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.

Barcardi Bowl game results[edit]

Date Played Winning Team Losing Team 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
December 31, 1921 Cuban Athletic Club 14 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 Barcardi Bowl games[edit]

1907 - LSU vs. Havana University

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

1937 - Auburn vs. Villanova

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 1908-1956.[3] The 1938 games were also billed under the Bacardi Bowl and Rhumba Bowl monikers, but are not officially considered the Bacardi Bowl.

Other Cuba college football game results[edit]

Date Played Winning Team Losing Team Location
1908 Rollins College University of Havana Cuba
December 25, 1915 Cuban Athletic Club 7 Florida Southern 6 Cuba
January 1, 1916 Florida Southern 47 Cuban Athletic Club 0 Tampa, Florida
January 1, 1920 Cuban Athletic Club 6 Stetson 0 Cuba
1922 Rollins College University of Havana Cuba
1922 American Legion (Tampa) Cuban Athletic Club Cuba
December 23, 1923 Rollins College 59 Cuban National Police 0 Cuba
December 25, 1923 Rollins College 46 University of Havana 0 Cuba
December 30, 1923 Rollins College 31 Cuban Athletic Club 0 Cuba
November 29, 1924 Florida Southern 32 University of Havana 7 Lakeland, Florida
December 6, 1924 Florida Southern 0 University of Havana 0 Tampa, Florida
1925 American Legion (Tampa) University of Havana Cuba
November 25, 1926 Miami (FL) 23 University of Havana 0 Cuba
November 28, 1927 Howard College 20 University of Havana 6 Cuba
October 1928 Miami (FL) 62 Vedado Tennis Club 0 Coral Gables, Florida
1931 Rollins College Cuban Athletic Club Cuba
December 15, 1934 Tampa 38 Cuban Athletic Club 13 Tampa, Florida
December 30, 1934 Tampa 25 Cuban Athletic Club 0 Cuba
1938 Rollins College University of Havana Cuba
1938 Tampa University of Havana Cuba
January 2, 1938 † Rollins College - Cuban Navy - Cuba
October 11, 1939 Georgia Teachers College 14 University of Havana 0 Statesboro, Georgia
October 27, 1939 Rollins College University of Havana Orlando, Florida
December 9, 1939 Georgia Teachers College 27 University of Havana 7 Cuba
December 23, 1939 Rollins College 71 University of Havana 0 Cuba
December 27, 1939 Rollins College 46 Tampa 0 Cuba
December 30, 1939 Tampa 28 University of Havana 6 Cuba
1944 Presbyterian College University of Havana Cuba
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[4]
1956 Stetson University of Havana Cuba

Italics denote a tie game
† Game at Campo Polar canceled after Cuban naval goodwill fliers accident in Cali, Colombia. Rollins College played a split squad exhibition game that day. One team was called “Rollins College” and the other “Cuban Navy” and it ended in a 26-26 tie.[3]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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 "Bacardi Bowl: American Football and Cuba List of Games". bacardibowl.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2015-12-08. 
  4. ^ "Alabama bees whip Havana". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives). November 11, 1946. p. 8. Retrieved December 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ http://havanajournal.com/culture/entry/hoping_to_revive_football_in_cuba_two_local_teams_will_begin_season_there/
  6. ^ http://www.partletonsports.com/?p=3514

External links[edit]