It’s 17 degrees in Munich. The first day that really smells like autumn. In spite of the cloudy sky, the Hofgarten is busy on this day. The “Tambosi” beer garden is filled with people in thick jackets. And then he’s there: shorts, blowing hair and the mischievous grin we know from TV. Christoph “Icke” Dommisch and his “ran” colleagues have been teaching German television audiences how American football works for seven years now. It is a success story written by the team.

Expertise also comes from Sebastian Vollmer. The German has done what few Germans have done before him: play in the NFL. He was an offensive tackle with the New England Patriots from 2009-2016. There he protected the superstar that all of Germany is looking forward to on November 14th: Tom Brady. The match against the Seattle Seahawks is a big highlight: For the very first time, two NFL teams will face each other on German soil. “I’ve been watching football for 12 years and I never thought that a game would ever be played in Germany,” says “Icke” with a gleam in his eyes. “I’m getting a little chills down my spine that it worked out relatively quickly. I’m really looking forward to it.” Sebastian Vollmer, who joined us by phone from the USA, feels the same way. He follows the process from a different perspective. “In 2009 I personally had the first conversation with Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots where I played, that he would like to play in Germany. The expansion to England was successful and the next step was Germany. The Americans saw how big the demand is and how many tickets can be sold. But of course it takes time to transfer this huge conglomerate NFL abroad.”

And it costs money. The star asked the city of Munich what financial effort is expected. There it says: “The costs are not public, but the assumed economic equivalent through visitors and overnight stays amounts to around 31.5 million euros according to an initial evaluation by the Department for Labor and Economics.” Several departments are involved in order to be able to carry out the preparation, implementation and follow-up work conscientiously. “The safety of our citizens, our guests and fans is of course the top priority,” emphasizes Mayor Dieter Reiter when asked. Although he is not a fan, he is looking forward to the game between the Bucs and the Seahawks. “The connection with the National Football League will again show many people around the world that the people of Munich are warm hosts and that we can organize large events professionally and safely,” said the SPD politician. The city is praised by the NFL. General Manager Alexander Steinforth tells the star: “We are very satisfied with the preparations.” He points out that they only had nine months to get this “global event” off the ground. “Normally we schedule twice the time for this.” According to Steinforth, this was “the biggest challenge”.

Back in the Munich autumn and back to the person who is currently not only determining sporting reporting: Tom Brady. The football megastar is an active legend. He has won the Super Bowl, the championship in his sport, seven times – a unique record. He’s also 45 years old, which is never to be underestimated in a dangerous contact sport like American football. It is a sensation that he of all people will travel to Germany for the historic premiere. Even if Reiter and Steinforth are politically correct with their great enthusiasm about this personality and concentrate on the importance of there being an NFL game in Munich at all, Brady’s radiance is extremely powerful. “Icke” calls it “a great fortune”. It will be exciting to see how Brady behaves in this country, because he travels abroad with “luggage”. He recently won with the Bucs, but lost three times in a row before that. A first. He and Gisele Bundchen also announced that they have gotten divorced. A reason for the quarterback’s negative series? “If there’s anyone who can fully focus on one thing and hide everything else, it’s Tom Brady,” explains Sebastian Vollmer emphatically. “Every few years Brady has a burglary, I would remain cautious. It has little to do with the news about his personal life, I think. It’s still a team sport and everyone has to look at their own noses. It’s also quite a few player injured.” Approving nod at “Icke”. “The crazy thing is that he hasn’t gotten any worse at 45, but has at least stayed at the same level,” says the 35-year-old. “To see someone at that age with seven rings lose three games in a row for the first time ever is quite interesting to me.” He is a Brady fan, but not only likes to see him win, but also stumble and fight.

Critics and fans around the world affectionately call the quarterback GOAT – Greatest of all time. It was by no means an easy start in the NFL. “He was the 199th pick, nobody wanted him. They didn’t think he was capable of it,” recalls the TV man. “He’s always had a bumpy road and is now so good that it doesn’t look so bumpy anymore. That’s why he’s the GOAT for me.” Sebastian Vollmer wants to highlight another quality of his former teammate. “What’s important to me is what Tom Brady does for his teammates. His presence makes the others better.” Normally the player gets feedback from his coaches after the training sessions. He could do better the next day. It’s different with Tom Brady on the team. He gives feedback on the field after every move. If you extrapolate this for the whole season, every player can develop faster. For Vollmer, however, the positive effects do not stop with the team, but also extend to the performance of the coaches. Because if a younger coach comes along and meets the experienced Brady, he would have to adapt to the pace of the quarterback. “He already sets a high standard,” says Vollmer and there is admiration in his tone.

But the star player is paying a heavy price for his record-breaking success. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen has said in recent years that she wishes her husband would focus more on family. But Brady puts everything behind the sport. “You can say: He’s obsessed,” says “Icke”. “As a normal person you would say, chill out, you’re 45, you’re successful, you have a wife and children. It’s a bit crazy what he’s doing, but that’s what fascinates him.” Earlier this year, Brady took the step of retiring – only to take it all back and celebrate his comeback a few weeks later. How did his wife take that? You can imagine. Now the former glamor couple is history. Sebastian Vollmer is also familiar with renunciation for sport. “In my case, I’ve missed weddings, funerals, I haven’t been awake on New Year’s in 20 years – you just make everything subordinate to your passion.” The life of the former competitive athlete now looks different. He continues to train every day, says the family man, but shorter and differently. “It’s more about health and no one cares anymore if I can lift 300 kilos.”

How’s it going now? Deep breathing, quiet laughter on both sides of the Atlantic. “I’ll go with Tommy at the end of the game. Tampa Bay will win 28:21,” Sebastian Vollmer then decides. A grin from Christoph Dommisch: “That’s a nice result. To keep it balanced, I’ll go with it, but say 28:21 for the Seahawks.” Is he right about that? Vollmer had warned shortly before: Never bet against Tom Brady!