Jamaica will host the United States on Friday at Kingston's National Stadium, a place the locals refer to affectionately as The Office. Maybe, though, they should just call it The Joint.
Yeah, the (admittedly poor) pun was intended. We're talking about that kind of joint.
As the U.S. prepares for Friday's match, a story about Jamaica's home stadium has been making the rounds on the blogosphere. The story originally appeared at Tropigol.com and was first cited by Dirty Tackle.
In the Tropigol story, Jamaican winger Dane Richards (who plays professionally in MLS for the Vancouver Whitecaps) joked around about Jamaica's home-field advantage at
The Office The Joint. Over the years, the U.S. has compiled an 0-0-4 record there.
The reason? Pot, of course.
That atmosphere can be a bit intimidating and quite unique for international sports since there’s the pungent scent of marijuana that has been known to permeate from the crowd. During the 2001 World Cup qualifiers, U.S. players said they could smell the drug as a cloud of smoke hovered over the crowd on a sunny Saturday June afternoon.
“They say when they come there, they smell marijuana,” Richards said.
Then the Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder jokingly added: “We get them high and then we try to beat them. It’s a really good atmosphere.”
Marijuana, as you might already know, has deep roots in Jamaica. The plant plays a major role in the Rastafari movement, and thanks to legendary reggae singer Bob Marley, the Rastafari movement is one of Jamaica's most famous exports.
Even so, the plant is illegal in Jamaica, even though it may or may not be rather widespread in the country.
That didn't stop the home fans from creating a pot-infused atmosphere during that 2001 qualifier between the Reggae Boyz and the U.S., at least as far as the legend goes. Decide for yourself: Video from that match appears above.
Regardless of whether or not there's actually pot in the air this weekend at The Joint, it's probably a good thing Iker Casillas and his neon Cheeto Real Madrid kit aren't in the stadium.
That might have just sparked a mid-match run on the concession stand.