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U.S. troops get their own bowl game: Barry Switzer, Tony Casillas serve up some New Year's football in Iraq

BY TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer Modified: January 2, 2010 at 12:22 am •  Published: January 2, 2010

/> "That was surreal,” Casillas said.

The game, sponsored by Tostitos as part of the Fiesta Bowl and held in coordination with the USO, went off without incident.

"I take home more respect than I’ve ever had before for the discipline, the respect they showed for us and themselves,” Switzer said after the game. "I see the leadership, the commitment to their country and it’s a wonderful thing to see, I promise you.”

Casillas, who had never been to Baghdad before, said he would jump at the chance to return.

"In a heartbeat,” Casillas said. "I’d do it as many times as I can. Guys like Cecil Graham and being part of this football game today, for me as a person, I feel very grateful to experience this. These guys, they’re here for a year, and we tried to be a very positive influence. It was just a great experience.”

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