Why my esteemed colleague is totally wrong about the vuvuzela controversy

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Oh, come ON, Glen! Complaints about the vuvuzelas are not, as you suggest, “ridiculous fuss.” And your arch response (hold all Cups in Europe) is disingenuous. It suggests all non-European Cups have featured vuvuzelas, which is patently untrue. And it implies that European tournaments are quiet, decorous affairs – also untrue.

Understand that we’re not complaining about noise. Noise is good. Noise conveys excitement. Noise is fun. Noise is central to the enjoyment of sport.

But for it to be enjoyable, noise levels have to rise and fall with the ebb and flow of a game. They have to reflect the changing mood of the spectators, which is then transmitted to those unfortunates like myself who are obliged to watch on TV.

The trouble with those horns is not that they’re loud. It’s that they are monotonous. They don’t convey any particular emotion. Perhaps things are different at the stadium, I don’t know. But for those of us watching at home, there’s 90 minutes (plus time added on) of uninflected, toneless sound. The level never rises or falls. It’s impossible to judge the mood of the stadium, and that affects our enjoyment of the game.

In short, it’s a valid complaint.