Folks, it's time to shut up about those stupid African trumpets already:
The constant drone of cheap and tuneless plastic horns is killing the atmosphere at the World Cup.
Where are loud choruses of "Oooohhhs" from enthralled crowds when a shot scorches just wide of the goalpost? And the sharp communal intake of breath, the shrill "Aaahhhhss," when a goalkeeper makes an acrobatic, match-winning save? Or the humorous/moving/offensive football chants and songs?
Mostly, they're being drowned out by the unrelenting water-torture beehive hummmmmmmmmmm of South African vuvuzela trumpets. Damn them. They are stripping World Cup 2010 of football's aural artistry.
Due respect to the author of the piece, but I'm hearing plenty of volume changes and "Ooohs" and "Aaahs" in this year's Cup. Maybe I'm alone.
But whatever. I'll allow that those dumb horns might be annoying, perhaps even distracting to those trying to enjoy the World Cup, but it's far from the most obnoxious thing plaguing today's sports spectator. For example:
Is it the utter absence of a sense of humor? Maybe it's the incessant fellating of teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, even when they're not actually playing the game being broadcast? Or is it the laughable moral posturing? Perhaps the most insufferable member of the Lucky Sperm Club not named Jakob Dylan, Buck is merely one of the myriad reasons not to watch any Fox sports broadcast.
The other is Tim McCarver.
Guys Who Yell, "Get in the hole!"
No, I get it. It's funny. It's like yelling "Freebird!" at...every concert you attend. Even those not featuring one of the seven bands calling itself Lynyrd Skynyrd. Congratulations, you've turned a perfectly good excuse for taking a nap in front of the TV into the sporting world's equivalent of a night on Washington Avenue.
Texas A&M's "Score when they score"
I respect tradition, but according to the actual Texas A&M page, this doesn't qualify. That doesn't stop Fox Sports Southwest or ESPN from swinging their cameras into the student section any time the Aggies kick a field goal so they can show some nerd with a buzz cut mashing lips with his suddenly regretful high school sweetheart. Fortunately for all of us, A&M's recent football fortunes have lessened our exposure to this.
Kidding aside, I actually feel pretty bad for this dude.
Should Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2" be banned from sporting events (as the NFL has already done) because of his child pornography and child sex abuse convictions? Probably, but rather than concern ourselves with moral equivalency problems by trying to decide what other artists of questionable repute should be excluded, can we just get rid of the whole tradition of filling every spare second of down time at sporting events with "Crazy Train," "We Will Rock You," and "Thunderstruck?" Some of us are actually comfortable being able to hear our own thoughts.
Chicago Cubs Fans
There are, empirically, more obnoxious fanbases in sports (Duke basketball, the Dallas Cowboys, any New York baseball franchise), but all of them have actually won something in the last 100 years.