Our first stop today was checking out where all the magic happens - Brady’s Business Systems. Danny gave us a tour of the office. We also learnt about Michigan’s nickname - “The Mitten”, which derives from the state’s shape and is the reason that every Michiganian will point to the back of their hand when explaining where exactly they are from.
From a Michigan tradition to a Flint staple for lunch - the Coney Island Hot Dog, a hot dog garnished with chilli taco meat, onion and mustard. We wolfed ours down with a beer before heading out to the home of Corey (Pam and Danny’s son), his wife Kerrie and their one year old son Oz. They had a spectacular Californian modern-style house down near Ann Arbour (about an hour’s drive from Flint), where we were treated to a drum performance before heading in to Detroit to check out that night’s football game.
For the first time in forty years, the Detroit Lions were 4-0, and were playing arch-rivals the Chicago Bears in a Monday night game - all of which added up to a massive level of buzz around the game (so much so that we hadn’t been able to get tickets). Before we started hitting up scalpers, though, we had to go through the uniquely American ritual of “tailgating”. While we’d heard the term being thrown around before and had certainly been excited about the prospect, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. As it turns out, tailgating is an awesome concept that should be applied to Australian sports. For a few (sometimes, apparently, many) hours before the game, folks will turn up in the parking lots surrounding a stadium and set up barbecue grills, marquees, eskies and various other devices in order to drink a few beers, socialise, and play “baggo” (aka “cornhole”) - a game involving the tossing of a bag into a hole (it seemed more exciting than it sounds, especially with money on the line). While we didn’t put money down on our baggo skills, we did have a chance to take on the Yanks in an American-as-apple-pie drinking game, Flip Cup. We feel we represented our country well in the drinking portion of the game, but definitely need practice on the flipping side of things.
After that, it was time to see if we could score some tickets for the game - sadly, the only prices we could get from scalpers were extreme ($800 for four tickets, no thanks) so we decided to head back to Flint to watch the game from the large and comfortable couch at the Brady’s (beer was cheaper, too). In the event, it was a good decision, as we were able to watch Detroit cruise to victory while eating leftover Tony’s from yesterday before hitting the sack.