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Panthers will face the New York Giants in regular season game in Germany

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“I mean, you could feel the excitement,” Hekker said of his trip. “All the people I interacted with were just very proud to be able to host an event like that, to host the NFL. I think it is a sense of accomplishment for them. I mean, they had NFL Europe there years ago, but the game of football has really been kind of the USA and London’s thing. So they finally have games over there, and to know that after the first year they host those games that the NFL said, you know what, we like that.

“The NFL saw the reception and said, ‘Let’s increase his presence there’ as a sign of the people’s passion for the game and for the NFL brand. You hear about the insane amount of people that were in the queues to try and buy tickets for the games, almost like a Super Bowl. So yeah, I’m proud and honored to be a part of expanding the NFL’s reach deeper into Europe.”

And yes, Hekker said the lederhosen he was wearing when he announced the pick of Zavala were not just rentals.

“Those are mine forever,” Hekker said. “Those are in a box in my closet, maybe waiting for the trip next year.”

Stay tuned. You may see them again this fall.

Click here for travel packages to see the Panthers play in Munich, presented by On Location.

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