The big news out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa wasn’t rivalry, it was horn blowing. Tens of thousands of football (a.k.a soccer) fans in South Africa caused a media frenzy across the globe, when their excessive vuvuzela blowing was too much for television viewers to stomach. Complaints to TV networks flew in at alarming numbers, requesting that broadcasters stop the annoying horn blowing.
FIFA was right to denounce the critics and support the local fans and home country, even though the horn blowing was disruptive to the global television audience and sounded like a gigantic swarm of bees. FIFA’s President Sepp Blatter was quoted as saying that African fans have a “different rhythm and sound,” and didn’t see banning the music traditions of fans in their own country. A bold move no doubt when there are billions of dollars in advertising revenue at sake, not to mention a threat to a very important global TV audience.
The vuvuzela controversy came and went just as quickly as the 2010 World Cup will exit under the limelight, especially here in the U.S., until it resurfaces again in 2014, when Brazil will be the host country. Aside from recent news of switching venues in Sao Paulo, there’s not that much hullabaloo happening, yet.
Soccer fans should be thankful for vuvuzelas. These suddenly infamous plastic horns brought some badly needed attention to the passion of soccer, which exists most prominently outside of America. The sport here in the U.S. among youth recently has been losing some steam or maybe hit a saturation point, as the number of registered players has dropped.
It’s hard to compete with events like the NBA Finals and the U.S. Open Golf Championship, which happened to run during the World Cup. Baseball season also is in full swing, adding to the competitive landscape of American viewers. Many people have opinions on the future of soccer in the U.S. Right now, it doesn’t look like the United Sates will make it to the round of 16 during the World Cup, siphoning off fans. Where are those horns when you need them?