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Eric Peterson, Published June 15 2010

World Cup: Local enthusiasts say vuvuzelas should stay

Vuvuzela overuse annoys Jim Cella, but the former Concordia men’s soccer head coach doesn’t think the horns should be banned from the World Cup.

“That’s all you can hear is those 25-cent horns,” said Cella, who is now the sports information director at Concordia.

“Those are the type of horns I would take away from my kids and say, ‘No, you can’t play with that.’”

The constant blare from the elongated plastic horns has some who are watching on television wanting to hit the mute button.

Cella said his 14-year-old son Joe Max Cella, named after former American soccer forward Joe-Max Moore, has even grown tired of the continual vuvuzela buzz.

“When we were watching Italy-Paraguay he turned to me and said, ‘Dad, those are annoying,’” said Cella, who has been to roughly 10 international soccer matches, including one at the 1994 World Cup, which was in the United States.

Yet, Cella doesn’t think anything can or should be done about the horns.

“They have always had them in soccer,” Cella said. “It’s not something new to this World Cup, it’s just to the extent that they have taken them. … It does give it an atmosphere when there are not as many people there.”

Concordia men’s and women’s soccer coach Dan Weiler said the vuvuzelas don’t bother him.

“I’ve heard from a lot of other people they are pretty annoyed by them. I kind of like them,” Weiler said. “Just from an atmosphere point of view, I would rather see the crowd excited and into it. You certainly notice it, but for me it’s just background for the match. … If I was at the match and I had 30 or 40 people around me with a horn that may switch me to the other direction.”

Joe Larson, an assistant coach at Concordia, played professional soccer in the U.S. for five years.

Like Weiler, Larson thinks the horns are part of the experience.

“It can be annoying, but I understand the uniqueness of the World Cup,” Larson said. “I’d say just let it go. That will be something that would be remembered for South Africa. It’s their first World Cup. Each World Cup usually has something that it’s remembered for. It’s part of the culture.”

Players have complained that the vuvuzelas make it harder to communicate on the field. Larson doesn’t buy that argument.

“These players play in stadiums where you can’t hear people five feet away from them,” Larson said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com