Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hawk Nation,
Say it with me, “GO HAWKS! GO HAWKS!” (with an Australian accent). This is what we heard last night from a crowd of 85,000+. The chants weren’t for the Hartford Hawks, they were for the Hawthorn Hawks, the local and very popular Australian Football League (AFL) team. More about that adventure in a second. First, let’s recap the day.  

We started by going over to Taylor Dyson’s house for lunch. Taylor lives about an hour or so from downtown Melbourne. His parents have a great house and they set up a catered meal for our entire travel party. It was here we discussed the remaining events on our itinerary for the evening.  

We were fortunate enough be able to attend the AFL game between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats. The fact that the home team was also named the Hawks made it that much more exciting to cheer for them. I had been watching a little AFL on TV here, so I could try to understand what we would be experiencing, but it wasn’t until we were at Taylor’s house watching a game on TV that we really started to understand the rules of the game.  

To our surprise, we were given scarfs with Hawks printed on them in the Hawthorn brown and yellow colors, so we obviously decided we would all wear them to the game. 

After busing back and changing our clothes, we headed to the game.  The atmosphere inside and outside of the stadium was electric. It totally reminded me of an NFL rivalry game. The stadium was huge and they play on a field that is about 180 yards long and 160 yards wide. The game is fast paced, physical, and high scoring. It’s like a mix of rugby, soccer, volleyball, and basketball all being played at the same time.  

The Hawks were down 30 points in the third quarter and then all of sudden mounted an incredible comeback to win the game. Our crew was super excited to be a part of the winning crowd and we really got into cheering for the Hawks. 

We next travel to Cairns for the last leg of our trip. Everybody we have met has told us how beautiful it is up there and how nice the weather is going to be, so we are looking forward to this part of the trip. See you in Cairns!!! GO HAWKS!!! GO HAWKS!!!


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