Hubert Lawrence, Gleaner Writer
Now that the Reggae Boyz have advanced to the final round of CONCACAF World Cup football qualifying, it's for officialdom to get to work. The officials have got two jobs to do. First, they've got to stretch 2012 and second, they've got to bring more big championships here.
Just two weeks ago, in this space, we reflected on how successful Jamaica has been in sport this year. Maybe it's the power of Jamaica 50. Somehow, that milestone and the London Olympics have empowered our cricketers and footballers with the confidence to take on the world. Maybe we're just lucky. Maybe hard work is paying off. Maybe it's a combination of all three.
Whatever the answer is, our parliamentarians need to pass a law that creates an extra month in this super-successful year. I'd name it McKenley or Wint or Headley or some combination thereof.
Call me looney, but who wouldn't want an extra month of sport in 2012? After the Olympics, victory in the T20 World Cup by the West Indies and heroics by the Boyz, I want more.
This was a year when a Jamaican martial artist fought in the Olympics, when Alia Atkinson came oh so close to defying the odds in swimming and when Jamaica again brought the curtain down on the Games with a world record. Who wouldn't want more of that?
On their own, Jamaica's cricketers continued dominance of regional cricket. Only the regional T20 title escaped their grasp as they won the four-day and one-day crowns. The four-day win was the fifth on the trot, while the one-day success was the first since 2008. These wins and the one-day win in particular added to the sense of Jamaican buoyancy in sport in 2012.
Sports officials should do their part
Once Parliament does its job, then our sports officials would have to do their part. I see urgent meetings designed to bring the World Netball Championships back here and in that new extra month of 2012.
The way things are going, you could bet your house on the Sunshine Girls. The last time the World Championships were here, in 2003, they were a strong third. That was a year after Jamaica won 11 medals, its best haul ever, at the World Junior Championships here.
Do you remember when Ian 'Pepe' Goodison punctuated the 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign with a winning header against Mexico? It happened here inside the National Stadium.
Older fans were there when George Kerr won double gold at the CAC Games 50 years ago, just weeks after Independence in 1962.
There are actually some lucky sports enthusiasts who were there in 1962, 1998 and 2002. They know what I'm talking about. It's a pretty picture - a sea of well-behaved yellow-clad fans willing Jamaica to victory, singing and cheering with one voice, the voice of a nation on the move.
They know because they were a part of it.
We probably can't add 30 days to 2012 and the World Netball Championships won't be back here for a while, but all is not lost. Perhaps a link between the Jamaica Olympic Association and our international agencies can boost support for our teams abroad by stimulating interest in the Jamaican Diaspora.
In addition, while we work hard to get tourists to come here, equal effort needs to be made to rev up outgoing sports tourism. Judging from the Olympics, athletics needs no help, but if 5,000 fans went to cheer for the Sunshine Girls in the 2015 World Netball Championships, it would make a big difference.
Those Championships will be played inside Sydney's 21,000-seat All Phones Arena. The Girls deserve more than a handful of team officials and a smattering of travelling fans to support them in person.
That aside, I'm going to close my eyes and conjure up a vision of more Jamaican success in sports in Wint-McKenley 2012. In those circumstances, in full houses of black-green-and-gold, my team just can't lose.
HUBERT LAWRENCE has covered sport since 1987.