Growing up in Senegal, I cannot recall a moment when my experience of sports – of all sports – was not seasoned with a healthy dose of mysticism. Actually, that statement is a half-truth. I can perfectly remember the moment, or rather the period, during which everything felt new to me. That long blur would be the year 1992, the first year I remember being completely aware of sports and the affect they could have on my young, impressionable six-year-old self. It’s not so much that I started appreciating sports with mysticism; I was hooked into sports through mysticism.
The moments I’m trying to remember had nothing, yet everything, to do with football. Let me explain: they had nothing to do with the actual matches, the stress, the pressure and the outcome. But it had everything to with what football brings, the irrationality of the fans, the pressures, the stress and its outcome.