If you’re like The Shad, your US v. England World Cup match viewing experience was ruined by an obnoxious and seemingly constant horn sound in the stadium. That, combined with a TV director that insisted on showing England’s coach like CBS shows Tiger Woods, ruined the first significant US soccer game.
The horn or more accurately, trumpet, is called a vuvuzela. The vuvuzela is the loudest of all fan instruments and can cause permanent hearing loss, a global hearing foundation said.
According to Reuters, soccer governing body FIFA approved the vuvuzela for the tournament after organizers did tests at a match at Johannesburg’s 95,000-seater Soccer City due to worries the din could drown out emergency announcements.
The Hear the World Foundation—an initiative formed by Swiss hearing products group Phonak to raise awareness about hearing loss—said tests showed it produced a dangerously loud sound, far out-blasting a chainsaw. The tests, conducted late last month in a sound-proof studio, found the vuvuzela emitted 127 decibels, more than the air horn (123.5 decibels) and the Brazil’s samba drums, Reuters reported.
A referee’s whistle was fourth while the cowbell, a favored in Switzerland and Austria, trailed at 114.9 decibels.
Instead of, “The sun was in my eyes” (he was looking down), perhaps English goalkeeper Robert Green could have explained his colossal blunder giving the US the tying goal, by saying, “The vuvuzela was in my ears!”