Tomorrow kicks off the first day of the World Cup in Russia. But as someone not particularly engrossed in soccer (no, sorry, football) I hadn’t given it much thought. That is, of course, until I was debriefed that a new instrument would be unveiled at the games to help fans show their love of the sport.
You’re probably familiar with the most famous World Cup instrument: the vuvuzela, a plastic horn that is unofficially responsible for the hearing loss of a significant majority of South Africa’s population in 2010. What started as a fun and celebratory instrument beloved by locals quickly became wildly divisive when the collective sound of hundreds of thousands of them hindered teammates on the field from even being able to hear one another.
The horn was banned at the next World Cup, in 2014, in Brazil. In its place was the caxirola, a small handheld percussive instrument, similar in sound to maracas but with a hand grip. While less obtrusively annoying, though still irritating, the caxirola was almost banned mid-cup—this time not for the noise, but because they were too easy to throw onto the field and at the players.
What could this year’s host, Russia, possibly introduce to fans following two World Cups that sparked such musical controversy? What is something so universally beloved that isn’t that loud or wouldn’t hurt that much if thrown at a world class athlete? Well, uh, what about spoons? We all love to scoop things with spoons, right? And when we aren’t scooping, who can resist clanging them on your knees to keep the energy bumpin’!
These aren’t the kind of plastic Walmart-brand spoons you’d find at your summer pool snack stand. They’re wooden spoons called “lozhkas” or, for this event, “Spoons of Victory.” That feels a bit sensational for simple spoons, in my opinion, but I understand the need to hype up eating utensils moonlighting as musical backdrops for one of the biggest international events on earth.
Spoons, while less exciting, are a smart choice for the Russians. They’re easily transportable, make for a nice item to bring home, and you have to be somewhat stationary if not sitting down to use them efficiently. Perhaps next World Cup, they can give everyone Casio keyboards to help contain and slow down the drunk fans. It’s definitely hard to rush a field carrying one of those. Plus, if someone belligerent dude decides to streak, it’ll cover his midsection. It's a win-win!