Are Vuvuzela Players Actually Rooting for Anything?

People obviously like vuvuzelas, but are they really doing anything other than hurting their hearing?


Last week I tried to figure out the reasons why I can’t get into watching soccer—at least between teams other than the US. If my country is involved I’ll root for us in a paint drying competition, which would arguably be less exciting than soccer.

One of the things that I didn’t mention were those vuvuzela horns that 96% the continent must own. Perhaps BP should consider selling their oil to the companies that make these things, because they won’t be selling much at the pump.

I can’t really blame these horns for making soccer boring, that wouldn’t be fair. What I think I have figured out, however, is why they drive people nuts.

I know that they’re another cultural thing that I don’t understand as an American in a soccer-crazed world and I don’t wish to offend anyone, but maybe someone could explain this to me: What is their purpose?

I turned on a game yesterday between Honduras and Switzerland and they were as loud as the game between Chile and Spain. They obviously aren’t limited to one country’s supporters, as they did originate in South Africa (last week Wikipedia said it was Mexico, but these things change apparently). Most of them are produced in Asia.

So say it is just a South African tradition and due to the World Cup’s location there are likely to be South African people at every game. Even if that is true, the buzz is constant. The volume does not fluctuate along with the action or even seem to take notice that there is a game being played.

They are not blown louder when one team or the other has the ball or doesn’t have the ball or makes a big save or scores a goal. They aren’t cheering anyone on via horn, they aren’t booing anyone via horn.

But isn’t it the same in American sports except we use our voices, and these fans are only amplifying the sound their bodies can produce by using an instrument? No, it isn’t.

When you go to an (American) football game people obviously yell, but there is a point to it. They get louder when the other team has the ball, they get quiet when their team has the ball. They’re literally part of the game—there isn’t a passionate fan base out there that hasn’t gotten their opponents to go offside due to their volume.

Maybe there are vuvuzela players out there that have forced a player offside by giving him a headache—unfortunately for them the refs can’t seem to get that kind of stuff right anyway.

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