Superstar Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the first main round game of the National Football League in Germany in front of a brilliant crowd.
The Southern team from Florida defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21:16 in the converted Allianz Arena in Munich and sent their red and white clad fans into ecstasy. Quarterback Brady threw two touchdown passes and gained 258 yards on passes. The 45-year-old also made an interception in the final quarter.
For the Superbowl winner of 2021 it was the second win in a row after a mixed start to the season; Coach Todd Bowles' team solidified their lead in the NFC South. The Seahawks conceded their first loss after four straight wins.
Hours before kickoff, thousands of football fanatics had turned the esplanade in front of the Allianz Arena into a crazy NFL party. Later, around 69,800 people continued to celebrate in the stadium and caused deafening noise with La Ola waves. Most of them didn't stay in their seats for a single minute. According to the league, the rush for tickets for the first NFL game in Germany was huge. Around three million tickets could have been sold.
German sports celebrities there
German sports celebrities didn't want to miss Brady's first appearance either. Thomas Müller, Jamal Musiala and Co. gathered on the sidelines before the trip to the World Cup meeting point for the national soccer team; their Bundesliga colleagues Mats Hummels (Dortmund) and Christoph Kramer (Mönchengladbach) as well as tennis pro Alexander Zverev followed the historic football game from the stands.
Everyone had to be patient until the first points. Perhaps the strains of the journey and the jetlag were responsible for a lack of concentration on both sides in the beginning. Seattle's rising playmaker Geno Smith was brought down on a pass attempt and the Buccaneers missed a field goal attempt.
It wasn't until the beginning of the second quarter that Brady freaked out the fans. Just as loud "Seahawks" chants echoed through the arena, the 45-year-old playmaker threw the ball at Julio Jones. The agile pass recipient danced out the Seahawks defense and ran into the end zone. After another touchdown, the 2021 Superbowl winner went on break 14-0.
League boss Roger Goodell followed the action with a satisfied expression. The atmosphere should be reason enough for the 63-year-old commissioner to bring more games from the world's best football league to Germany in the future. Before the kickoff, the "Bild" reported that there should be another game next year in addition to the game in Frankfurt/Main that was already planned.
Goodell witnessed a long party that reached one of its highlights after the break with DJ Ötzi's "Hey Baby". When a field goal put the Seahawks on the scoreboard for the first time, the green-and-blue supporters freaked out for the first time.
Who wasn't impressed at first? Sure, Tom Brady, who announced his lightning comeback in March after just 40 days. The most successful footballer in history demonstrated his skills with his second touchdown pass in the last quarter. The Seahawks then started their final offensive, also thanks to an intercepted pass from Brady: quarterback Smith first found Tyler Lockett, then Marquise Goodwin. The Seahawks fought, but in the end the Buccaneers triumphed. The game in Munich was the best advertisement for the German NFL market.