During WWII, in the late Fall of 1944, with Paris secure and ultimate victory inevitable, a football game was organized for Christmas Day. The 101st Airborne Division paratroopers, who had already seen hard fighting in Normandy and the Netherlands, were stationed in Champagne, near Reims, the place of General Eisenhower’s Allied Headquarters. The divisions held tryouts, formed teams, practiced several hours a day, printed programs for what they named the Champagne Bowl, and prepared for the big game to take place on December 25, 1944. When the Battle of the Bulge broke out, the soldiers had to drop everything and march to the Ardennes, abandoning what would become known as The Game That Never Happened.
However, on Christmas Day, the 101st Airborne was called to the Ardennes to help in what would become known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Champagne Bowl, now abandoned, became known as The Game That Never Happened.
In May of 2018, Patton Legacy Sports was formed to honor General George S. Patton’s Olympic and athletic legacy. Together with his granddaughter Helen Patton, the 101st Airborne, the 101st Airborne Museum in Bastogne, and the town of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, a football game was added to the D-Day Commemorations.