

The Bacardi Bowl was a college football bowl game played seven times in Havana, Cuba at Almandares Park and La Tropical Stadium.[1] The games were also referred to as the Rhumba Bowl and were the climaxing event of Cuba’s annual National Sports Festival. The first five occurrences matched an American college team (all from the Deep South) against Cuban universities or athletic clubs.[2] The 1937 game featured two American universities. The 1946 game—sometimes considered the first of the Cigar Bowl games—also matched an American college team (from the Deep South) against a Cuban university.

Game results[edit]

Date Winner Loser Stadium Location
December 25, 1907 LSU 56 University of Havana 0 Almandares Park Havana, Cuba
January 1, 1910 Cuban Athletic Club 11 Tulane 0 Almendares Park Havana, Cuba
January 1, 1912 Mississippi A&M 12 Cuban Athletic Club 0 Almandares Park Havana, Cuba
December 25, 1912 Florida 28 Vedado Tennis Club 0 Almendares Park Havana, Cuba [3]
December 28, 1912 (game was not completed) Florida - Cuban Athletic Club of Havana - Almendares Park Havana, Cuba
December 31, 1921 Cuban Athletic Club 13 Ole Miss 0 Almandares Park Havana, Cuba
January 1, 1937 Auburn 7 Villanova 7 La Tropical Stadium Havana, Cuba
December 7, 1946 Mississippi Southern 55 University of Havana 0 La Tropical Stadium Havana, Cuba

Italics denote a tie game

Notable Bacardi Bowl games[edit]

1907: LSU vs. University of Havana[edit]

The first Bacardi Bowl in 1907 matched Louisiana State University against the University of Havana.

1912: Florida vs. Cuban Athletic Club[edit]

The 1912 Bacardi Bowl was scheduled as a two-game series in Havana featuring the Florida Gators against squads from two different Cuban athletic clubs.[4] It was Florida's first experience with postseason football.

The first game was held on Christmas Day, and the Gators defeated the Vedado Athletic Club 28–0.[3] The second game, which pitted the Gators against the Cuban Athletic Club of Havana a few days later, was never finished. Florida head coach George E. Pyle realized during the first quarter that the game was being officiated using college football's pre-1906 rules, and while discussing this issue with the officials, he discovered that the head referee was the former coach of his opponent.[5] Feeling that playing under those conditions was neither fair nor safe, Pyle pulled his team off the field and was promptly arrested for violating a Cuban law prohibiting a game's suspension after spectators' money had been collected.[6] A trial was scheduled and Pyle was released on bail that evening, at which point he and the Gators quickly boarded a steamship for Tampa, an escape which caused the coach to be branded a "fugitive from justice" by Cuban authorities.[5]

Bacardi Bowl officials declared that Florida had forfeited the game and listed it as a 1-0 win for the Cuban Athletic Club, while the University of Florida declared the contest a 1-0 forfeit win for the Gators.[5][7] In later years, both the complete and incomplete games were dropped from the university's official football record, and the Gators' trip to the Bacardi Bowl is not listed among the program's official bowl game appearances.[3]

1937: Auburn vs. Villanova[edit]

Auburn’s bowl history began with the 1937 game before 15,000 to 18,000 spectators when the Tigers and Villanova tied 7-7. This game marked the first time that two American universities played a game on foreign soil. An Auburn drive in the first quarter stalled on the 10-yard line where the Wildcats took over on downs. After a Villanova punt, Auburn running back Billy Hitchcock broke loose around left end and rambled 40 yards for the Tigers' only score. The score at the half was Auburn 7, Villanova 0.

Auburn stopped a Villanova drive on its own 12-yard line during the third quarter but couldn’t get field position. Villanova was able to tie the score when they blocked an Auburn quick kick and the ball bounced into the endzone where Wildcat Lineman Matthews Kuber fell on it for the score. The p.a.t. tied the game. Auburn’s return to the USA marked an end to more than 11,000 miles of travel for the 7-2-2 Tigers that finished the season ranked 13th in the country under coach Jack Meagher.

The game was played in a revolutionary atmosphere. Fulgencio Batista, the dictator who would be overthrown by Fidel Castro 22 years later, had just assumed power. The game was almost canceled because Batista’s picture was not in the game program. A quick trip to the printer saved the Bacardi Bowl. The December 22, 1963 issue of the Florence Times-Tri-Cities Daily has a detailed account of former Auburn player Frank Hamm's recollections of this game.

Other Cuba college football games[edit]

Additional games college football games were played in Cuba or against Cuban teams in the United States from 1906-1956.[7]

Other Cuba football game results[edit]

Date Played Winning Team Losing Team Location
November 24, 1906 U.S. Navy (USS Columbia) 15 University of Havana 0 Havana, Cuba
December 25, 1908 Rollins College 6 University of Havana 0 Havana, Cuba
December 25, 1915 Cuban Athletic Club 7 Southern College (Florida Southern College) 6 Havana, Cuba
January 1, 1916 Southern College (Florida Southern College) 47 Cuban Athletic Club 0 Tampa, Florida
January 1, 1920 Cuban Athletic Club 6 Stetson University 0 Havana, Cuba
January 1, 1923 Rollins College 80 University of Havana 0 Orlando, Florida
January 10, 1923 Cuban Athletic Club 13 American Legion (Tampa) 0 Havana, Cuba
December 23, 1923 Rollins College 59 Havana Police 0 Havana, Cuba
December 25, 1923 Rollins College 45 University of Havana 0 Havana, Cuba
December 30, 1923 Rollins College 31 Cuban Athletic Club 0 Havana, Cuba
November 29, 1924 Southern College (Florida Southern College) 32 University of Havana 7 Lakeland, Florida
December 6, 1924 Southern College (Florida Southern College) 0 University of Havana 0 Tampa, Florida
January 1, 1925 Tampa AC 13 University of Havana 6 Havana, Cuba
1926 U.S. Marines (Key West Leathernecks) 13 University of Havana 12 Key West, Florida
November 25, 1926 Miami (FL) 23 University of Havana 0 Coral Gables, Florida
December 24, 1926 Miami (FL) 23 University of Havana 0 Havana, Cuba
November 28, 1927 Howard College (Samford University) 20 University of Havana 6 Havana, Cuba
1928 University of Havana 6 Hollywood 0 unknown
1928 University of Havana 12 U.S. Marines (Key West Leathernecks) 0 unknown
October 27, 1928 Miami (FL) 62 Vedado Tennis Club 0 Coral Gables, Florida
November 29, 1929 University of Florida 9 University of Havana 0 St. Petersburg, Florida
December 6, 1929 Georgia Military Academy 31 Cuban Athletic Club 6 Atlanta, Georgia
December 15, 1934 University of Tampa 38 Cuban Athletic Club 13 Tampa, Florida
December 30, 1934 University of Tampa 25 Cuban Athletic Club 0 Havana, Cuba
November 11, 1938 Rollins College 7 University of Havana 6 Orlando, Florida
November 18, 1938 University of Tampa 33 University of Havana 0 Tampa, Florida
October 11, 1939 Georgia Teachers College (Georgia Southern University) 14 University of Havana 0 Statesboro, Georgia
October 27, 1939 Rollins College 25 University of Havana 0 Orlando, Florida
November 17, 1939 Rollins College 27 University of Havana 13 Havana, Cuba
December 9, 1939 Georgia Teachers College (Georgia Southern University) 27 University of Havana 7 Havana, Cuba
December 23, 1939 Rollins College 71 University of Havana 0 Havana, Cuba
December 30, 1939 University of Tampa 28 University of Havana 6 Havana, Cuba
November 21, 1944 Miami Naval Station Center (Tars) 30 University of Havana 13 Havana, Cuba
November 26, 1944 Chatham Field (Flyers) 25 University of Havana 7 Havana, Cuba
November 1944 U.S. Airforce (Flying Yanks) 7 University of Havana 7 Havana, Cuba
December 2, 1944 Presbyterian College 34 University of Havana 0 Spartanburg, South Carolina
December 1945 University of Havana 55 Fort Pierce Amphibious Station (Commandos) 20 Havana, Cuba
October 26, 1946 Norman Junior College (GA) 24 University of Havana 0 Norman Park, Georgia
November 9, 1946 Alabama "B" Team 53 University of Havana 18 Dothan, Alabama[8]
December 7, 1946 Mississippi Southern College (University of Mississippi Southern) 55 University of Havana 0 Havana, Cuba
November 11, 1950 Jacksonville Naval Station (Fliers) 32 University of Havana 6 Havana, Cuba
November 30, 1956 Stetson University 64 University of Havana 0 Key West, Florida

Italics denote a tie game

Other American football games in Cuba[edit]

The last organized American football game in Cuba was in 1958, when a semipro league – featuring teams of Cubans and Americans – played.[9] It would be another 45 years until Cuba would host a football game, this time featuring two American teams. In 2003, Bonita Vista High School and La Jolla High School from San Diego played at Pan-American Stadium. The field only measured 90 yards (coaches agreed to shorten the field because of the presence of metal boxes beyond the end line) but it still was football. In what was billed as the "Havana Classic", Bonita Vista defeated La Jolla, 31-22 in front of 400 people.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Foldesy, Jody (December 21, 1997). "Bowls burgeon as big business". The Washington Times. p. A1. Retrieved 2015-12-08. 
  2. ^ "Bacardi Bowl Games". cfbdatawarehouse.com. Retrieved 2015-12-08. 
  3. ^ a b c "2016 Florida Gators football media guide" (PDF). University of Florida. p. 116. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  4. ^ Antonya English, "100 things about 100 years of Gator football," St. Petersburg Times (August 27, 2006). Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c Carlson, Norm (2007). University of Florida football vault : the history of the Florida Gators. Atlanta, GA: Whitman Pub. ISBN 0794822983. 
  6. ^ "Football Row in Havana; Florida University Students Hooted for Breaking Up Game," The New York Times, p. S1 (December 29, 1912). Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Perez, Christopher A. (2016). Cuba: 50 Years of Playing American Football. ISBN 1533551812
  8. ^ "Alabama bees whip Havana". The Tuscaloosa News. Google News Archives. November 11, 1946. p. 8. Retrieved December 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ http://havanajournal.com/culture/entry/hoping_to_revive_football_in_cuba_two_local_teams_will_begin_season_there/
  10. ^ http://www.partletonsports.com/?p=3514

External links[edit]