Who say dat big man don't cry?
ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships 2015 is over and done, but the memories are going to stay with us for a while.
Records were smashed, super juniors gave 100 per cent going head-to-head, a number of false starts merely added to the drama, and a number of lesser-fancied schools got on the podium. Champs was even on pay-per-view. A deh so di ting reach! And I'm not even getting into the more controversial stuff like Michael O'Hara's 'extraordinary' feat, and the ticket holders who were stuck outside the National Stadium and couldn't get in. That added to the overall excitement and conversation pieces, even if they spoiled it for some.
But the thing I want to focus on is the reaction of some people to images of Kingston College boys crying once they realised they didn't win Champs. I heard very few sympathetic words. "Wha dem a bawl fah?" and "Dem nuh haffi gwaan so?" I was quite disturbed by the reaction. This was a Champs some people thought Calabar would win by about 50 points. With KC getting as close as they did (15.5 points to be exact) I can totally understand why the young men were crushed. If I was their age, and knowing how emotional I can get, mi woulda bawl too!
Now let's get something straight, I don't cheer for KC. When I was writing down my choices for Common Entrance Exam (showing my age now), KC was nowhere near the paper. In fairness, none of the all-boys schools were. I preferred a school that actually had girls! But when you train, fight, mentally steel yourself and sacrifice for months leading up to the pinnacle event of your season, you have nothing left. These boys, and that's another thing, they are boys, not grown men, gave every fibre of their DNA to win. And they fell short. That's like studying for a 100 per cent pass, and you get 93. Low di yute dem mek dem cry!
I, for one, am proud they were crying. It means they took it seriously. Any athlete, whether professional or amateur who doesn't give maximum effort, has no place on my team. I'm not saying the boys should let the defeat scar them for life. If anything it will make them stronger and better prepared for the future. But on a more universal level, where do we get this thing from that men aren't supposed to cry? Even if they just lost their mother it's like only the female relatives are allowed to bawl. That's not fair; men are human too.
So cry yah Fortis. And if you beat Rabalac next year, the Lions can cry that time. Finally some big ups. To St Jago, for finishing second in the girls section and fourth in the boys. As for my Ardenne, well, we got a few points. And big up Green Island, from my mother's neck of the woods, in the top 20 of both sections. Can't wait for next year.
• Link me at firstname.lastname@example.org