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June 19, 2009

What's that sound? joehead nation has the answer


Yesterday's post about the constant loud buzzing noise coming out of my TV during ESPN2's broadcast of the Brazil v USA soccer game, wondering why it seemed there was a swarm of bees inside my speakers, elicited in very short order comments from readers Harry Rutherford and MAO regarding the source of the commotion.

Long story short: Blame it on the vuvuzelas.

More here, in a story in Frankfurter Rundschau.

Oh, sorry, I almost forgot: your German's not very good anymore.

My bad.

Here are excerpts from Anders Wollek's June 17, 2009 article in runofplay.com headlined "Notes from South Africa: The Forbidden Vuvuzela."


Some of the stadiums have not been particularly full so far in the tournament, but the crowd of around 30,000 at Loftus Versfeld was lively and up for the match. Despite the sign, fans were not—to put it mildly—deterred from bringing their vuvuzelas. Depending on your view, these nasal horns are either endearing as part of the local soccer culture or incredibly and incessantly annoying. The noise of the horns carries over onto the television, where it's rendered as a more or less perpetual buzz.

Indeed, people who are watching the games from TV have written me to ask about the noise: "What the hell is the continuous droning sound?" wrote one of my friends who was aggravated by the fact that the vuvuzelas blare at a constant volume, whether somebody has scored, it's halftime, or absolutely nothing is going on.

The vuvuzela outcry is mainly coming from those, like my friend, who are watching the tournament abroad. In the stadium, the fans love them. It's one of those things you bemoan until you actually are able to try it: think laser pointer. On TV the horns conflict with the commentary, among other things, but in the ground the ambient noise is part of the atmosphere. It is undoubtedly less abrasive in person than it is via satellite.

Somebody blew one about three feet from my face as I was rushing around the stadium during the pre-game, and I cursed the thing as my ears rang. Later, though, I enjoyed watching a few guys near my section take turns surprising other members of their group with vuvuzela blasts from incredibly close range. When in Rome, I guess.

June 19, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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