BRI-MATHIAS HODGE - Thursday, June 18, 2009
Dear Sepp Blatter,

Please move the World Cup. No this isn't a complaint about stadiums not being ready or South Africa not containing the proper transportation infrastructure to host an event of this magnitude.

It is about something far more important, namely the sanity of the rest of the world.

During the first two games of the Confederations Cup we have been introduced to a constant drone from horns, or vuvuzelas as they are known locally.

If you refuse to move the Cup, you need to at least ban these horns from the games for the medical wellbeing of the planet.

Trust me. I'm a doctor.

Okay, I'm not really a doctor, but I will be in a year or so.

Okay, okay, it's a Ph.D. not an M.D., indulge me, I've just always wanted to say that.

I know that you want to celebrate local culture in the World Cup and maybe you think that the horns will help the South African people spread their customs. But, Sepp, you didn't let the Germans have Schlager bands inside the stadiums in 2006, and trust me, the whole world is grateful for that.

Some things just don't cross cultural boundaries, like David Hasselhoff singing. Or pickled herring. Or Salmiakki.

The vuvuzelas fall into this category as well.

I'm all for South Africans rooting on their Bafana Bafana, but can't they come up with something more creative than those mindless aural weapons of mass destruction?

Seriously Sepp, I've been developing headaches after watching the Confederation's Cup games. Though to be fair they might be from repeatedly slamming my head in a car door in order to get the image of DaMarcus Beasley somehow turning a short corner into a Brazil goal out of my head.

The constant buzz from the horns was so great that I can barely hear the ESPN studio team from their perch in Bristol. Think of all the important knowledge we might gain if we ban the horns and can actually hear the announcers. Like JP Dellacamera helpfully reminding us that we remember Gianluca Zambrotta from the "Zidane Incident". Little known fact: Zambrotta was also the second gunman on the grassy knoll. He also was the guy in the suit playing "Neil Armstrong" when they faked the moon landing. Quite a career the guy has had. Part of the three biggest conspiracies of the last 50 years AND he's played for Juventus, Barcelona and AC Milan. A regular polymath!

I know what you're really thinking: maybe the horrible cacophony of the horns will make the TV viewers believe that there are many more fans in the stands than empty seats. It doesn't work. Ask the New York Red Bulls about that one, buddy.

Now Sepp, I have a great respect for your linguistic abilities after seeing you remove a translator from a press conference for not getting every single word of your 15 minute diatribe exactly in the same order from English to Spanish. But I must warn you don't try to hold your press conferences in Xhosa, you'll never get the clicks right. Stick to English in South Africa, maybe pick up some Afrikaans. It's just funny Dutch, I'm sure you can handle that. Because of my great respect for your linguistic capabilities I am going to emulate you and travel the world repeating the same thing over and over in different languages until you finally accept it.

Herr Blatter, bitte die Hupen verbieten.

Meneer Blatter verbied de hoorns alstublieft.

Senor Blatter, prohibir los claxones por favor.

Mr. Blatter, please ban the horns.
David (UK)
Friday June 11, 2010 5:17 pm
I'm sorry, but all of you advocating the horns are just plain short sighted. The horns being annoying is one thing, and the fact that they cause damage to the ear is another thing, and the fact that they drown out the commentary teams is another thing ... but any of you who have ever been to a REAL football/soccer match will understand the greatest thing in any match is the SINGING FROM THE FANS. That my friends, is atmosphere, not drowning out any chant or song with a monotone noise maker. I have no respect for any so called football fan that doesn't get that.
Tuesday June 30, 2009 3:04 am
please ban these horns they drive me crazy it's so annoying.
Thursday June 25, 2009 1:43 am
Really? This is what you call journalism? One big whine? I love the horns, shows spirit, unlike the deadbeat American crowds. Are you also offended by people who stand at sporting events? Give it a rest, it's just fans getting into the game, a rarity in US sports.
Tuesday June 23, 2009 11:28 am
Let them use the horns in South Africa's WC games, ban them in all of the others. Its almost as bad as the incessant cowbell ringing utilized by Portsmouth supporters.

And isn't there precedent for this? Weren't "thundersticks" banned after Japan/SK?
Monday June 22, 2009 9:54 am
I couldn't disagree more.
Save the horns!!!!
Look they're a little annoying, OK REALLY annoying. But so what?!
It's part of the flair of having the world cup in Africa. Just deal with it. If it really bothers you that much, put on some noise canceling headphones. The constant drone of the vuvuzelas is exactly the kind of thing they are made for.
More importantly it's the principle of it. Should skiing ban cowbells? Or MLB ban organs at stadiums?
Leave them alone.
Sunday June 21, 2009 9:58 am
And you folks would prefer the roaring silence that transpires at USA home matches? (at least in regards to the 'Nat's.)
To me, it's 6 of one, half dozen of the other.
Saturday June 20, 2009 10:39 pm
I agree so much, well put!
Saturday June 20, 2009 7:40 pm
I 2nd this motion as well. I also was laughing when JP misremembered (as Roger Clemens would say) Zidane's incident with "Zambrotta".
Saturday June 20, 2009 5:23 pm
"Seriously Sepp, I've been developing headaches after watching the Confederation's Cup games. Though to be fair they might be from repeatedly slamming my head in a car door in order to get the image of DaMarcus Beasley somehow turning a short corner into a Brazil goal out of my head."

Well said my friend.

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