Although the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots rivlary was on the fans' minds on Sunday during the game in Frankfurt, Germany, second-year Austria native and Colts starting left tackle Bernhard Raimann was grateful for his family to watch him from their side of the pond.
In a post-game interview with NFL Network's Stacey Dales, Raimann's appreciation was on full-display. In the interview, they touched on Raimann's 10-year journey from Austria to the NFL which began in 2013 when he was apart of the Vienna Vikings, an international ballclub that taught him the game. Fast forward 10 years and Raimann is not only in the NFL, but starting as his team's blindside protector on offense as his family was in attendance for the first time ever.
Colts LT Bernhard Raimann was grateful to play in front of family in Germany
To start off the interview, Dales asked Raimann, "I don't know if I've ever seen so much emotion out of you. What a homecoming, what has this been like?" To which he responded:
"Yeah, it's just an unbeliebanle feeling. Obviously every game is importnat, but being able to play her in Germany, having family here, being welcomed by all these fans here.. it was my home country. It's just unbelievable. I appreciate everyone so much and now that win just meant that much more to me."- Bernhard Raimann
Bernhard Raimann's notable family members such as his parents Michael and Claudia and his grandma Erika were certainly headlining the group of visitors, though this family gathering pulled out all the stops as they garnered 18 total fans for the day. When it came to what is was like to be able to look up into the stands and see all of those who have supported him from day one, Raimann said this:
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. I'm just blessed to be here today to play in front of a home crowd and in front of family. It just meant the world to me."- Bernhard Raimann
Raimann was choked up halfway through his response and Dales noticed and appreciated his candidness. His vulnerability amidst this interview tied a powerful and wholesome bow onto the present that was twofold: A Colts win that had his family an entire ocean away in attendance.
Regardless if the NFL is granted an expansion team across the pond at some point, opportunities like such will likely continue to grow as the league's international series has been booming in popularity as of late. It was homecoming unlike any other, and hopefully soon, will become the norm as American football continues to integrate itself all over the globe.