A Case Of World Cup Fever

German soccer fans celebrate in Berlin after the national team beat Ecuador 3-0 in the Group A, World Cup soccer match, June 20, 2006. (AP Photo/Roberto Pfeil)
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
It's not exactly a delirious, hallucinating, cold sweat in the middle of the night kind of thing, but I do have World Cup Fever.

I have watched more soccer in the last couple of weeks than at any time I can remember, and I find myself cheering wildly just because the goals were so exquisitely executed. The energy and the enthusiasm with which the game is played at this level is intoxicating and contagious.

One of the best parts here in New York, where there is a huge immigrant population, is asking total strangers who they're pulling for in the World Cup. Suddenly you're engrossed in an animated discussion about what a lousy job the Russian ref did in the game between Portugal and the Netherlands on Sunday.

Watching the games and being able to share them with all my newfound friends makes me feel a little closer to rest of the world — like we really do have something in common. Even if it's only football ... I mean soccer.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith
By Harry Smith