For reasons unknown I accidentally sat through the African Cup of Nations final this afternoon. The match did not disappoint. The game that the rest of the world calls "football" is inevitably a snooze-o-rama, and sure enough, we were all tied up after 90 minutes.
Yup. That sure was ninety minutes of soccer excitement.
After another thirty minutes of extra time, we're still tied up.
But I have to admit, that penalty kick shoot-out had to be one of the most riveting finales in all of sports. It was easily a match for the final seconds of last week's Superbowl. After an afternoon of nothing, seeing 17 goals scored in a matter of minutes hits you like a methadrine overdose. The fact that the winner was scored by a guy past his prime and long considered a bit of an odd-ball, goaltender Boubacar Barry, gave the match that human interest element that keeps you coming back to sports spectator-ship even when you should know better.
Heart-stopping finish aside, it's somehow reassuring that the Africans can put on a match that is every bit as stupefyingly boring as the European's.
It's only a matter of time before an African team takes the World Cup.