More on the Baghdad Bowl

It was brought to my attention, by my L’il Trooper, that I did not see him in the clip.  He mentioned with a smirk in his voice, “Combat troops do not get time off for this type of event.”

I am not thoroughly convinced it was not him…. Yes, I am in complete denial. I just detest being wrong. I will go as far as adopting the look-a-like Soldier, so as to be right.

Funny, but I cannot get any of the guys to admit being at the game.

Alas, until I have conclusive evidence to dispute my siting, it was indeed my son at the game!

And David, getting your buddies to vouch for you does not hold water. I know that ya’ll would sell your souls to protect each other. 

The person vouching for you will have to be a LTC or higher. And I want the statement on 1st Cav letterhead with an ink signature. 

Just kidding…. You know I love and trust you more than life. I mean, why would a fantastic young man ever need to tell his Mom a whopper?

You are safe… and you are on desk duty… Right? I mean, I bought that didn’t I? 

Love you just the same!    

By Sgt. Robert Yde
2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PROSPERTIY, Iraq – With the Super Bowl still a day a way, by Saturday afternoon the biggest game in Baghdad had been decided.

            Dubbed the “Baghdad Bowl,” two 15-man teams made up of Soldiers assigned to the 2nd “Black Jack” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division donned Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears jerseys and squared off in a flag-football game sponsored by CBS Sports Feb.3.

            On hand to referee the game, which was played on “Black Jack Field” here, was CBS football analyst and three-time Super Bowl winner Randy Cross.

            According to Cross, the idea of hosting a pre-Super Bowl game in Baghdad came to him after a six-day visit he made to Afghanistan last year.

            “When I came back, I suggested (it) to the CBS people because I knew we had the Super Bowl, we should do something in Baghdad,” Cross explained. “I volunteered to come over here then and they approved it about a month-and-a half, two months ago.”

            CBS provided the game jerseys with a team of Soldiers based in the International Zone representing the Colts and a team of Soldiers based at FOB Falcon, located in southern Baghdad, representing the Bears.

            Footage from the game was aired during CBS’ Super Bowl pre-game program.

Before beginning the game all the players gathered at mid-field where Cross performed the traditional coin toss with a coin specially minted in commemoration of the San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl XVI victory 25 years ago over the Cincinnati Bengals.

            “I’m a fan, I’ve got to be honest,” Cross, who won his three Super Bowl rings with the 49ers, joked before the toss.

            After winning the coin toss, Team Falcon opted to begin the game on offense and drove down the field for the first score. However, their touchdown was quickly negated by Team IZ, who scored on their first play from scrimmage.

            On their second play Team IZ pulled ahead and never looked back after a long touchdown pass put them up 14-7.

“I’m having a good time,” Team IZ’s, Capt. Craig Gary said at halftime. “This is an awesome opportunity for Soldiers.”

            For all the Soldiers involved, both the players and spectators, the game offered a much welcomed break from their daily combat missions.

            “I think it’s a really great thing,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Rathbun, who is assigned to 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment and played for Team Falcon. “Many of us are living out on combat outposts, so it’s the first time we’ve been on a FOB for a while.”

            During the game, t-shirts and hats provided by CBS were passed out to the crowd by Team Falcon cheerleaders, Spc. Erin Braun and Spc. Shaunette Buntain, both medics with the 15th Brigade Support Battalion.

            “We are the Falcon pride,” Buntain said. “We got together and we figured this would boost the morale a little bit.”

            Not even the support of their cheerleaders, however, could help Team Falcon overcome Team IZ, who won handily, 32-25.

After the game, the players once again gathered at midfield, where Cross presented both team captains with a game ball. Another ball autographed by CBS’ entire NFL Today crew, to include NFL greats Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason and Shannon Sharpe, was accepted by the Black Jack Brigade commander, Col. Bryan Roberts on behalf of the entire brigade.

            “At the end of the day, we’ll all leave here victorious because we’re all members of the Black Jack team,” Roberts told his Soldiers. “And we’ve got a heck of a lot of people out there depending on us to wake up tomorrow morning and get back out there into the fight.”

            According to Cross, the event was all about doing something for the Soldiers who are out every day in the fight.

            “It’s not about us or CBS,” Cross said, “It’s about you guys and getting a chance to come out here and do this for you. We appreciate everything you guys do.”

CBS NFL analyst, Randy Cross shakes hands with the commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Col. Bryan Roberts, before beginning the inaugural Baghdad Bowl at Forward Operating Base Prosperity Feb. 3. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Players from “Team IZ,” wearing Indianapolis Colts jerseys, try to stop a player from “Team Falcon” during the “Baghdad Bowl” Feb. 3. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

 

A Team Falcon makes a touchdown grab during the Baghdad Bowl Feb. 3. Despite the score here, Team Falcon, representing the Chicago Bears, lost to Team IZ, wearing Colts jerseys, 35-25.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Players and fans cheer after a Team IZ touchdown during the Baghdad Bowl Feb. 3. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

A Team IZ player tries to make his way through a group of Team Falcon players during the Baghdad Bowl at Forward Operating Base Prosperity Feb. 3. Team IZ won the inaugural Baghdad Bowl, sponsored by CBS Sports and aired during the Super Bowl pre-game show, 35-25.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Team Falcon cheerleaders, Spc. Erin Braun and Spc. Shaunette Buntain, pass out t-shirts provided by CBS during halftime of the Baghdad Bowl at Forward Operating Base Prosperity Feb. 3. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

The quarterback for Teamhttp IZ looks down field for an open receiver during the Baghdad Bowl at Forward Operating Base Prosperity Feb. 3. Team IZ, wearing Indianapolis Colts jerseys, won the game 35-25.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

A Team IZ player makes a sideline grab during the Baghdad Bowl Feb. 3 at Forward Operating Base Prosperity.  The game, sponsored by CBS Sports, pitted troops stationed in Baghdad’s International Zone against a team of Soldiers from FOB Falcon in southern Baghdad.  Portions of the game aired during CBS’ coverage of the Super Bowl.  Team IZ won the game 35-25.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Team Falcon captain, Capt. Tevick Skinner is presented a game ball from the Baghdad Bowl by CBS Sports NFL analyst Randy Cross Feb. 3. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

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