Wednesday, July 29, 2009

FIFA Signs Off on Controversial Horns for 2010

They are called vuvuzelas, and they are the audio cockroaches of stadium sports.

If you watched any of the Confederations Cup, played in South Africa last month, you couldn't escape them. Unless you had the audio on "mute."

The vuvuzela is a plastic horn that South African soccer fans apparently love. They're cheap (actually, they were given away free during the Confederations Cup), and disposable, and they make quite a racket when someone blows into the mouthpiece.

Get enough of them together, and a whole stadium sounds like it has been infested with hornets. A vuvuzela produces a sort of buzzing drone, rather than some trumpet-like bray.

Some people hate them. European broadcasters and players, in particular ... who said, during the Confederations Cup, that vuvuzelas were a sort of aural pollution that screwed up TV broadcasts and made it hard for players to communicate on the field.

There was hope, in some quarters, that vuvuzelas would be banned at the 2010 World Cup, but FIFA has signed off on vuvuzela sales and usage in stadiums. And that means that endless drone will be the official background "music" to the 2010 World Cup.

I don't have a major problem with this. I can't tell you exactly which American venues use these (or used to), but I am almost certain there are some baseball or football stadiums in this country that have had variations of the same one-note instrument blaring at us.

Eventually, it becomes a sort of white noise ... something you don't really hear unless someone mentions it.

As a FIFA spokesman put it, banning the vuvuzela would be something like banning cowbells at Switzerland games or singing at England games. The vuvuzela is what South Africans do.

The teams that succeed will be those who make a point of not spending any mental energy worrying about this.

1 comment:

  1. they should of signed with Blast Horns