A Nation’s Shaken Ego Seen in a Soccer Loss is the title of an article which was published a couple of days ago in the New York Times. I am not sure whether the writer was incredulous or whether I projected my own incredulity at the Egyptian reaction on the article, but it is clear that foreign observers who are living in Egypt (like journalists who report from Cairo) seem to regard the Egyptian reaction to that fateful football match against Algeria worthy of news-reporting and analysis. I am still skeptical about whether all this really means something more than deep disappointment at losing a football match – after all, an already-miserable person with very little hope will alwas be more likely to exhibit violent emotions (whether at the positive or negative ends of the emotions scale). Football is one of these games which has the ability to drive people, from all classes, mad. So in my view, the Egyptians are behaving like football fans because very little else seems to persuade them to mobilise at such a national scale and complain or rejoice. It has to be mostly about football. This of course does not deny the fact that Egyptians suffer from many problems, but we have to be careful not to confuse corelation with causality. The Guardian dedicated a couple of contrasting commentaries on the issue, one of the view that there is no need to point the finger at deeper ills because “the violence in Cairo was just thuggery cynically fomented by President Mubarak” and the other of the opposite view that there’s “more to Egypt’s riots than football“. Am more inclined to agree with Mayton (the writer of the first article).