HISTORY | Badalona Dracs Fútbol Americano. American Football Team in Badalona, Spain.

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HISTORY

One December afternoon in 1987, three friends who had met in a restaurant in Badalona launched the idea of setting up, in Spain, a team of what they thought was one of the most spectacular sports ever: they loved American Football. That idea gave rise to the Badalona Dracs (Dragons) and, as a result, they also got to bring that sport into the country. Once again Badalona had been a forerunner for another sport.

Those three “fools” were Pere Moliner- The first President of the Dracs, Ramón Ventura and Alfonso Genchi- an Italian who had had some previous experience with football in his own country.

Some months later the TV3 cameras witnessed the first match versus the Palermo Cardinals. On March 19th 1988 for the first time, a football match had taken place in Spain, although the Italians beat the home team (12 to 18), the foundation stone of the building had, thus, been set.

We also played in the first league in 1988 in which three more clubs joined in: the Pioneers, the Búfals and the Boxers- the latter being seconded in their beginning by the Dracs themselves. That first league´s season was won by the Badalona Dracs in which they beat the Barcelona Búfals.

As years went by, several teams began to appear all over the Spanish territory while the quality of football was improving. Although it was a period of drought for the Dracs’, they reached several finals, one in particular in 1990 at the Narcís Sala Stadium: TV3 broadcasted an event where 14000 spectators witnessed the Dracs lose the championship just 13 seconds before the end of the game. In attendance that day was a spectator who witnessed the event- The most honorable Mr. J A Samaranch.

During some difficult years the team could not keep up with its previous standard until a new coach brought in the shock the Dracs needed. It was Carlos Baroccio, a Mexican who introduced a new style in Spanish American Football. In his first season-1997-1998- Badalona recovered the title versus the L’Hospitalet Pioneers as part of the first AEFA league final celebrated. On the other hand, they had to put up with the second place in the first Spanish Cup. Similarly, that same year the female team won the league championship for the first time in our history.

The next season was going to be one of the most prolific for the Badalona organization. Again, the league championship was won; this time it was snatched from the Madrid Osos- a crushing 50 to 21. The women’s team defended its title whereas the men´s team also picked up the Spanish Cup. There was the longed-for double victory. But the best goal was yet to come: a Spanish team could achieve for the first time a European victory inside the most important competition- the EUROBOWL. Their rivals were the reputable Legnano Frogs, who had already been leaders from the Italian and European league championships on several occasions. This triumph allowed the Dracs rise up and compete in the European Top Ten.

In the 1999-2000 season they were the favourite team and they reached the league final and the Spanish cup final as well. But both were lost. However, they decided to make history again and they became the first Spanish team to win a Eurobowl match on a foreign pitch. This time the defeating the French Asnieres Moulosses.

The following year became a period of transition. The Dracs could only get a third place in the league. Very bad weather marked that astonishing semifinal defeat versus the Zaragoza Lions. On the other hand, the cup final was also wrenched from them by the Madrid Osos who, by the way, won the league as well.

However, history repeated again in 2001-2002. They competed for Spanish Cup final for the fourth time in a row where their rivals were once again the Madrid Osos. But the team’s concentration necessary for the match was suddenly damaged by the fatal car accident suffered by the historic Esteban López- alias “the Fireman”. He had been one of the most esteemed players of American Football in Spain and was a tragic loss.

The following year Europe 2003, the Badalona Dracs beat the Moscow Patriots and the Estocolm Mean Machines and passed to the semi-finals against the Braunsweigh Lions which would finally become the Champion of the EFAF cup that year. (3rd ranked in Europe)

2004 Badalona defeated the Lanquart Broncos (Switzerland) in Badalona and in Paris against the Paris Flash passing into the semi finals which was they lost against the Bergamo Lions. (4th in Europe)

2005 Saw the Dracs return to Europe and faced matches against the Tyrolean Raiders (results unavailable)

2008 saw the Dracs once again return to the European competitions with 2 loses against the Corithians Lions and the Parma Panthers.

In 2009 The teams to beat were the Bologna Doves in Italy and the Belgrad Blue dragons at home, which the Dracs could not overcome
In 2014 The Dracs played in (European) EFL Bowl against the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes after being ranked ahead of 2 European powerhouse teams of the Alphen Eagles y Basel Gladiators
In 2015 Dracs returned again to the Europe league and won against the Amsterdam Crusaders at Home in Badalona but unfortunately lost in Germany against the Allgau Comets.
At the publishing of this article the Badalona Dracs are set to battle it out again in the 2016 European Leagues facing off against Frankfurt Galaxy and the Thonon Black Panthers.