January 24, 2007, - 1:55 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Kudos to CBS Sports and analyst Randy Cross for giving our brave soldiers a GREAT way to participate in this year’s Superbowl: the inaugural Baghdad Bowl, live from Iraq. It was Cross’ idea.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand, in his “Sports on TV” column today, reports that during CBS’ Superbowl pregame show, the network will air the Baghdad Bowl starring U.S. soldiers donning Colts and Bears jerseys for a touch football game. And Cross is going to Iraq with him Monday to prep for the game. Good for them!
New bowl games always pop up. But here’s one that, without a title sponsor or teams with track records, gets a fabulous time slot its first time out: The inaugural Baghdad Bowl, in Iraq, will air during CBS’ Super Bowl pregame show.
CBS analyst Randy Cross says he proposed the idea to CBS after visiting a U.S. military base in Afghanistan last year. The idea is for U.S. soldiers in Iraq – male and female – to don Colts and Bears jerseys for a touch football game that, he jokes, “will give you an early indication” of the Super Bowl winner.
Not surprisingly, says Suzanne Smith, who is Cross’ director on regular NFL coverage and will go to Iraq with him Monday, this bowl will be creative. Jeeps will be lined up to serve as bleachers, she says, “And we’re talking about making some kind of goalposts.” She is not sure about player gear – “Maybe they’ll wear their helmets.”
Smith, working with the military, says she’ll be supplied with two cameras – “which I guess is a big deal over there” – and help in scouting locations: “In e-mails, like whenever you do a shoot, they talked about the advantages and disadvantages of two sites. But with this, they talked about which is safer.”
But at least the game balls, which will emulate Super Bowl balls, will be emblazoned with “Baghdad Bowl” lettering. After all, Cross says, “The idea is to bring some degree of normalcy to the troops.”
I’ve always liked Randy Cross. Now I have another reason why. He may have been a Forty-Niner, but the man is obviously a Patriot–with a lot of concern for our brave men and women serving in a war zone. He’s giving some of them a chance to forget, just for a little while, that their lives are at risk.
With this, it really will be a Super Sunday.
Tags: Afghanistan, analyst, CBS, Chicago Bears, Cross' director, Debbie Schlussel Kudos, director, football, Indianapolis Colts, Iraq, Michael Hiestand, National Football League, NFL, player, Randy Cross, Super Bowl, Super Sunday, Suzanne Smith, U.S. military base, United States, USA Today