The answer? Easy. Place enough doubt in the minds of supporters of Portmore United as to whether the match would be played and force them to decide on the wisdom of spending scarce resources in attending a match at the other end of the island that might not take place at all! The result: sparse attendance by Portmore fans and a vocal and powerful 12th man that inspired local hero, Dino Williams, to score the 88th-minute goal that gave the home team the title. Few saw the strategy out of which victory evolved. I have no doubt that the wounded egos of the organisers and administrators of football in this country will guarantee that Mr Powell, and indeed, the team and fans of Montego Bay United, will be sanctioned. However, in my opinion, that will be a very small price to pay for the victory that occurred on Sunday night. To reach the final of the premier football competition in the island three years in a row and to win it twice is not an easy accomplishment. The architects of victory MUST be suitably and amply rewarded. In this regard, local footballers who STAY and play their football here (some eventually getting overseas contracts that improve their game) must be afforded the opportunity of playing for their country, a strategy that will enhance the importance of the local competition in the eyes of the paying public, instead of turning to so-called ‘Plastic’ Jamaicans, whose only allegiance to football in Jamaica is to play in the World Cup. To the Jamaica Football Federation, I say sanction Mr Orville Powell (and MBU) all you want, but understand that the ONLY way to improve local football and to get us back to the World Cup Finals is to invest in local footballers from the time they leave the Under-19 level and stop relying on ‘Plastic’ Jamaicans, who, once we are eliminated from World Cup Qualifying competition, are never heard from again, until …! Well done, MBU. Well done, rural Jamaica. There is indeed good football being played outside of the Corporate Area. VOCAL 12TH MAN Congratulations are in order for Montego Bay United (MBU), for their victory in Sunday’s final of the Red Stripe Premier League. The coach, Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis, and the players deserve victory as they outplayed fellow finalists Portmore United on the field in wet conditions. But what about the input of the real leader of MBU, Orville Powell? In assessing his role in the victory of a franchise that has reached its third final in three years, I am reminded of a quote I read some years ago from a Chinese philosopher, who is best remembered for his book – The Art of War – where he writes about how to subdue the enemy without fighting. Sun Tzu said: “All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.” After winning the competition in 2014 and losing in 2015, Mr Powell realised the importance of the ’12th man’ – the fan support in finals. He got a part of his wish when the administrators of the sport decided to have the final in Montego Bay, the home town of his team. What apparently irked him was the decision of the administrators and the sponsors to have the game played at 4 p.m. on Sunday WITHOUT any input from any member of the MBU hierarchy, who, presumably, knows some-thing about the likes and dislikes of their fans. Mr Powell’s attempts at having the time changed failed. So his Plan B seemed to include how to minimise the support of his adversaries.
The pair will have 70 more racing laps on the track than their fellow Camry drivers, including Vicker’s Red Bull teammate A.J. Allmendinger, who is making the move from Champ Car to NASCAR. Pole qualifying for the 500 is Sunday, which only qualifies the top two cars. The other 41 cars must qualify in the two Gatorade Duel 150-lap races. In addition to the Red Bull team, Michael Waltrip will field a team of himself, Jarrett and David Reutimann, who is stepping up from Toyota’s Craftsman Truck program. Bill Davis will field a team of Dave Blaney and Jeremy Mayfield. Vickers left the Hendrick Motorsports team, which also featured 2006 series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time series champion Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch, under unusual – and maybe contentious – circumstances. Johnson, Gordon and Busch all qualified for the Chase for the championship last year. Vickers didn’t. He finished 15th. It hasn’t been quite the Cup career he expected. He won the 2003 Busch Series title for Hendrick and picked up the third Hendrick car. His first win was last October in a controversial finish at Talladega, Ala. On the final lap on the Superspeedway, he was drafting teammate Johnson, who was making a pass of Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the inside. Vickers and Johnson touched and that sent Johnson into Earnhardt, and they both went spinning. Vickers won the race, to a chorus of boos and controversy. email@example.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2272 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Car owner points come into play in Daytona 500 qualifying, but Gatorade Duel finishes and single-car qualifying play a part, too. It all can lead to a misstep for a first-year team and banishment from the race. Yet, Vickers, 23, was undeterred in switching to an upstart team from Hendrick Motorsports, which sports the series champion. “It’s a very good opportunity to get to the next level,” said Vickers, who is entering his fourth season in Cup. “The move is very big for me. It was time to make a change. “It will be tough going, but Toyota is behind us 100 percent. They are very determined. I think we’ll be disappointed if we don’t do well.” However, Vickers and fellow Toyota driver Dale Jarrett – who is on another team – have one advantage over the other Toyota drivers. Both have earned berths into Saturday’s Bud Shootout at Daytona. Vickers gained the spot by winning a pole at Texas Motor Speedway last year for the Hendrick team. Jarrett earned a spot because he is a past race winner. ANAHEIM – It is quite possible that NASCAR Nextel Cup veteran driver Brian Vickers could be on the outside looking in on next week’s Daytona 500, NASCAR’s most important race of the season. Vickers will be one of seven Toyota drivers trying to qualify for the race this weekend as Toyota makes its Nextel Cup debut. Vickers goes into the event with no assurances, no provisional points or owner’s points to fall back on. He must qualify strictly on getting the pole on Sunday or by Thursday’s performance in the Gatorade Duels. Otherwise, he goes home. In most Cup races, the top 35 cars, based on car-owner points, automatically earn berths into each weekend’s race. Those out of the top 35 must qualify among the fastest 43 speeds and those not among the top 35 in car owner’s points or in the top 43 based on time can use a provisional berth of being a past series champion. Vickers and his Red Bull team don’t have that option.