This morning, around 9 a.m., I woke up so I could lay in bed half-asleep and listen to the World Cup game between Cameroon and Japan. I didn’t need to watch it, but I wanted to just listen to it. What’s great about the World Cup is the commentators are so good that you often don’t have to watch the screen to know what’s going on. And that, in this day in age, is a special quality in TV sports commentators these days. I also want to take this moment to point out that the British have a much greater command of the English language than Americans do. Martin Tyler, anyone?
I’m digressing though. I have a bit of a head cold so I woke up with kind of a headache. It took about two minutes of listening to the game and the ear-piercing background noise that is the vuvuzelas for me to turn the channel.
This cat’s got the right idea. Somebody get him to a stadium.
These things have to be stopped. Reports for South Africa say these cheap, plastic trumpet-like instruments make have a decibel level of 130. The human pain threshold is 120 decibels. But, because FIFA has declared the vuvuzelas culturally significant to the World Cup experience, they’ll more than likely be staying. Nonetheless, just about every journalist in South Africa for the World Cup is calling for the muffling of these horns that make stadiums sound more like hornet nests. (Note: the last link is my favorite and is a perfectly stated argument for the banning of the vuvuzela.)
Still there are some, like my old friend Michael Klinski, a soccer nut and the assistant sports editor of the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, who argues that it’s too late to resolve the issue since games have already been played and that FIFA had their chance to pull the horns out of the hands of fans last summer during the Confederations Cup.
I agree with him in a sense. Yes, the powers that be should have enforced a ban much earlier since they knew this could be a nuisance and could cause worldwide disdain. But, they didn’t. It’s a classic you-made-your-bed-so-sleep-in-it situation. But, when that bed is made of nails surrounded by an incessant drone that would make even the surliest terrorist start talking, then maybe somebody needs to do something about it.
Update: Martin Rogers over at Yahoo, where I get most of my World Cup news because he’s really good, is reporting that a sourcethe vuvuzelas may be gone for the knockout stage of the tournament. I say get rid of them after everyone has played one game. That’d be fair and a quick resolution. I don’t think I can take two more weeks of this.