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Montreal Machine

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Montreal Machine
Year Founded1991
Year Retired1992
CityMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Team ColorsMaroon, Silver, Navy, Red, White
Franchise W-L-T RecordRegular Season: 6-14
World Bowls (0)


The Montreal Machine was the sole Canadian team in the 1991 - 1992 World League of American Football, a springtime developmental professional league set up by the National Football League. There were also three European teams and six U.S.-based teams. Like all WLF teams, the Machine played by American football - eleven per side on a 100-yard field - rather than Canadian football rules.

The Machine filled a void created by the folding of the Montreal Alouettes in 1987 and were thus the only Canadian team in the WLAF; they were the first American football team in Canada since the Montreal Beavers and Toronto Rifles played in the Continental Football League in 1967.

After two stumbling years, the Machine, and the entire WLAF, were put on "hiatus" by the NFL. After three years, the three European-based franchises (and three more) were reconstituted as NFL Europe; the North American teams were never heard of again. The Machine played their home games at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

The Machine's average game attendance dropped from 31,888 in their first year of play, to 25,254 in their second (and final) year.

Pro football would not return to Montreal until 1996 when the Montreal Alouettes were revived as the Baltimore Stallions relocated to Montreal.

Punter Chris Mohr was among the Machine's most notable players.


Coach Jacques Dussault


Fresno Bee, The (CA)

May 5, 1991

Author: Jeff Davis The Fresno Bee


Article Text:

Kevin Sweeney was in a funk last week because his football career had been put on the back burner. Today, he's worried that it may be finished.

Sweeney, the Montreal Machine's back-up quarterback, separated his right shoulder after directing the team to the brink of a go-ahead touchdown with 1 minute, 21 seconds left in regulation against the Sacramento Surge in a World League of American Football game Saturday at Hughes Stadium.

The Machine scored when Michael Proctor, the quarterback to whom Sweeney lost his job, re-entered and scored on a 14-yard scramble to make it 23-20.

Montreal, which trailed 20-10 midway through the fourth quarter, pulled out a 26-23 win when Bjorn Nittmo kicked a 30-yard field goal with three seconds left in the overtime period.

It was a bittersweet win for Sweeney, who entered late in the third quarter and was immediately knocked on his backside by the Surge defense.

X-rays taken after the game revealed a separation of Sweeney's throwing shoulder, an injury that will end his season and take three to four months to heal, according to Machine physician Gabe Mulder.

Sweeney, the Machine's No. 1 pick in the WLAF quarterback draft, had lost his job to Proctor after four games and was itching for the chance to prove himself. Now his career, which included a two-year stint with the Dallas Cowboys, is in serious jeopardy.

Operation will end career

"If I need an operation, I'm not going to play anymore," said Sweeney, 27, the former Fresno State University star who set an NCAA career record for passing yards in 1986.

"It's not worth it for the $25,000 salary. This league isn't something you can hang your hat on. I guess now I'll have to go out and get a real job."

Sweeney, still dazed after the game, said he couldn't even remember the devastating but clean hit by Surge linebacker Pete Najarian that crushed the shoulder.

Trailing 20-16 with 3:33 left, Sweeney marched the Machine 93 yards from their 5-yard line in eight plays. On first down at the Surge 26, Sweeney scrambled to the 2 when he was smothered by defenders.

"I had my eyes closed and didn't even know I had been hit," said Sweeney, who completed 4 of 9 passes for 41 yards and rushed three times for 39 yards.

"At least we scored. I'm content that I accomplished something I can live with. Sometimes you have no control over things, and this was one of those times."

John Nies, picked up by the Surge last week, kicked field goals of 31, 21 and 31 yards, the last one with six seconds left to tie it at 23.

Nittmo also kicked a 45-yard field goal and Richard Shelton returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown and a kickoff 97 yards for a score on a reverse play.

Surge running back Victor Floyd, who rushed 26 times for 69 yards and had a 14-yard touchdown run, scored on a 60-yard pass play to give the Surge a 13-10 lead. And Carl Parker caught a 19-yard scoring pass that sent the Surge ahead 20-10.

Sacramento figured the lead was safe against the WLAF's worst offense team. But in a replay of the previous week when they lost in overtime to Barcelona, the Surge fell apart.

Galaxy 17, Thunder 14 - Tony Baker scored on fourth-and-one and then added a two-point conversion with 2:07 left as Frankfurt won at Orlando.

Dragons 11, Fire 6 - Lydell Carr rushed for his seventh touchdown of the season as Barcelona defeated visiting Birmingham.

The Fresno Bee Repeat? Kevin Sweeney has known professional headaches before, enduring a painful regular-season start for the Dallas Cowboys.


Copyright (c) 1991 The Fresno Bee


The 1991 Montreal Machine uniform was made by the same companies as the other teams in the league.  The jersey and pants were made by Wilson.  The helmet was made by Riddell.  The plastic facemasks were called Kra-Lite.  Gloves were made by Neumann as well as some of the sweatbands and wristbands.  The shoes were made by Pony.

1991 Machine Home Jersey
1991 Machine Away Jersey
1991 Machine Helmet


The 1992 Montreal Machine uniform remained the smae as the 1991 uniform except for two things.  The helmets were still made by Riddell but for the 1992 season, all of the helmets had a blue WLAF sticker on the back left side.  The other difference was that the city of Montreal was celebrating its 350th anniversay in 1992 so the Machine wore patches on their right shoulder of their jerseys for the season.  There were also some replica jerseys made by Ravens.

1992 Machine Home Jersey w/ 350 Ans Patch
1992 Machine Away Jersey w/ 350 Ans Patch
1992 Machine Helmet with WLAF sticker on back
Montreal 350th Anniversay Patch


Olympic Stadium

The Big O
Location4545 Pierre de Coubertin Avenue, Montreal, Quebec H1V 3N7
Coordinates45°33′28″N 73°33′7″W / 45.55778°N 73.55194°W / 45.55778; -73.55194Coordinates: 45°33′28″N 73°33′7″W / 45.55778°N 73.55194°W / 45.55778; -73.55194
Broke groundApril 28, 1973
OpenedJuly 17, 1976 (Olympics)
April 15, 1977 (
OwnerRégie des Installations Olympiques (Government of Quebec)
SurfaceGrass (1976)
AstroTurf (1977-2001, 2005-2006)
Defargo Astrograss (2002-2003)
FieldTurf (2003-2005, 2007-present)
Construction costC$ 770 million
C$ 1.47 billion (2006 - including additional costs, interest and repairs)
ArchitectRoger Taillibert
CapacityBaseball: 43,739
Football: 66,308
Field dimensionsFoul Lines – 325 ft (1977), 330 (1981), 325 (1983)
Power Alleys – 375 ft
Center Field – 404 ft (1977), 405 (1979), 404 (1980), 400 (1981), 404 (1983)
Backstop – 62 ft (1977), 65 (1983), 53 (1989)
Montreal Expos (MLB) (1977-2004)
Montreal Alouettes (CFL) (1976-1986, 1996-1997, 2002-present) [playoff games only])
Montreal Manic (NASL) (1981-1983)
Montreal Machine (WLAF) (1991-1992)
Montreal Impact (USL-1) (2009 [CCL knockout round games only])
1976 Summer Olympics (1976)
Grey Cup (CFL) (1977, 1979, 1981, 1985, 2001, 2008)
Piscines du Parc Olympique Swim Club
2009 Trophée des Champions

1991 Machine Results, Stats & Roster
1992 Machine Results, Stats and Roster

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