Sport: A World Time-Out

When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon in 1969, half-a-billion people watched him on TV. This weekend, when 22 athletes step onto the turf of a West German soccer field in the quadrennial battle for the World Cup, an estimated 600 million people will be looking on. The difference in statistics is not altogether surprising. With the possible exception of the Olympics, there is no event that so intensely commands the attention of the world.

The winner of the Cup will hold unchallenged ranking as the planet's best soccer team. In a sport that is actively played by 16 million people...

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