Last year, the 12-medal Olympic team started an uprising. Led by Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, they stormed London, dominated the sprints, and put some black, green and gold spice in the Jamaica 50 celebrations. That wasn't all. It seems that they gave national and regional sporting teams some self belief.
Not long after those heady weeks in London, Jamaica beat the United States (US) in a crucial World Cup qualifying encounter. That was history as Jamaica had never, ever beaten its North American neighbour before in senior level competition. Victories over the US are commonplace in track-and-field starting 65 years ago at the 1948 Olympics, but all our football programme had to show for its efforts is a win by our junior footballers back when the late David 'Wagga' Hunt was in charge.
The positive vibrations rolled into cricket's T20 World Cup. It was as if Usain and Shelly-Ann had passed a baton to Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels. They both made immense contributions to a West Indies tournament victory with Marlon steering the team home in the final.
West Indies win
Interestingly, players from Trinidad and Tobago played a big part too in the West Indies win. Samuel Badri, Ravi Rampaul, wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and Keiron Pollard of Trinidad and Tobago all did very well. Just like Jamaica, the twin island republic had just celebrated its 50th anniversary of Independence. Just like us, that country had enjoyed a fine showing at the Olympics, led by surprise javelin champion Keyshorn Walcott.
In a strictly Jamaican context, the same circumstances appear to be taking shape again. The tall man and the Pocket Rocket led a satisfying six gold medal performance at the recently concluded World Championships. Shelly was particularly good and now has scribes wondering if she is now Jamaica's finest female sprinter of all time. That rare ground was previously reserved for Merlene Ottey and Veronica Campbell-Brown.
While the World Championships were on in Moscow, the Jamaica Tallawahs were doing battle in the inaugural staging of the Caribbean Premier League. This Chris Gayle- led professional franchise team fed on the Moscow momentum in the matches they played at Sabina Park from August 15 to 18.
Playing in front of passionate sold-out crowds, the Tallawahs won the last two of their three matches at Sabina and then went to win their semi-final and final matches in Trinidad and Tobago.
Hopefully, the wave of self belief will wash over the Reggae Boyz. Their chance of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup hangs by a slim but real thread. Wins in Panama on September 6 and in Kingston over Costa Rica on September 10 would keep us holding on to hope.
Perhaps they will get some support when they go to Panama City. After all, lots of Jamaicans went to that country to build the Panama Canal in a bygone age. Hopefully, enough of their descendants will support Jamaica on the 6th of September.
A win there would fill the stadium here on the 9th with the stakes as high as when the US was defeated.
The flip side is frightening. Given that the home support deserted the Boyz when they were down but not quite out against the USA and Mexico in World Cup qualifiers earlier this summer, it's likely that a loss in Panama would turn the National Stadium into an abandoned building for the Costa Rica game.
The best bet is to accentuate the positive. The Boyz have a new coach and everything to play for. Most of the team would benefit in a business sense from reaching Rio in 2014. For players who don't play in the EPL, Serie A, La Liga and the Bundesliga, the World Cup is the place to build reputations. If other teams in Jamaica's World Cup qualifying group falter and if the Boyz take the baton from the World Championships team and the Tallawahs, it might be 2012 all over again.
Hubert Lawrence has been making notes at track side since 1980.