Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Just watch di wagonists now

Published:Monday | August 3, 2015 | 8:00 AM
Joel McAnuff (left) and goalkeeper Ryan Thompson console defender Michael Hector after Sunday night's CONCACAF Gold Cup final. Mexico defeated Jamaica 3-1.

So after Jamaica's dream run at the 2015 Gold Cup, I have some advice for football federation president Captain Horace Burrell - buy a new wagon.

That's because the Reggae Boyz bandwagon is going to get quite heavy from all the extra weight of persons jumping onto it. You know how Jamaicans stay a'ready. We don't go all out in support of something until we see that it's going in a positive direction. Before Bolt, Shelly, Asafa and company, the average 'Jamrockian' wasn't advocating heavily for money to be pumped into track and field. Nowadays? Heh heh, if it up to dem, a track and field alone get money.

When the Reggae Boyz went to the Copa America in Chile, there were harbingers of doom aplenty. "Dem a go get 6-0!" was the refrain. When the Boyz gave creditable performances even in defeat, the true football fan would see there was definite improvement. The cynics still only saw the fact that we lost three games. Poor ting dem!

But after the country's showing at the Gold Cup, where we, 1. topped our first round group, 2. beat a good Haiti team in the quarter-finals, and then 3. kick off US face inna di semi-final, di wagon did start pack up. Although we lost to Mexico in the final, I know some eyebrows have been raised.

 

get yu tickets fast

 

So now what is going to happen is that when the 2018 World Cup qualifying games begin, you betta know smaddy, who know smaddy else, so you can get two ticket. Because if you wait 'til di day before di match, dog nyameth thy supper! It will be like the 1998 World Cup campaign all over again.

After Jamaica lost to Costa Rica 3-1, and the campaign looked dead and buried, in our next home match against El Salvador, the Jamaica Football Federation could have given the tickets for free- stadium did empty! Once we picked up momentum, by the time that final match against Mexico came up, if you got a ticket it was like finding oil in your backyard.

Now don't get me wrong. More fans packing the stadium, more people buying authentic Reggae Boyz gear (although mi still nuh like the design), is a great thing. But I just wish the team would have a more loyal fan base. But don't worry, true fans, the test of loyalty will come soon enough. In the World Cup qualifiers we have to play Nicaragua first up. Provided we beat them, we join a group with (watch yah now): Costa Rica, who gave us an almighty fight in the Gold Cup; Panama, who have something to prove after getting robbed in the other semi-final; and maybe di same Haiti who we barely beat. And all of that just to reach the final group of six!

So like Buju did say, it's not an easy road. There will be nuff potholes and wrong turns. But in the end, regardless of outcome, the true fans will still be on the wagon. Unnu know unnu self. Later.

- Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com