Meet The Vuvuzela: That Deafening Drone Of World Cup Soccer

Thursday, June 17th 2010, 3:35 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

The vuvuzela.

It's the source of the deafening drone that's become the unofficial soundtrack to the World Cup. Players have complained about it, and some fans find it hard to watch the games on TV.

I'm fascinated by that buzzing noise and went searching for it in Tulsa.

The culprit is called a vuvuzela. It's nothing more than a plastic horn, but it's very popular in South Africa. Today we're going to find out what Tulsans think about it.

It's loud and turns heads.

Dan Bewley: What do you think of that?
Passerby: "It's cool, man."

Audiologists say a vuvuzela can reach as much as 127 decibels which is actually louder than a lawn mower, a jackhammer, even a jet airplane when it takes off. Which might explain why soccer fans - outside of South Africa - are tired of the buzzing.

Al Bell is with the Tulsa United Soccer Club.

Al Bell: "So you watching the World Cup?"
Dan Bewley: "Oh yeah. Have you seen these things or hear these things?"
Al Bell: "Oh God, they're annoying."
Dan Bewley: "You don't like them?"
Al Bell: "Well, it's kind of hard to watch the game when that's all you hear."

Our next stop is Soccer USA where Fabiola Mejia is a fan.

"That's what makes the World Cup good. It makes it cool, you know," she said.

Store owner Ali Adibi was a sport and gave it a shot. It is harder than it looks, and Ali says he can tolerate it for only so long.

"I think it's annoying, but if people like them - people like them," said Soccer USA owner Ali Adibi.

Alright, so there's only one more place to try this thing out: The News On 6 newsroom.

Needless to say, not many co-workers were happy to see us.

In the end, I learned the best place to play: in a field, all by yourself.

I didn't find anyone selling vuvuzelas in Tulsa; right now you can only order them online.

But Ali Adibi at Soccer USA says he hopes to have some in stock early next week.