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Monday, January 25, 2010

A Tale of Two Football Games

Last night marked the appearance of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game at New Orleans.  With the game starting at 5:40pm Central Time, that meant a 1:40am start here.  No coverage on any of the free channels on my NileSat box so I was reduced to watching the game via Yahoo Sport's live feed.  For any old-timers reading this, that is a bit like reading the tape on a wire-recreation broadcast of the the Minneapolis Millers or Portland Beavers.

I thought I'd just stay with the game for a while until I saw which way it was headed.  Of course, it was tied at 7, tied at 14, tied at 21 and tied at 28 and then, into overtime.  Alas, New Orleans won.  It was about 5:00am when I slumped off to bed feeling just about like this guy:

Fortunately, the "other football" game went better.  The interest here in Cairo is centered around the Africa Cup matches being played in Angola and scheduled to finish up on the 31st of January.  Egypt had a disappointing time late last year, failing to qualify for the World Cup and becoming involved in a very controversial situation with Algeria. (See this NY Times piece for stories of blood, violence and the like!)

This evening, the Egyptian Pharaohs defeated a very strong Cameroon team on a controversial (it never crossed the goal line) free-kick in overtime, 3-1.  That put Egypt into the semifinals of the Cup and wouldn't you just know it, set up a match with Algeria!

Here is the photo that will be running in the Cairo papers tomorrow morning:

 There are lots of Egyptian flags being sold on the street tonight.  One friend called to report buying three.  I'm sure the crowd is celebrating over on Pyramids Road.  There are even a few cars honking and waving flags as they drive by our place.

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