It’s been 12 years since I learned what a vuvuzela is. Twelve long years and I still think about them when I hear something truly cacophonous–a freight train full of yowling cats, a steam whistle made of fingernails on a chalkboard, the screams of anguish as a pig gets its tusks trimmed.

And now, during the FIFA 2022 World Cup, reluctantly but respectfully, I must add Tunisia and their fans during their opener against Denmark.

There was a stretch of play where a fan whistled discordantly, chaotically, to the point where I had to turn the volume down, smashing the button until it nearly was smothered into the remote.

The Tunisian fans and players set the tone before the first kick with a powerful singing of their national anthem:

Not even two minutes into play, Aissa Laidouni got the crowd even more amped after a scorching tackle against Chrisitan Eriksen:

While there were lulls in the action, nearly every time a Tunisian player did anything, the act was met with raucous approval, while any Dane was met with jeers and boos. Which is kind of how sports work, but Tunisia upped their game when no one even asked them to, making for an energetic match.

The fans of the Eagles of Carthage were so keyed up that they even booed Danish legend Christian Eriksen, who collapsed on the pitch during their 2020 European Cup opener against Finland, whenever he took a corner.

Both teams earned a point with a scoreless draw.

Denmark is set to play France Saturday (11 am ET) at Stadium 974.

Tunisia will play Australia Saturday (5 am ET) at Al Janoub Stadium.

About Mike Gawdzik

A fan of the Red Devils and White Sox, Mike Gawdzik is a high school English teacher by day and a writer by night. He tries to write what he knows, like when he was a drag queen for a day or when he competed in an amateur boxing tournament in South Korea. When reading student essays isn’t enough for him, he’s also the creative nonfiction editor for Flying Island and Sport Literate.