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Sunday marked the first-ever NFL game played in Germany and a rousing rendition of ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads‘ sent goosebumps all of the way back to the United States. It also happened to go down as Geno Smith was in town.
Munich is home to one of the biggest-name soccer clubs in the world and the 68,911 fans in attendance to watch the Seahawks and Buccaneers. They brought some of that European fútbol culture to American football. Late in the fourth quarter, they went arm-in-arm and swayed back and forth as John Denver’s greatest hit played over the speakers.
The sing-a-long was the perfect way to end an incredible week overseas for both the country and the league. Here is how it sounded on the NFL Network broadcast:
It sounded even better in-person.
Country Roads Fits In Many Cultures
The song choice seems completely random on the surface. However, ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ has more ties to Germany than you might think.
Each year, from late September to the first weekend in October, upwards of six million people gather in Munich to consume nearly more than a million liters of beer at the world’s largest Oktoberfest. The crowd that gathers is international, so while there are plenty of sing-a-longs to German music, a few American hits also get their play. John Denver is one of them.
They know every word in Munich and that was evident when the audio cut out and the fans went a capella.
The song also happened to correspond with one of the two quarterbacks playing in the game. Geno Smith, who ultimately was on the losing end of the game, went to West Virginia. The Mountaineers sing the John Denver tune after every game.
The German performance was the perfect example of European soccer culture on the biggest international stage. What a moment!