2010 Sports Punchline Honoree: Vuvuzela

Taking a look at the biggest sports punchlines of 2010…

Every four years the World Cup is held and serves as a celebration of the sport by billions around the world. It's also a high-profile opportunity to win over the unconverted.

That's what happens at most World Cups.

Whereas the 2010 World Cup was mainly about loud, plastic horns. We learned that these annoying noisemakers — called vuvuzelas — were an African tradition. You see, hundreds of years ago when the continent was still filled by warring tribes, the vuvuzela was blown when a tribe's territory was breached. The sound of the vuvuzela would annoy the invaders away and peace would be restored. (Why were they being invaded in the first place? Probably in hopes of learning how to make plastic centuries before it was developed in the West.)

Fast-forward to the Summer of 2010 and South Africans chose to celebrate their annoying plastic horn heritage at the World Cup. And while it was indeed quite annoying, it also united the world in the hatred of the vuvuzela in a way soccer never has.

For one month this summer we truly became one world. One world holding our ears.

And while it was a magical time, I think we all hope that the vuvuzelas will go away forever and that we can again enjoy the true soundtrack of international soccer: hate-filled, racist, xenophobic, nationalistic chanting interspersed with gasps from the crowd as a player misses a shot.

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