190 Countries Can't Be Wrong

The World Cup begins this week and will be followed intently around the globe -- except by the host nation

Everything is just about ready. in Orlando, Florida, painters have finished the massive black and white panels that have transformed the copper dome of the new city hall into a giant soccer ball. Near Detroit, agronomists from Michigan State University have covered the synthetic turf in the Pontiac Silverdome with 1,850 hexagonal chunks of specially grown, soccer-friendly grass. In Palo Alto, California, workers are nearly finished giving Stanford University's venerable stadium a $5 million face-lift.

All this activity is in preparation for World Cup USA94, which begins in Chicago on Friday. Forget the Super Bowl, World Series and Olympic Games. The...

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