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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

Quit whining and watch the game



Horn A week ago, no one on this side of the Atlantic Ocean knew what a vuvuzela was. Now most Americans want the things banned from the planet. If you watched any of the World Cup, you definitely know what a vuvuzela is. It's the 3-foot plastic horn that, when played in unison with thousands of other vuvuzelas, sounds like a swarm of bees -- and the swarm sounds as big as Rhode Island. My e-mail inbox has been flooded with e-mails from those complaining about the noise, about how they can't hear the announcers, about how it's ruining the experience of World Cup. In South Africa, there has even been talk about banning the horns. The BBC is thinking of filtering the noise out of its broadcasts.

My take? Stop your bellyaching. Quit your whining. Get over it! This is what they do in South Africa. They blow vuvuzelas. It's their tradition. When you get a World Cup, you get to do what you want. How arrogant do you have to be to suggest South Africa stop doing something that they've always done? It's like other countries coming to the Super Bowl and telling us we shouldn't clap or yell because they don't care for it.

This talk of vuvuzelas leads me to two other notes. First, click here to see just how loud those things are. It's almost as loud as firearms and a jackhammer and louder than jet takeoff and a chainsaw. Meantime, another Web site -- -- came up with its list of the seven most annoying fan "props'' used at sporting events. I'd link to it but the site is just a tad Not Safe For Work. The list, however, is excellent and includes our dreaded Tampa Bay Rays cowbell. About the cowbell, Guyism writes:

Cowbell A staple of many college football stadiums, the Cowbell actually serves a good purpose as a way to organize fan chants. But in the hands of a child, it is a weapon of mass destruction. The constant ringing of the bell makes you want to seek out members of the Blue Oyster Cult and club them over the head with it. A sporting event is definitely one of those times where we don't need "More Cowbell.''

Also making the list: the foam finger, air horns, thundersticks, the Cleveland Indians' drum, masks and, of course, the vuvuzela.

[Last modified: Thursday, July 8, 2010 3:17pm]


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