Are your ready to be the 12th man?
THE Reggae Boyz thrilled Jamaicans when they qualified for the 1998 World Cup, and let us remember, their journey wasn't devoid of struggles or slip-ups. That year, the Reggae Boyz made Jamaica the first English-speaking Caribbean country to qualify for a World Cup.
Many Jamaicans travelled to the World Cup, as the indispensable 12th man on their pitch.
Our Road to Rio is still alive despite losing 2-1 to Guatemala last week. Despite Carlos Ruiz' late winner, which spurred Guatemala to the top of the group (tied with the US), the Theodore Whitmore-managed team still has a chance of going through if we beat winless Antigua and Barbuda today at 'the Office'. On the downside, USA and Guatemala will also play today and a draw between the two would unfortunately see them both go through and Jamaica out.
Yes, our destiny may be out of our hands, but should Jamaica beat Antigua and Barbuda by at least four goals and Guatemala and USA not end in a tie, Jamaica will still have a fighting chance.
Many will say that includes a lot of 'ifs', but we must remember that both Guatemala and USA will be gunning for wins in order to ensure favourable draws in the next round.
We must also remember that our next matches will be played here at home, so when Antigua and Barbuda arrive later today we must be the 12th man in and around the pitch.
Even if we aren't able to physically be in the Bleachers or Grand Stand, we must make the Reggae Boyz know that we are behind them, win or lose.
TEENage believes the abuse and derision that Theodore Whitmore and company have received since our loss last week Friday is, quite frankly, uncalled for.
TEENage does not understand how some supporters have so quickly turned on our national team after the euphoria only a few weeks ago when we beat the USA for first time.
That sort of deconstructive and pointless criticism helps no one. Bandwagonism cannot be tolerated and our Boyz must be our Boyz whether they do well or not.
We must trust that the Reggae Boyz know the dire nature of the hour at hand, and will try their best to deliver us to the World Cup for only the second time ever in this our 50th year.
Hence, TEENage encourages all Jamaicans to show supporting to our team. Our National Stadium must be in full voice, and despite what might or might not happen elsewhere, we must cheer our Boyz on to a resounding win tonight. We must 'rally, rally round' the Reggae Boyz.
As always, TEENage will be firmly rallied around our Jamaican football team tonight, and rest assured, we will be hoping and supporting, full voice, until the final whistle.
Will you do the same?