December 8, 2008
O.J. the ultimate cautionary tale
By JODY VANCE, SUN MEDIA
Remember when Orenthal James Simpson was best known as a first overall pick in the 1969 NFL Draft? When his claim to fame was as the cornerstone for the Buffalo Bills and his No. 32 jersey a league -wide best seller?
Back in the '70s, O.J. became "The Juice" and an American sports hero.
The year 1985 was big in Simpson's life, both professionally and personally. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility; he married second wife Nicole Brown, and their daughter Sydney was born.
Beautiful family, boatloads of dough and the adoration of sports fans everywhere, Simpson seemingly effortlessly spun his playing career into TV and even cinematic success. I remember laughing at how he entertained us in The Naked Gun trilogy, or the cheesy luggage leaping Hertz commercials.
Today, these memories are faded and very disconnected the shell of a man who Friday stood shackled and in prison garb before a Las Vegas judge to be sentenced.
That man is O.J. the convict. It has been 13 years since O.J. Simpson has represented all that can go wrong with someone warped by fame and celebrity, and now he will spend at the next several years thinking about how he might have gone down another path to infamy.
-- Jody Vance is a sportscaster and personality with Leafs TV. Her column appears Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.