On Sunday, the two teams who entered the NFL at the same time will become the first teams to play a regular-season game in Germany.
In Munich at 9:30 a.m. ET, it will be the Buccaneers “hosting” the Seahawks. Coach Pete Carroll said that his team is embracing the opportunity, despite the long trip they’ll be making.
“Somebody said that there have been three million requests for tickets, which is a staggering number of requests,” Carroll told reporters on Monday. “I can’t imagine, but they are excited, they are really pumped up about it. We are going to try and put on a show, make them see our football, and experience it in a way they never have before. It’s an honor to do that and we will respect the heck out of every aspect of this.”
Four years ago, the Seahawks thumped the Raiders in London, 27-3. Carroll’s team learned lessons that will be employed this time around.
“It’s like a bowl game,” Carroll said. “Everything around it, there is somewhat of a celebration everywhere you go as you travel and at the airport. It just seems like there is an added level of attention to it that makes it fun. The last thing that we are going to do is diminish the fun part of it. We are going to enjoy the heck out of it. We aren’t going to go and live it up in Germany, we are not doing that, we are going to go play a game and all of that, but we are going to enjoy that which we can and really play our butts off, so they can see what this game looks like and try to do it in great fashion.”
Carroll said their travel plan for Germany will be “really close” to the strategy employed for London.
“The practice schedules, timeframes, and all of that stuff, the focus on rest and re-capturing our sleep is all part of the plan,” Carroll said.
That’s a smart approach, especially since it worked before. And the prior experience will help those who were on the team in 2018 better understand how big of a deal the game is. For a Seattle team making a push that few expected for the playoffs, this game against Tom Brady and company could help better prepare them for an eventual postseason game.
Or two. Or more.