A crowd of 23,169 curious Germans and homesick Americans came to Waldstadion in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday night to witness the debut of the World League of American Football.
In an atmosphere mixing German culinary treats with American-style showtime, the London Monarchs beat the Frankfurt Galaxy, 24-11.
The WLAF appeared to be a hit in Birmingham, Ala., as nearly 53,000 showed up to watch the Montreal Machine beat the host Fire, 20-5.
In the other game, the Sacramento Surge defeated the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks, 9-3, on a rainy night in front of 15,126 at Sacramento City College.
The game at Frankfurt featured fireworks, cheerleaders, a jazzy halftime show and a 96-yard touchdown pass play from London quarterback Stan Gelbaugh to Jon Horton.
Army Spec. Henry Smith said he was sure Germans would take a liking to the sport. “As long as they have plenty of bratwurst and beer, they’ll come,” he said.
At Birmingham, Jerry Lee Lewis sang “Great Balls of Fire” at halftime, Kevin Sweeney passed for a touchdown and Bjorn Nittmo kicked two field goals.