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WORLD CUP USA '94 ROUND OF 16 : Spotlight : WORLD CUP STOPS AT CITY LIMITS OF LOS ANGELES

July 03, 1994|LISA DILLMAN

T-shirts were on sale. Cameras were being aimed at the front door. Fans were waiting to get autographs with anyone remotely connected with the event, even a sportswriter.

"Hey, he's in the way of my shot," says Debbie Luciano, looking chagrined when a television cameraman blocked her view.

Her husband, Danny, explained the problem. "We want picture of the big guy," he said.

The World Cup is in town, right? The Lucianos, passing through from Phoenix, weren't about to waste so much time and not get a picture of the star of the moment.

Said Danny Luciano: "The big guy--Robert Shapiro."

Less than 15 miles away from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, the World Cup does not exist in Los Angeles. At least not at the Downtown Criminal Courts Building, scene of the O.J. Simpson hearing, where his attorney, Shapiro, has apparently become something of a celebrity.

The only way these spectators would be interested in Romario, Hagi or Baggio is if any of the three offered up commentary on Court TV.

"We're aware of (the World Cup)," said Danny Luciano. "But we're aware of a lot of things. It's boring on TV. TV doesn't do it justice. You've got to be there in person."

Apparently the same is true for trials.

A security woman snapped a picture of visiting tourists and said she would speak to a reporter, but only if her name was not used.

"I'm glad Colombia's out, even though I'm from Panama," she said. "So far they (the Americans) have gone a lot farther than I thought."

Has she heard anyone discussing the World Cup outside the courthouse?

"No," she said. "The only thing these people ask is: 'Where's O.J.? Can we see him?' "

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