I guess I should start by mentioning that the match was probably the most boring football match I have ever watched, but the overall experience was pretty cool. Like any international match, the teams walked on the field with local youth players. A few of the pickni who participated in the Grassroots Festival were given the opportunity to participate.
When we arrived at “The Office” (that National Stadium in Kingston) it didn’t really seem like a game day. In typical Jamaican fashion, the woman in charge of the promotion/field walk what ever you would like to call it was completely unorganized. My boss at BC would not have approved. Anyway, after 45 minutes of her trying to figure out where the kids were supposed to go she led them field side. I wasn’t allowed to go with them, I had to walk around through the normal gate to get to the exact same place. Our seats were next to the track the surrounded the football pitch.
In all actuality there were awful seats because the benches blocked the view of the game. They were right at the entrance to the tunnel though where coaches and, oh yeah, Portia Simpson Miller the Prime Minister were standing.
I didn’t actually get to talk to her, but Captain Burrell (JFF President) and Coach Montesso (National Team Coach) both came up and said “Hello” and asked how my first few weeks at site were going.
The stadium was pretty empty. I was told that because it was an International Friendly people didn’t bother to go. This was somewhat of a surprise to me because the only international men’s match I have ever been to was a friendly before the 2010 World Cup between Canada vs Argentina in Buenos Aires and I have never been in a stadium with so many people.
I moved up in the bleachers to watch the game so I could actually see. Panama scored the first goal off a corner. It was a beautiful header. After that Panama set the pace for the rest of the game. I guess you could say the Reggae Boyz played well defensively because most passes were between men on the back line, but they missed every opportunity to move the ball forward. The second half wasn’t much better. There were a few goal-scoring opportunities, but the mid-field was still pretty sloppy. I guess it’s easy for me to critique the game from the stands, but SERIOUSLY!
Well at any rate another point checked off the bucket list. Can’t wait for the match against the US in September!
What I learned today:
Food prices are still outrageous inside a stadium.
Jamaicans will add a siren sound in any song to say it’s a Jamaican remix.
I am tired of being on medication.