Monday, June 22, 2009

Fair Game

It's fair. It's absolutely fair that we should lose to the USA by three and that the USA should qualify. It's not just fair, but right because of the great many differences between not just the two teams, but the two countries.

How can you expect a country to do something right when everything goes wrong? I mean with Africa, it's okay, because most of the African countries are as messed up as we are or even more, and the mentality is similar, so there's no difference between one underdog and another. But when we're playing against the USA we have to understand that it’s not the American team but the American attitude that’s difficult to defeat.

America is mostly despised but perhaps also loved for the same reasons it is despised, not the least of which is its winning attitude that is so fervidly despised in Europe. But to be honest, America is a comeback junkie, with a great thirst for winning and most of its citizen think they're in a Rocky movie, expecting a comeback at any minute. They believe anything is possible till the last minute, and while they might be wrong sometimes, this attitude enables them to do all that is possible for them to do. In the end they go down fighting. Despite their sometimes annoying positivism, I'd always want an American on my team because the general attitude is not to quit.

In Egypt however, the loss is symptomatic of a country where good things are accidents. Like all accidents that happen in Egypt, even the good ones are plentiful. Did we really think that things were doing things so right so as to actually make it to the second round? No, we’re just a first round kind of people. It's just not right that we should do something contrary to our nature, and unlike matters within the country where doing things the wrong way gives you the greatest rewards, the world does not recognize nor accept this way of life, and for this reason we lose when we don't do things right, as it should be within Egypt.

I'm not one to change my point of view overnight like most people who will suddenly see Egypt's team as having no potential; on the contrary, we played great previously, beating Italy and giving Brazil a run for their money. We have some world class players occasionally and I don’t mean that we have a good player once in a while, but rather a player that does well once in a while. The point I mean to make is that we're consistent in our inconsistency. We're too mercurial (as is evident from FIFA stats) and it’s in our nature to let go once we imagine success. Our standards are so low that we don’t care to keep giving it our best shot. Doing well is not a way of life; it's an activity that we practice once in a while albeit a very long while.

In this game the nature of the countries collided with one another and if there’s one thing we ought to know, it’s that our nature can’t win. A country with talent and history was defeated by a country with less talent and less history but so much more will and enthusiasm. A mentality of losers was aptly beaten by a mentality of winners. A country that lost its ability to resist was beaten by a country that never quits. In short an enslaved country was beaten by a free country.

Is that too much philosophy for a football game? It might be, but I think we don't have enough philosophy to win as much as a football game. If we talk about the concrete reasons, they'll be something as boring as our league is horrible and undisciplined, our players don't train properly, our education is crap and it affects our mentality, our values are screwed up and we value pleasure more than hard work that gives so much more pleasure in the long run, etc.. etc.. The concrete reasons are there, but the problem is that our hopeless philosophies in life are what lead us to these concrete reasons in every field and on every field.

I've said it before and I say it again, it's not that Egypt is so damn hopeless, it's those moments of hope that really make you realize how we could have been. We caught a glimpse, but it all faded away… In the end it appears that this is all we can ever get.

1 comment:

N said...

depressing but spot on