German American football player: David Bada invested a lot to play in the NFL – is it all over now?

When the managing director summons him to his office, a thought immediately flashes through David Bada's mind: That's it.

German American football player: David Bada invested a lot to play in the NFL – is it all over now?

When the managing director summons him to his office, a thought immediately flashes through David Bada's mind: That's it. For almost three years he worked hard for his employer, day after day, quit his job in Germany, left his daughter behind, and moved to the USA, a country with unlimited opportunities but no protection against dismissal. But he never got a real chance here. Will you now be expelled as a thank you and wish you all the best for the future?

The manager in the office says: "Congratulations! You're playing tomorrow!"

The next day, it's the first in 2023. Colleagues come to work in funky designer rags. As always, that's common practice in the industry. But the newly promoted Bada has come up with something new: he puts on leather trousers, a traditional vest and knee socks. So he moves into his locker in the Washington Commander's cabin.

David Bada, 27, born in Munich and trained as a systems mechanic, will walk onto the pitch of the world's largest sports league a little later. NFL, American football, state religion in the United States. In front of over 50,000 people in the stadium, he will throw opponents to the ground with his massive body. His team will lose the game and with it their hope of reaching the end of the season. But Bada will sit in the defeated team's cabin and won't be able to suppress a victorious smile. When he remembers that day today, he simply says: “Awesome.”

Termination and promotion, defeat and triumph. Everything is so close together in the NFL, that's what makes it so attractive. The Super Bowl, the championship final, is broadcast in more than 190 countries. The 32 NFL clubs make $18.6 billion in sales per year. The Big Five European football leagues also total the equivalent of $17.2 billion. In football they love big stories: lavishly produced documentaries, world stars for halftime shows, a guest appearance in the Allianz Arena. This sport basks in the spotlight.

But David Bada's story takes place on the dark side. It's about the toughness of business off the field. She breaks the promise that any dream will come true if you work hard enough for it. The star accompanied Bada for a year after his big debut. The defender wanted to attack. It was supposed to be his year. It was perhaps his worst year ever.

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