Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Cowbell vs. Vuvuzela
Posted Jun 20, 2010 by Roger Mooney
Updated Jun 20, 2010 at 03:16 PM
MIAMI This could almost be like the good, old who’s better argument, Superman or Batman?
That is, of course, if Superman and Batman were both annoying noise-makers.
The Rays have made the cowbell as much a part of their home games as flyballs that bounce off catwalks.
The Marlins, for one night anyway, introduced mini vuvuzelas to our national pastime, turning Sun Life Stadium on Saturday night into a Wold Cup venue with fewer fans and far more scoring.
The players hated them. The manager, the coaches, the umpires ... nearly everyone hated them.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said after Saturday’s 9-8, 11-inning win that the horns should be banned. He stuck to those guns Sunday morning.
“Absolutely. That’s ridiculous,” he said. “They’re way too annoying. I mean, there’s cool things and there’s very non-cool things. That’s a non-cool thing.”
- Listen for yourself http://www2.tbo.com/video/2010/jun/19/want-to-hear-loud-44989/video-sports/
Some might say, and some have said, the Rays cowbells are equally annoying and uncool.
“I don’t think the cowbell is nearly as annoying as that,” Maddon said. “I think on the scale of annoying, that would be 10 and the cowbell might be a two or three to certain people.”
Rays fans practice proper cowbell etiquette. In fact, a video plays before the game with the details on when to and when not ring the cowbells.
The Sun Life Stadium PA announcer tried to get the Marlins fans up to speed on vuvuzela etiquette 20 minutes before the start of Saturday’s game, but no one could hear him.
“It’s just annoying. I don’t see any kind of positive impact,” Maddon said of the vuvuzela. “It’s not like it’s a positive for the home team and a negative for the visiting team. If you’re bringing a family to the game and you have kids with you, it could be very detrimental for that family, cause the kids are really rattled by the whole experience. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
On Sunday, Marlins team president David Samson called the promotion a success.
“It was absolutely outstanding,” he told reporters who cover the Marlins. “I got two e-mails from older people and we moved their seats because it was loud. To give you an idea, that is the least number of e-mails for things that go on during the course of a game that you could possibly have.”
The mini vuvuzela were banned for the ball park Sunday, as per the stadium noise policy that also bans cowbells.