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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Bobby Bowden to coach soldiers in flag football


Bobby Bowden will coach one more game, on a road trip like none he's ever experienced, and where players on both sides of the field are on the same team.

The former Florida State coach will be among a group of football greats traveling to an undisclosed American military installation in the Persian Gulf next month for a flag football game with soldiers, called the Connect to Home Bowl.

Bowden asked to go this year after following last season's inaugural event closely, and event organizers happily accepted.

"It's very exciting … because there couldn't be a better cause," the 81-year-old Bowden told The Associated Press. "My belief in our military and our men that are over there, what they're going through, that's what means as much as anything to me."

Highlights from the game will be aired during halftime of the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1.

The event is sponsored by Tostitos and the USO, and Bowden is just one of several football stars making the trip.

College Football Hall of Famer Gene Stallings will coach the other team, and former players who are taking part on the trip include Jim Kelly, Rodney Peete, LaVar Arrington, Zach Thomas, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Antonio Freeman, Ron Dayne and Jevon Kearse.

The group will travel to the selected base for a few days in December.

"You know, you kind of like to give back," Bowden said. "That's what we're doing."