TAMPA — The Bucs and Seahawks were born into the NFL at the same time as expansion teams.
Forty-seven years later, they will be the first NFL teams to play a regular-season game in Germany when they meet Nov. 13 in Munich.
The league announced Wednesday that the Bucs and Seahawks will play at Allianz Arena, home of Bundesliga soccer team Bayern Munich.
The NFL’s full schedule will be released May 12.
Tom Brady, the GOAT (ziege in German), is 3-0 in international games, averaging 37.3 points per game with 952 yards passing, 10 touchdowns and two interceptions.
“I’ve never been out of the country,” Bucs offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs told the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Wednesday. “I think that’s the thing I’m most excited about is just to go to a new place and get to experience a lot of new stuff over there. I think it’s going to be a blast.
“Just to be able experience a new culture. … I think the biggest thing is to enjoy it and just experience what they have to offer.”
Word of the game leaked out during the past few months; 500,000 people have registered for tickets.
The Bucs and Seahawks have strong followings in Germany.
The game will be Tampa Bay’s fourth internationally, with the previous three in England.
The Bucs have never won a game in Europe. They lost 35-7 to Brady and the Patriots in 2009 and 24-18 to the Bears in 2011, both games at Wembley Stadium in London. In 2019, they fell to the Panthers 37-26 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Getting Brady back to pilot the Bucs may be what they need to break their three-game European losing streak.
“When (Brady) retired, I saw it come out on social media and everything, and I said, ‘Well, it was a good run. I got to protect the greatest quarterback of all time,’ " Wirfs said. “Then we were at Texas Roadhouse when he unretired. It was crazy because it was on the TV behind me … and then my phone started blowing up, I got all these notifications.
“I’m glad he’s back, and I’m sure there’s lot more people that are glad he’s back, too.”
In December, the NFL awarded exclusive international marketing rights to 18 teams in eight countries: Germany, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, China, Australia, Brazil and Spain.
Three other European games were announced, all in London. The Vikings will play the Saints and quarterback Jameis Winston on Oct. 2 and the Giants will meet the Packers on Oct. 9 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Broncos will play the Jaguars on Oct. 30 at Wembley Stadium.
The Cardinals and 49ers will meet in Mexico City on Nov. 21.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider may have tipped off the matchup with the Bucs at a predraft news conference when he joked that he and team scouts had heard “every genre of music” being played in highlight films of prospective draftees, “so we started with German lessons this morning in there” instead.
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Schneider said, “it got hard really quick, so we ended up turning it off” and going back to music.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll tried to deflect Schneider’s comment about German lessons: “Just trying to get a little bit better with our teammates,” he said.
It could be a homecoming for Seahawks linebacker Aaron Donkor, the only player on either team from Germany. He was allocated to Seattle last year as part of the league’s international Player Pathway Program. After spending his first season on the practice squad, Donkor signed a futures contract with the Seahawks for 2022.
This year, NFC teams will have a ninth home game during the 17-game season, with four of them playing international games.
The Bucs exercised their right of first refusal on their game against the Packers, preserving it for Raymond James Stadium.
The Seahawks are in the process of rebuilding, having traded quarterback Russell Wilson to the Broncos.
A Brady-Wilson matchup would have been very attractive. Instead, at the moment it appears Drew Lock will be under center to start the season for Seattle.
Assuming the Seahawks don’t play a game the previous week on the East Coast and depart for Germany from there, they will travel 5,264 miles from Seattle to Munich. It’s 4,991 miles from Tampa to Munich.
Contact Rick Stroud at email@example.com. Follow @NFLSTROUD.
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