Open Soccer Thread: Alas, Poor Caxirola

(Warning: vuvuzelas begin at 0:19!)
The Washington Post has what looks to be quite a comprehensive guide to streaming the World Cup (also a link to the complete TV schedule, and links to the Google & Outlook calendars Reddit users have written to make sure you don’t miss a match).

If you are watching at home (or possibly in your local bar) you can use your official FIFA World Cup caxirola. But you can’t bring them to the matches, per the New Yorker’s Ian Crouch:

[T]he Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown proposed an alternative noisemaker to the vuvuzela for his country’s turn as the host of the World Cup, which begins next week. Last year, Brown unveiled a brightly colored plastic rattle that he called the caxirola, named after the caxixi, a traditional Brazilian woven instrument filled with seeds. The mass-produced plastic version lacked its inspiration’s charm, but it had a few things going for it. Researchers found that the caxirola produced a decibel level significantly lower than the vuvuzela’s. Played together, caxirolas indeed made a joyful, mostly pleasant noise, percussive rather than droning like the South African horns. And like the vuvuzela, it’s fun to say: ka-shee-role-ah

… A year ahead of the World Cup, the caxirola was a newer, better vuvuzela.

Until Brazilian soccer fans got their hands on them, that is…

31 replies
  1. 1
    raven says:

    Amir Khalid recommended “Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics” to help me have a better understanding of the game. I’m still working on it but I am struck by the rich history of a game that I know little about but enjoy just the same.

  2. 2

    @raven: Unlike cricket or baseball, the rules are simple to follow.

  3. 3
    raven says:

    Crap, the schedule was unreadable on the iPhone this morning and I thought UK v Italy was Friday. Now we have tickets to a local production of Steel Magnolias on Saturday during the game!

  4. 4

    Not soccer related but David Brooks deserves a kick or a punch. Skeptical Kitteh is not buying his bs claims he is promoting to end income inequality.

  5. 5
    raven says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: This is tactics not rules.

  6. 6
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:


    If you’re looking to get into the aesthetics of the game rather than the Xes and Os, look for a copy of Bloody Confused by Chuck Culpepper.

  7. 7
    catclub says:

    it’s fun to say: ka-shee-role-ah…

    almost as much fun as caipirinha (sp?)

  8. 8
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    In the video, it sounds like they’re pounding out the beat to this– samba style. I don’t mind that.

  9. 9
    ArchTeryx says:

    Hey, ANYTHING would be improvement over the Death Horns, and sure enough, the caxirola is. I can’t see how even Brazilian soccer fans could make them a tenth as obnoxious as the Death Horns.

  10. 10
    boatboy_srq says:

    I read the link as “the steaming World Cup” – which, given how unhappy most Brazilians seem with the event wouldn’t be an especially inappropriate way to describe it.

  11. 11
    jibeaux says:

    Soccer bores me to tears, but I’m going to claim it’s my principled opposition to FIFA as laid out by John Oliver causing my boycott.

  12. 12
    ArchTeryx says:

    Upon reading the article, I have to say that it’s supremely ironic: the caxirola gets banned from the World Cup (despite being its official noisemaker)…but the Death Horns weren’t?

    You couldn’t invent a better farce with a gaggle of monkeys at a circus.

  13. 13
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:


    FIFA. Nuff said.

  14. 14
    Trollhattan says:

    That was really something. Love how they forced Brazil to pass the special Budweiser law.

  15. 15
    Steeplejack says:

    Still my favorite soccer ad—Brazilian team at the airport. Bonus bossa nova beat.

    Can’t wait for the games to begin.

  16. 16
    Haydnseek says:

    Here’s our chance to put into practice Lou Reed’s thought experiment. Give ’em all a cheap-ass Stratocaster knock-off and an amp, and let everybody hit an “E” chord at the same time………..

  17. 17
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: A kick or a punch? Why not both?

  18. 18
    Thlayli says:


    That’s one of the three books I recommend to people new to the game. The other two are David Goldblatt’s The Ball is Round (Warning: it’s a 1000-pager) and Simon Kuper’s Football Against the Enemy.

  19. 19
    Haydnseek says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Couldn’t agree more. Informative, genuinely entertaining, and at times very funny.

  20. 20

    @Just One More Canuck: Why not indeed. I can’t stand his smug mug on the Snooze Hour. Jowly Shields is no match for Uriah Heep Brooks.

  21. 21
    Amir Khalid says:

    Per the BBC, football’s biggest corporate sponsors, including Coca-Cola, Sony, Visa, Hyundai/Kia and adidas, are demanding an investigation into FIFA’s awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, notwithstanding the investigation that FIFA’s ethics committee (believe it or not, they do have one) is already conducting. There’s already been talk of a re-vote on the award of the WC to Qatar — which would be unprecedented, and a major embarrassment to Qatar. But if we’re talking about corruption on a scale too big for even FIFA to hide or dismiss as business as usual, that would stain the reputations of these good corporations …

  22. 22
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Amir Khalid: If it weren’t for the players suffering and all of the workers dying, I’d say that the WC needs to go on. What the companies should do is stop sponsoring it. Yeah, I know, I know, that would be hard for them to do. But until the revenue stream is turned off for FIFA, this isn’t going to end. Have FIFA sponsors be natural cures for incontinence and fake gold watches.

  23. 23
    Amir Khalid says:

    Well, unlike the vuvuzela, the caxirola is something an unhappy fan could easily throw onto the pitch and maybe hit a player’s head or the referee’s. I can see where potential missiles would be a bad thing to have in the crowd.

  24. 24
    Ash Can says:

    I own a vuvuzela — which I purchased in 1969 from a street vendor outside of Wrigley Field. They were just called “horns” then. This was back in the days when ballpark rules were more lenient and people were allowed to bring them into the park. They didn’t catch on nearly to the extent they did more recently with soccer fans overseas, so were not as insufferable and did not get banned from the park until the rule changes that banned everything else that could be used to hit people over the head or be easily thrown onto the field. I still pull it out once a year, to blow out the front door on New Year’s at midnight. It has also been known to make appearances on those wonderful, rare occasions when the Cubs clinch a post-season berth or the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup.

  25. 25
    Ash Can says:

    PS: Bottle Rocket took to the vuvuzela like a duck to water when he was about 7 years old. Nowadays, he’s doing pretty good learning the trumpet. Coincidence? I think not. :)

  26. 26
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Steeplejack: Thanks for the link. Loved the ending.

  27. 27
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Well, unlike the vuvuzela, the caxirola is something an unhappy fan could easily throw onto the pitch

    Oh, please. If it can be lifted, it will be tossed.

  28. 28
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Nothing can touch “chupacabra.” Now if they wanted to shake one of those or, better yet, blow into one, I’d be a World Cup fan. Otherwise, meh.

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    That toilet bowl landed on a spectator. It didn’t get as far as the pitch. I too have no doubt that an angry enough fan would try throwing a vuvuzela like a javelin. But I tend to doubt that a vuvuzela could be thrown as far as the pitch, unless from row A right by the touchline — not because it’s too heavy, as with the toilet bowl, but because it’s basically a hollow plastic tube and probably too light to overcome air resistance.

  30. 30
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Suffern ACE: Chucking the things would actually be a huge improvement over using them for their intended purpose. Less harmful to the players, too. FIFA has the sort of portfolio of idiocy that makes Stimpy of Ren and Stimpy look like a genius. But the crowner, in my mind, is still allowing the Death Horns into the matches with no limits at all on their numbers or use.

  31. 31
    John says:

    I really can’t understand why the Brazilian goverment certified caxirola at first and then they decided to get banned from the stadiums. They should think this through before. Also I have worked with them and I don’t believe that they are really dangerous. Even in the game where some fans throw caxirolas no one get hurt as you can see in the video.
    The sound is beautiful and I believe it will add to the fan experience in the stadium.

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