Since the language of sports has invaded the language of the larger life around it, the events in Egypt can be cast as two golfers in match play.
In match play two golfers play against each other. When one player has won more holes than there are holes left to play, he wins the match. When you’re four holes down with three holes to play, you stop playing, shake hands and walk in to the clubhouse. Because even if you won all three of the remaining holes, you’d still lose the match. You could insist on playing those 3 holes, but no one does.
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian dictator, was four down with three to play, but he insisted on playing those final three holes against his opponent, the people of Egypt.
When there is a tie at the end of 18 holes, the golfers go into a “sudden death” playoff. In sudden death, the golfer who is the first to win a hole wins the whole match. The whole match rides on that. So on the one hand, they didn’t have to play the previous 18 holes. On the other hand, they had to play the previous 18 holes for it to come down to sudden death, the one and only hole that now matters.
So Mubarak and the Egyptian people were at the 14th hole. The people had won four more holes than he. The people were four up with three to play. The people won the match, because even if he and his dictatorship won the remaining three holes, the people would still have won one more.
But there’s a hitch and they go into sudden death. That’s where they are today. The hitch is that Mubarak cheated and said they were all tied. The world stood by and watched as he cheated. It’s not a perfect world. They are playing sudden death, the one and only hole, now, as I write this.
What is this blog really about? When I answer that question, I try to write a blog about absolutely nothing else. This blog is about the Egyptian people answering their own question – what is this about? – and taking action about absolutely nothing else. There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment.