Left, ‘American Michael’ (far left) returns to his hometown of Chicago and catches up with the Chicago Swans for a kick of the footy. Right, American “Bandana” Michael and Dave O’Shea – just two of the Swannies’ dozen farewells in Saigon last month.
American Michael (Weissbluth) was one of the Swannies’ dozen celebrated farewells in Saigon last month.
Michael had decided that the time was right to continue his career in South America – but not before he dropped into his hometown of Chicago where he has just met the .
Yesterday, the Swannies received the following email from “Vietnam Michael”.
July is the ‘off’ month in the North American season because of the 4th of July and people make a lot of holidays in this month. So tonight’s training with the was just an informal thing akin to what (former Swannies Skipper) Dukesy was hosting at his school in Saigon on Tuesday nights. The pitch was hard and uneven. We were right beside the great Lake Michigan.
The wind was super strong and kindly assisted us, actually.
The lads were really fantastically good. The Chicago Swans won last year’s division. One American had returned from Perth where he played footy. He was in a semi-professional league (what we Yanks call ‘farm leagues’ for baseball and other sports).
Evidently, there are former AFL professionals on the Chicago Swans team as well as guys who have gone on to be professionals in Oz! There was only one fellow from Oz; the rest were Yanks.
They were really keen to hear about the footy scene in Asia and about the Swannies.
I was deeply pleased to see that there was a lot of chatter: compliments, encouragement, advice, etc. I think the sport draws power from these habits.
I learned something new: in the North American leagues, only half the men on the field can be from Oz. Otherwise people would fly in their mates and whale on a bunch of inept Yanks!
Editor’s note: From all the Swannies in Vietnam, “G’day” and best wishes to American Michael and all the Chicago Swans!
- Swannie, Paul “Livin’ the Dream” Koch, previously lived in San Diego. Not only has Paul been the inspiration behind Powelldaddy, he was also one of the key inspirations behind the establishment of the San Diego Lions – one of the first Aussie Rules clubs in the USA.
- American Michael says that “the guy in the photo (see above) to the left of me is wearing a Chicago Swans shirt! It has the four stars in it of our city’s flag. The stars represent four important events in this great city’s history.”
- One of the things the Vietnam Swans often refer to is “Australia’s Signature Sport Connecting Communities”. This story provides further evidence. Of awesomeness.
- Go you Swans and Swannies!
For further information on the Chicago Swans: visit the Chicago Swans’ and .
To see more Classic Swannies’ Shots, .