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Brady leads Tampa Bay to victory with gala performance

In the end, Tom Brady knelt down with the ball, game over.

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Brady leads Tampa Bay to victory with gala performance

In the end, Tom Brady knelt down with the ball, game over. Then the quarterback legend disappeared on the Munich lawn in a crowd of players and accepted the congratulations.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the first regular season game of the National Football League (NFL) in Germany 21:16 against the Seattle Seahawks. Quarterback Tom Brady and running back Leonard Fournette stood out at Tampa Bay. Superstar Brady made the game exciting again with a mistake in the final quarter. For the NFL, the afternoon in Munich was a successful start in the German market. In the future there will be more games than planned.

Before the sporting premiere, the NFL presented a kind of light version of their lavish entertainment program. Instead of a halftime show like the ones we know from the Super Bowl, Cro - in a football jersey, equipped with shoulder protection and a white mask - warbled his greatest hits into the microphone before the game even started. Amazingly, the German rapper managed not to stumble between the many dancing and lounging cheerleaders around him. A few meters away, Bayern pros Leroy Sané, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Serge Gnabry posed for a souvenir photo.

Then, as is usual for the most American sport, it became state-supporting even in deepest Bavaria. After both teams ran onto the field, the referees asked for a coin toss under the eyes of Prime Minister Markus Söder, US Ambassador Amy Gutmann and Bayern professional Alphonso Davies. The national anthems were then sung between two giant flags and then the Seattle Seahawks performed the first kickoff at an official NFL game in Germany.

The rush to the game was gigantic. There were three million ticket inquiries for the almost 70,000 seats in the Munich Arena. The stars were cavorting on the sidelines long before kickoff. In addition to hordes of influencers, also the football professionals Antoine Griezmann, Marko Arnautovic and David Alaba, who was persuaded to do a TV interview. Shortly thereafter, Oliver Kahn, the CEO of FC Bayern, also walked through the crowd; national team players Christoph Kramer and Mats Hummels stopped by in the press box. Rodger Goodell also walked relaxed along the sidelines.

In the run-up to the game, the news leaked out that next year, in addition to the game in Frankfurt, another game would probably be played in Germany. When asked by the German Press Agency, an NFL spokeswoman did not deny it, saying evasively: "There is nothing to write yet." Goodell, the powerful boss of the world's top-selling sports league, had recently fueled the rumors of more games in Germany. "It wouldn't surprise me if it soon went beyond the games planned so far," said the 63-year-old recently. The hype about Tom Brady's guest performance in Munich, Goodell must have liked it. Some US journalists compared the atmosphere around the Allianz Arena with that at the Super Bowl without hesitation.

After about ten minutes in the first quarter, superstar Brady was on the pitch a little longer for the first time. Brady precisely led his team into the Seahawks' half with a few passes, but in the end it wasn't enough for more than one field goal wasted. Because his opponent Geno Smith didn't get his moves onto the pitch either, the first period ended without a point. That didn't worsen the mood in the stands.

Munich was firmly in the hands of football fans this weekend. Throughout the city center, people in jerseys from all NFL teams talked shop about the upcoming duel. When the game finally ran, the seat shells became redundant. Almost all fans in the stands watched the game from a standing position. No one wanted to miss out on the historic event.

After 2:20 minutes in the second quarter, the time had come: Brady found his receiver Julio Jones, who made his way towards the end zone and finally scored the first touchdown of the game. A few moves later, a wave of Laola made their rounds in the arena.

Around four minutes before halftime, Brady again orchestrated his teammates just short of Seattle's end zone, where Leonard Fournette finally carried the ball. Extra point, 14-0 to Tampa Bay. The use of the Buccaneers' running back in the Germany game was questionable for a long time during the week because his replacement passport could only be delivered shortly before departure for Munich.

Brady, on the other hand, couldn't be bothered. After the second touchdown, he walked visibly satisfied to the 40-meter-long Buccaneers bench, had his huge winter coat slung over his shoulders and calmly studied moves again on his tablet PC. At the break, everything looked as if the quarterback legend would remain undefeated in games abroad.

In Germany, Brady did not only advertise on his own behalf on the pitch. Quarterback and league boss Goodell agree that they are good business people. While Commissioner Goodell once had a private jet secured as part of his NFL contract, Brady had distributed packages of clothing from his "TB12" collection to his teammates before his team left for Germany, which they also wore politely during training in Munich. The German market is also an important field for entrepreneur Brady.

You could feel how popular the superstar quarterback is in Germany when he entered the arena about an hour before the game. Thunderous applause in the stands when the 45-year-old jogged across the field. Brady's every move, every warm-up pass, every wave to the crowd was applauded. In the days and weeks leading up to the game, the NFL icon had been smiling from billboards across the city.

At the beginning of the second half Brady and Tampa overdid it with the lead behind them but in the meantime a little with the show. After a trick play, running back Fournette suddenly threw the ball at quarterback Brady, who slipped. Interception and possession Seattle, a rather pointless play. But Seattle failed to capitalize on their opponents' mistakes that day in Munich. Quarterback Smith also lost the ball. It was still 14:3 for Tampa Bay.

Another touchdown pass from Brady, this time to receiver Chris Goodwin, gave the Buccaneers a comfortable lead (21-3). But Seattle didn't give up. Cheered on by the thousands of Seahawks fans in the arena, Pete Carroll's team countered with a Tyler Lockett touchdown. An interception by Brady in the final quarter made the game exciting again.

Because four minutes before the end, Seahawks quarterback Smith found the well-marked Marquise Goodwin in the end zone, who caught the ball spectacularly. Suddenly, Tampa Bay was only leading 21:16. In the closing stages, Brady proved once again that he's also a master at making the game clock tick in his favour. While the fans in the stands provided goosebumps with their rendition of "Take me home, country roads," Brady routinely brought the game to a close.

After a mixed start to the season, it was an important win for the Buccaneers on their way to the playoffs. Correspondingly satisfied, Brady smiled at the Munich audience after the game. And then it was over, the first NFL show in Germany. It was a successful premiere with a guarantee of further performances.

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