Local mayors to hit the gridiron in the first-ever Mayor’s Cup

Staff Writer

Does your mayor have what it takes to be a football star?
City of Toledo Mayor Wade Kapsukiewicz has thrown down the gauntlet, daring other Ohio/Michigan mayors/elected officials to join him in the first-ever Mayor’s Cup, a contest of skills on the gridiron.
The competition will take place Sunday, June 25 from noon-5 p.m. at Central Catholic High School Gallagher Stadium, 2550 Cherry St., Toledo – home of Division II champions, “The Fighting Irish.”
Mike Robinson and his crew from 4th and Goal Athletics, along with the Central Catholic Athletic Department will be assisting at the event.
The Mayor’s Cup is just one of several events leading up to the XLII Italian Bowl on July 1. The Italian Bowl features the top two teams in the Italian Football League (playing American-style football), facing off on U.S. soil for the first time at the University of Toledo Glass Bowl Stadium. The XLII Italian Bowl will be a key fixture of Toledo’s Fourth of July weekend festivities this year.
“Admission is free, so that residents from participating cities and towns can come out and enjoy the afternoon, and tailgating before the event is encouraged,” Kapsukiewicz said. “Local food trucks will be on hand to feed hungry fans. There will be children’s activities from the YMCA and entertainment from the Central Catholic dance team.
“The competition will be televised live on BCSN, and the winning mayors will be awarded the official Mayor’s Cup at the Italian Bowl halftime,” he said. “It promises to be an entertaining afternoon.”
Currently, mayors from Northwood, Clay Center, Findlay, Perrysburg, Defiance, Port Clinton, Rising Sun, Tontogony, Waterville and Luna Pier, Michigan have committed to the festivities, and more are expected to join.
The competition is intended to bring Ohio and Michigan together in welcoming international visitors to the Italian Bowl.
Italian Football has a long history associated with the U.S. The first unofficial game in Italy was played on Nov. 27, 1913 (Thanksgiving Day) in Genoa by representatives of the USS Connecticut and the USS Kansas – two ships of the Great White Fleet.
The first official game was played in Florence on Jan. 1, 1945, between the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. This was the catalyst that brought American football to Europe, which eventually led to the formation of national leagues. July 1, 2023, will be the first time that the Italian Bowl will be played outside of Italy. In 1981, the first structured Italian Federation of American Football (AIFA) was founded. The current Federation (FIDAF) has taken up the tradition, and over time has continued to promote and spread excitement for American Football throughout the country.
Each year more than 20 men’s league teams compete for the coveted title of Champion. The top two teams from the 2023 season will meet in Toledo for the XLII (42nd) Italian Bowl championship game –the equivalent of the Super Bowl for American football.
The Italian Bowl will take place Saturday, July 1 at 3 p.m. at the UT Glass Bowl Stadium. General admission tickets are $15; reserved seating is $30. Limited inside stadium seats are available for $50.
For more information, visit italianbowlusa.com.


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