There was this joke in the 1990s … old Russian guy goes to a café, orders a cup of coffee and a copy of Pravda.
“Excuse me, sir,” says the waiter, “but they don’t print that anymore.”
“All right then,” says the guy. “Cup of coffee and a copy of Pravda.”
“Sir, they don’t print Pravda anymore.”
“Okay, a copy of Pravda.”
The waiter loses it: “They do not print Pravda anymore.”
“Oh, I know,” says the customer. “I just like to hear that.”
In this spirit, then, though you may have heard it already: “FIBA has announced that it is to ban the vuvuzela from the forthcoming basketball World Championship in Turkey because of…” (please excuse BiE for some snickering at the next bit) “health concerns.”
Clearly FIBA and the world’s sporting authorities are fearing an epidemic of throat-rupturing as was seen during this year’s World Cup.
FIBA Secretary-General Patrick Baumann went all concerned surgeon general in a press release, stating, “The vuvuzela is simply not appropriate in a confined space such as a basketball arena. It’s a very loud instrument and some medical experts believe the decibel level and frequency can be harmful to hearing.”
Kudos to FIBA for becoming “the first international sport federation to officially ban the vuvuzela from all of its events” and R.I.P. in advance to one of the silliest fan traditions in recent memory. And just for old time’s sake, “Blow That Vuvuzela” by the Voodoo Sellers!