Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The BBC is apparently looking at streaming a vuvuzela-less World Cup via the red button. I can see this muted alternate reality being very appealing for the more soporific games. The first round matches of the group stage are always the worst (apart from the final) because nobody dares to lose, there are too many sendings off and the ball is always a crossbar-clearing balloon created by Adidas who for some reason see weightlessness as the endgame of ball innovation. Vuvuzelas are a new distraction, at least. Lionel Messi says that playing amongst them is like being deaf. Only the Germans, such as Worm’s wife, aren’t complaining, having thus far been the one side apart from South Korea to play well. Jamie Carragher says this is because they have a sneaky advantage having practiced with the Adidas balloon in the Bundesliga last season. The other explanation for the Germans playing unexpectedly well is, of course, that they are Germans. Apart from regularly beating us on penalties the most dastardly thing the Germans have done since 1945 is to adopt Three Lions as a terrace chant. In a packed pub garden on Saturday evening, an hour before kick-off, my friends and I agreed that Three Lions is bloody fantastic football song to sing, which it is. Watching England games in pubs also means that the noise levels are so high anyway that you can’t hear the vuvuzelas and there is no need to push the red button. English fans in South Africa are complaining that the vuvuzela drone drowns out all their singing. On the other hand, if we’d had vuvuzelas at Euro 96 the Germans would never have been able to adopt Three Lions, so it’s all relative.