Home USA News Pete Carroll, DK Metcalf, Charles Cross Seahawks love Munich

Pete Carroll, DK Metcalf, Charles Cross Seahawks love Munich

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Let’s be clear: Charles Cross knows wild, loud, fun crowds.

He played in front of packed houses in the crazy Southeastern Conference.

But he and the Seahawks told one person Sunday that they had never played, coached or seen a crowd quite like the unforgettable football celebration spectacle at Munich’s Allianz Stadium during the first-ever true NFL game in Germany.

Cross, a Seahawks rookie, played in college for Mississippi State. He was in front of a raucous crowd of 100,000 college fans and students at powerhouse Alabama. In Death Valley at LSU and at Rocky Top in Tennessee.

Kroos said he had never felt what he and his Seahawks were honored to experience at FC Bayern Munich on Sunday, when 69,811 Germans and Americans sang, applauded, booed and basically cheered for 3 1/2 hours during the first in the history of an NFL regular season game in Germany: Seattle’s thrilling 21-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

There were 68,911 Germans, Americans and Europeans who had a Festesen.

“That stadium was amazing, man. The fans in the crowd — I’ve never played anywhere like this before,” Cross said.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Munich, Germany. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) Matthias Schrader AP

He was so enthralled by the experience that he wore a Bayern Munich game jersey from the away locker room to the team bus and the 12-hour flight the first-place Seahawks took home Sunday night for their bye week.

And it was not only about the noise. Knowledge coincided.

“What a sight. It’s an unforgettable event,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.

In the second quarter of a thousand spectators – apparently people who gathered just for the spectacle, not for the game – began to wave around the stadium. Thousands more booed “The Wave”. why? It happened during the game.

Cross wasn’t the only Seahawk — or Buccaneer — wondering about Munich.

Tom Brady has played in the NFL for 23 seasons. He won seven Super Bowls as the best quarterback in history.

He was excited about Sunday in Germany.

“Yes, it was one of the great football experiences I’ve ever had,” the Tampa Bay executives said. “So that says a lot in 23 years in the league. …Unbelievable.

“At the end of the game, when they sang ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘Country Roads,’ it was pretty epic. I think anyone who was a part of that experience should have a pretty amazing memory to last a lifetime.”

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs onto the field before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Munich, Germany. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) Matthias Schrader AP

Brady’s teammate, Seahawks quarterback Genea Smith, called Sunday’s scene “weird.”

“It was electric the whole time,” Smith said after his rally with two late touchdown passes fell short.

“They had some football shouts. I was looking forward to it,” Smith said. “So it was a great experience. I certainly enjoyed it.”

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Seattle Seahawks’ Tarik Woolen (27) reacts to an interception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Munich, Germany. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) Matthias Schrader AP

DK Metcalf has never been abroad. He wants to come back. Soon.

“I mean, I loved it,” Seattle’s star wide receiver said. “The crowd was energetic. They were in the game, the whole game.

“My experience here is my first time outside of the United States. Overall, it was a good experience.”

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Seattle Seahawks’ DK Metcalf (14) is defended by Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Jamel Dean (35) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Munich, Germany. The pass was incomplete. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) Matthias Schrader AP

Although it was technically the Buccaneers’ home game — the NFL designated Germany as Tampa Bay’s international affiliate market — the Seahawks felt more than at home in Munich.

An estimated 20,000 Seahawks fans from countries such as Italy, Denmark, Great Britain, Sweden, Norway — and Seattle — made the trip for Sunday’s game and weekend festivities in Marienplatz, the old part of the Bavarian city.

“Yes,” said Metcalf, who shared with Tom Brady on displays in town for Seahawks-Buccaneers. “I kept looking around and I saw a lot of blue, blue and gray jerseys, a lot of Seahawks fans in the stands.”

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Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf shares top billing with legendary Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, 21 years his senior, in this display in the Marienplatz section of Munich during Sunday’s first game of the NFL regular season in Germany. Greg Bell / The News Tribune

When asked by European and Seattle media about this, Carroll continued after the loss and talked about the scene and the fans. He wants to come back to play here again as soon as the NFL allows Seattle to come back.

“If the league gives us a chance to do it, we’ll be open to it. It was a big event for us,” Carroll said. “It’s really valuable to have it happen a week before the bye. It’s a completely different experience if you haven’t had it. I wouldn’t want to do it if it wasn’t for the bye…it’s just a competitive challenge.

“Yes, we are open. I wish we could expand our relationship with the fans here in Germany. They were great for us. It’s as chic as it gets. Everything about it was first class.”

Carroll continued. And further. He loved the hosts at the Hilton Hotel in Munich, in the English Garden. He admired the drivers who took the team from there to Seahawks practices to Bayern Munich’s training facility across town.

“Let me say this. We had a lot of people with us who were part of the group that was moving us, security guards and all that. The kindness was evident, Carroll said. “People were so nice to us, so attentive and ahead of the curve, which really made it a wonderful trip.

“I say this, now we have to get to the airport and get out of here too.”

He laughed, ruing the 12 1/2-hour flight that awaited him and his team after 3 1/2 hours of violence on the field — all for first-place Seattle’s first loss in five games.

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Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll waves to fans as he walks onto the field before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Munich, Germany. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough) Gary McCullough AP

The Seahawks’ next game will be in Las Vegas on November 27 after a week off. They love their crowds at Lumen Field in Seattle.

But it will not be like in Munich. No one ever will — unless Carroll gets that wish and the Seahawks come back.

“It was definitely an emotional moment,” said Cross, 21, a native of Laurel, Mississippi. “Football has taken me to many places I never thought it would take me. Germany is one of them.

“I’m just excited and happy to be able to play here today.”

Germans like to kick

Punts and field goals were especially exciting for first-timers in German football.

In the first half, they had a 63-yard field goal by Tampa Bay’s Jake Camarda from their own goal line that prevented Seattle from getting an easy field goal before halftime.

Early in the second half, Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron forced Smith to throw the ball. His four completions in four snaps, two to tight end Will Disley, then to Metcalf and Tyler Luckett, led Seattle deep into Buccaneers territory. A quarterback draw, then two incomplete passes into tight coverage ended the drive.

Metcalf disputed interference on Smith’s short over-the-shoulder throw. He claimed that officials flagged him for unsportsmanlike conduct. That returned a Jason Myers field goal 55 yards.

Myers drilled it at least 5 yards on a halfway screen behind the goal post. The Germans gasped at this. Seattle scored its first points to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 14-3.

It was all business in the Seahawks locker room after the loss. There was no real anger. The players were disappointed that they played so poorly early in the game — and, Smith said, proud of how they came back in the fourth quarter.

They know they are still on top. And they really enjoyed the ride, the gaming scene, the people, all of it.

“Just the excitement that the fans had,” Cross said. “Every time you look out into the crowd, you see the fans, they’re having fun. They interact in the game. …

“It was tremendous.”

This story was originally published November 13, 2022 at 1:36 p.m.

Greg Bell is a Seahawks and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019, he was named the Washington State Sports Journalist of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. He began covering the NFL in 2002 as the Oakland Raiders beat writer for The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl season in 2005. In the past, he graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the US Army, so he might ask you to give it up and give him a 10.

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