Football . . . an American tradition that has the potential to make friends, or create enemies. Literally. Yet, the great ecstasy of the sport is that friends, families, and strangers, can look forward to a time of betting, and see who can talk the most smack!
Football. . .well, for years, it could not be seen as simply an “American” tradition. Growing into Canada, Europe, and now on the African continent. And by “football,” not the art of using feet to propel the ball. Or in the United States, what is referred to as “soccer.” No, football Americana! That is the name of the game. And here in Egypt, it has found a new home.
The Egyptian Federation of American Football is a critical nourishment in the hunger for this dynamic sport! From the local sport arena, to the most famous Universities in Cairo, Egypt, American football is here. And this year. . .this semester (Spring 2016), it came to the American University in Cairo. The first ever American football team, the might AUC Titans made a bold statement on their very first game. Under the leadership of Head Coach, Terry Bates, the Titans have shown that they too are capable in representing the sport. . .and representing well. Hailing from Buffalo, New York, Bates made success at the German University in Cairo last year, leading the Eagles to winning the Championship on May 1, 2015. The Cairo wind took his name to the American University in Cairo, and as they say. . .the rest will be history.
But that is for another article. . .
The AUC Titans held their first game against the Cairo Bears on February 27, 2015 at 4:00pm. And what started with energy, and the phenomenon of the sport taking place, ended in tragedy. The death of AUC Titan player, Omar Khaled Mahmoud, addressed one of the major concerns of playing the game. Shocking, surprising, and questions of. . .why and what? What could have been done to prevent this? Why the first game? And what will this do to the sport in Egypt?
More questions are likely to come. However, Omar’s passing, memory, and legacy creates one thing. . .the ability to transform the sport. Making it safer and healthier; making Egypt the opportunity to revitalize humanity and health consciousness into the game. Using Egypt as the model country to invest into the safety of American football players. Creating new inventions, techniques, and methods that could be practiced by players all over the world–saving lives, while celebrating the sport.
The Titans did not finish their game on Saturday. And the teams scheduled afterwards did not proceed with any game.
In memory of Omar Khaled Mahmoud the symbolism of the AUC Titans can represent the re-birth of the sport, in its decorum and respect for life’s jewels! That through Omar Khaled Mahmoud, the sport can be re-born again; with his Spirit symbolizing the unity of brotherhood, courage, and love!