Just finished watching the African Cup. The final was between Cameroon and Egypt. Throughout the whole tournament Egypt has been playing amazing; in fact, they beat Cameroon the first game of the tournament 5-2 (I think).

Of course everything stopped in the village. Nothing was open except places with TVs. I imagine it isn’t as bad in the big cities, but in my small village, I can’t imagine anyone, man woman or child, not watching the game or listening to it on the radio, somewhere.

It was an amazing first half, although the score of 0-0 doesn’t show it. At the start of the second half, everyone had their hopes up. Cameroon was playing really well against a heavily favored opponent. We had a chance. About 25 minutes in however, Egypt scored. You would have thought Paul Biya had decided to extend his presidency (he eventually did). Although there was still plenty of time left, most of the people at the hotel, where I was watching it, said ‘ce fini’. It’s over.

This leads me to a theory. Sports are a reflection of how some societies live their lives. Here, one goal, with plenty of times left, meant the season and the tournament was over. Our sports, at least the favorite ones* like Baseball, Basketball and (American) football, one score is just getting started. Someone scores and it just means the game is just getting started. ‘The comeback’ is part of Americana like the Yankees; just look at the latest Super Bowl. The underdog, the Giants, beat the mighty Patriots.

That mentality isn’t prevalent in Cameroon, and I assume in most African nations. Egypt was heavily favored against Cameroon, and even most Camerooneans had already given up on their team, even though they still showed up to watch the game.

I wish after the Egypt score, Cameroon would have come back and beat them. I can’t help but think it would have been good for the people of Cameroon.

*sorry hockey, you don’t qualify; you’re Canada’s sport.

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