Michael Sullivan Online


Week 39: Mike Celebrates Australia Day and Football

CANBERRA AUSTRALIA - 29 January 2001 - On Thursday night, Mike had a chance to teach American football to Dave. After pizza buffet, they went to see the ACT take on Victoria in a nationwide competition. The teams were made up of the best players from each state or territory. The quality of play was relatively low but Mike enjoyed explaining the rules and strategies to Dave. In the end, the ACT beat Victoria but the crowd didn't really support any team too much.

Mike celebrated the establishment of Australia as a nation on Friday. He and Dave went to the capital area for the events that took place there. In the morning, there was a flag raising ceremony that was pretty exciting. The Prime Minister was there and he inspected a ceremonial group of soldiers and the Army band. Mike was surprised by how little security this head of state needed; when he was walking amongst the couple dozen soldiers, there was no visible security. The highlight of the ceremony, however, was the fly over by a Hornet. The plane jsut seemed to drop down Mt. Ainslie and fly about 100 feet over their heads. This was followed by a 21 gun salute. After the ceremony ended, Mike and Dave looked at some vintage cars and small engines. Another interesting demonstration was the sheep herding dogs doing their thing. Mike was amazed by how the dog and owner communicated to get the sheep through various obstacles. The early part of the afternoon was spent watching a cricket match on the grounds, which was very enjoyable as Mike was able to learn a couple of things that you don't see on TV. Most of the rest of the day, Mike took it pretty easy.

On Saturday, Mike had a A-Grade baseball game. He hadn't expected to play, but he was the ninth player; a bunch of people were gone on holiday for the long Australia day weekend. Before the game, Mike was throwing batting practice in the cage when a liner came back at him in drilled him just above the elbow. His arm was sore from throwing anyway, but that didn't help. In the game, Mike played left field and catcher but didn't get any hits. A couple of Ainslie players were ejected from the game for doing some pretty childish things that aren't worth mentioning. On Sunday, Mike played in the B game and played pretty well.

Monday morning was the Superbowl. It started at 10am local time and Mike invited a couple people over to watch the game and have some snacks. In American tradition, Mike had sloppy joes, lots of chips, and a nacho dip. The couple of Aussies that came over were quite impressed with this fare. While the game wasn't too good, Mike enjoyed it immensely as it was the only real football game he's seen in over a year.

Here ends Mike's thirty ninth week in Australia.

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