National Gay Flag Football League
The National Gay Flag Football League informally started in 2002 with the first Gay Superbowl.
Gay Superbowl History
Gay Superbowl 1
Los Angeles, Calif., April 2002
Won by Los Angeles Motion over San Francisco 69ers (64-12) and Boston Brawlers (72-0)
The first-ever Gay Superbowl was held at Hollywood High School with three teams: The Boston Brawlers, the San Francisco 69ers and the host Los Angeles Motion. Darryl from San Francisco and Cyd Zeigler and Jim Buzinski from Los Angeles had organized California “challenge matches” between their two teams in previous years, but this was the first time that a third team was added. Robert Sauer led the Boston team coast-to-coast and suffered the first-ever Gay Superbowl major injury: A broken arm. Los Angeles dominated both San Francisco and Boston and took the first title.
Gay Superbowl 2
San Francisco, Calif., April 2003
Won by Los Angeles Motion over Chicago Spin, 54-24
Three new teams joined the tournament: Atlanta, San Diego and Chicago Spin. The early rounds were dominated by L.A., San Francisco and Boston, who had played in the first Gay Superbowl. But Chicago played great the second day and made the finals. The tournament also saw the second major injury in tournament history: A torn ACL on the knee of Atlanta’s Vance Doherty. The first rain of the tournament also hit with a brief, light drizzle on the second day.
Gay Bowl III
Boston, Mass., October 2003
Won by Washington Monuments over Chicago Spin, 27-21
The tournament was memorable for many reasons. One was the change in date: The tournament was moved from April to Columbus Day in October, where it has remained since. It made sense to move the tournament to the autumn, and Boston, which is just beautiful in early October with the change of the leaves, was the perfect setting. Second was the rain: A cold downpour that lasted all of Championship Sunday. But most memorable was the emergence of the Washington Monuments, who won the tournament in their inaugural appearance. Home team Boston had taken out L.A., which had never lost a game in the tournament and which had beaten Boston by over 60 just 18 months earlier, and Washington marched through the tournament, led by great quarterbacking by Tony Stewart.
Gay Bowl IV
Atlanta, Ga., October 2004
Won by Washington Monuments over Boston Hancocks, 34-33 OT
The tournament welcomed an eighth team into the fold: The Alabama Slammers. It also saw the first “second team” as the Atlanta crew split into two teams due to high interest. One of those teams upset defending-champion Washington Monuments in the round robin, but Washington came back to win the tournament with the first-ever overtime game taking place in the finals between Washington and Boston.
Gay Bowl V
San Diego, Calif., October 2005
Won by Chicago Flames over Atlanta Storm, 34-19
The tournament returned to the West Coast and the beautiful sunny weather. Several new teams joined the tournament: New York Warriors, Phoenix Hellraisers, Salt Lake City Avalanche and Texas Bulls. Three of these new teams (New York, Phoenix and Texas) made the championship bracket. The semifinals saw Chicago beat upstart New York and Atlanta took out two-time defending champion Washington; Chicago went on to take its first title. In the consolation bracket, host San Diego Sharks beat Chicago Crew in the finals. Chicago quarterback Will Ward was named the tournament MVP.
Gay Bowl VI
Dallas, Texas, October 2006
Won by New York Warriors over Chicago Flames, 25-19
Another mostly hot, sunny weekend saw the field of teams grow to 16 as newcomers Michigan Panthers and South Florida Cat-5 joined the tournament. Salt Lake had a big round-robin win as they handed Los Angeles their first-ever round robin loss. The semifinals saw New York take out Washington as Chicago beat Los Angeles. In the finals, New York outlasted Chicago. Home team Dallas won the consolation bracket. New York safety/receiver Wade Davis was named the tournament MVP.
Gay Superbowl 7
New York, N.Y., October 2007
Won by New York Warriors over San Diego Diego Bolts, 44-26
It was supposed to be a lovely, cool autumn weekend in New York, but the blazing heat baked in at over 90 degrees every day. Out former NFL players David Kopay and Esera Tuaolo made their first Gay Superbowl appearances as distinguished guests, and many athletes in attendance took advantage to meet the two legends. The semifinals saw the first-ever meeting between Gay Superbowl founders Zeigler and Buzinski as Zeigler’s New York team beat Los Angeles. The other semifinal saw the first-ever semifinal meeting between two teams from the same city as the Bolts beat the Sharks. In the final, New York jumped out to a 24-6 lead and held on to become the second host team to win the tournament. In the consolation bracket, Atlanta Storm beat the New York Bad Apples. New York’s quarterback Alon Hacohen and linebacker/receiver Paul Sokolson were named the tournament co-MVPs.
Gay Bowl VIII
Salt Lake City, Utah, October 2008
Won by New York Warriors over Salt Lake X-Communicated, 28-20
There were many firsts at this tournament. It was the first time the field was expanded to 20 teams and the first time a team (Minneapolis Purple Reign) pulled a no-show. It was the first time it snowed at the tournament, with several inches on the field greeting participants on Championship Sunday. And most notably, it was the first time a team won three Gay Superbowls as New York won its third straight. At 18 straight wins, they extended their tournament-record straight-wins performance. Their semifinal victory was a rematch of the previous year’s final against San Diego Bolts; In the other semifinal, Salt Lake beat Los Angeles Motion in a rematch of their quarterfinal game in Dallas. In the consolation bracket final, the Chicago Bears beat host Salt Lake Avalanche. It was the fourth straight year that a host team was in the consolation bracket final.
Gay Bowl IX
Washington, D.C., October 9-11, 2009
Won by Los Angeles Motion over San Diego Bolts, 31-30
The competition took a big leap forward this year as the difference between the top 10 teams narrowed significantly. The New York Warriors’ winning streak came to an end at 19 games when the 10th-seeded Michigan Panthers beat them in the round robin; And their quest for a four-peat fell short when the Phoenix Hellraisers avenged their quarterfinal loss last year. The final game saw Los Angeles return to the final game for the first time since 2003; San Diego returned to the final game for the second time in three years. San Diego jumped out to a 12-0 lead, but Los Angeles came back and took a 7-point lead with two minutes left. When San Diego scored with 2 plays left, their 2-point conversion failed and L.A. became the second city to win three Gay Bowls. It was a California sweep as the Silicon Valley Crash beat the South Florida Cat5 in the consolation finals, 33-13. The Gay Bowl fell on the same weekend as the National Equality March in D.C. For full score results, click here.
Gay Bowl X
Phoenix, Ariz., October 8-10, 2010
Won by Los Angeles Motion over New York Warriors, 19-18
The Gay Bowl in Phoenix will be remembered for a lot of firsts. It saw the induction of the first class of the Hall of Fame (Cyd Zeigler and Jim Buzinski). It saw the inaugural awarding of the Spirit Cup (South Florida). And it saw the first four-time championship city. The championship game was the first time two former champions had met in the championship game of the Gay Bowl; And it was between the only two cities to win three titles. New York jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but L.A. came back to take a 13-6 halftime lead. New York scored twice in a row themselves and led, 18-13, with five minutes left in the game. L.A. drove down the field and scored on a touchdown pass from Christophe Faubert to Toby Washington with about 90 seconds left. New York’s second pass on their final drive was picked off by Demond Adams, and L.A. knelt to seal the game.
Gay Bowl XI
Houston, Texas, October 6-9, 2011
Gay Bowl XII
Denver, Col., September 21-23, 2012