Wanted: World Cup Mania

Gelsenkirchen, GERMANY: US supporters are seen before the beginning of the World Cup 2006 group E football game Czech Republic vs.USA, 12 June 2006 in Gelsenkirchen. AFP PHOTO / KARIM JAAFAR (Photo credit should read KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)
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This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
World Cup fever. Do you have it? Well, almost.

My kids and I want to go to Germany in the worst — sorry — yes, worst way. But even if you found some cheap fares and traded in some miles, ticket scalpers are getting thousands of dollars for a single seat, even at games you wouldn't think many people would have much interest in. Ticket lotteries have popped up around the globe; some are totally phony, and a few fans have been ripped off.

The United States has a decent team, maybe even better than that, but our draw is brutal: Italy, the Czech Republic, which beat the Americans 3-0 on Monday, and Ghana. Ouch, dude.

Around my office, when it comes to sports, it's baseball that gets all the attention, then the NBA. Out in the real world, Cup mania reigns. The fact that England's top player has been hurt and is slowly returning has been front page news there for weeks.

Maybe if the United States does OK, some of the fever will spread here. It's nice to be part of the world.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.