The Sound that’s Ruining the World Cup: the Vuvuzela
United States: Jeez…I don’t know. It’s not lacrosse, is it?
World: No, no, it’s much better than that. More exciting. The most exciting sport in the world!
United States: Oh, you mean basketball. We love basktba–
World: Not basketball. It’s like basketball, except it’s played with your feet!!!
United States: Oh boy, not this again…
World: It’s Football! I mean…It’s Soccer!
United States: You know you’ve tried to sell us on soccer before. Like, constantly.
World: Yeah, but it’s better now. It’s the World Cup! And you’ve got your own team playing! Trust me, you’ve got to watch!
United States: You use a lot of exclamation points when you t-
World: So will you watch?! Will ya?! Will ya?! Soccer!
United States: Alright, we’ll give it a try. But this is the last time.
World: Great! Absolutely great! You won’t regret it.
World: Oh, one more thing.
United States: …Yes?
World: During the games, during all the games, at all times, the fans are gonna blow this horn. It’s called the vuvuzela, and holy christmas is it annoying. It’s basically the most annoying sound you’ve ever heard. Like a bee got stuck in your head and he’s shooting lasers at your brain. So that’ll be happening. Along with the soccer.
United States: Kill me now.
That basically sums up the World Cup experience, wouldn’t you say? This Saturday, I, along with no doubt countless other Americans, was cajoled into watching the World Cup. Not by any one person necessarily, but by the universe. “The rest of mankind likes soccer, why don’t you?” the universe asked. In that obnoxious tone that the universe gets when it thinks it knows everything. So I watched. And what was my reward? Two hours of soccer that had two entire goals scored, ended in a tie, and was set to the sound of charging elephants. Thanks, universe. You sure were right about soccer.
If you haven’t experienced the South African horn known as the vuvuzela (English translation: plastic migraine machine), and for some reason want to, watch this.
So…murder suicide pact, anyone? Turns out the vuvuzela has been studied by scientists, and when played by experts (i.e. a-holes), it can reach 130 decibels, which is 10 decibels above the human pain threshold. Oh, and they’ve been linked to multiple cases of hearing loss and ear injury. But they’re totally worth it because the sound provides so much added value to the games and soccer in general, right?
Fortunately, thankfully, the World Cup has discussed banning the vuvuzela, mostly because it’s incredibly annoying. At this time however, even though the athletes say it’s interfering with their play, this looks unlikely. In fact, the instrument is spreading. Like malaria. There is now vuvuzela art, a vuvuzela twitter feed (every tweet: bzzzz zzzzz. Yeah, seriously), and of course a vuvuzela iPhone app. I guess that will have to do until Apple releases that “Garbage Truck at 5 am after a long night of drinking” application that everyone is clamoring for.
But seriously soccer, what’s the deal? You know your sport is a tough sell in the United States. There’s a lot of running and very little scoring. You frequently have ties. When a player does something wrong he’s handed an aggressively colored index card. That’s not our kinda sport. But you have a real chance right now, a nice envelope of time when the NBA is finishing up and baseball is barely going when the World Cup could take over. And what do you do? You take that envelope, roll it up into a tight, obnoxious little horn, and blow directly into our national ears. Soccer is like a Trojan Horse, except instead of Greeks soldiers, it’s filled with the worst sound ever created.
Not cool, soccer. Not cool. Figure this out, or we’re done with the World Cup for good.