#28 O.J. Simpson

OK.  I don’t think you are going to get this one.

This is a story about OJ Simpson. 

None of you were 15 years old in 1968 when OJ won the Heisman Trophy as the best collegiate football player of the year.  Most of you have other thoughts and opinions about OJ.  He ran into a few problems after his retirement.

But think about it.  1968.  OJ, a running back from USC wins the Heisman Trophy. 

I just looked up the rankings on the top 16 running backs in college history.

Here you go…OJ was listed as #14 on that list.   Really?  Whoever put that list together obviously was not around for the 1967 and 1968 college football seasons.   If they had been there, they would not have had OJ Simpson at Number 14.

Are you ready for the quiz?

# 12 Ron Dayne.  Need I say more?

# 5 Tony Dorsett.  Ok.  The guy was amazing.  But name the team, the college, the years….see what I mean?

Archie Griffin….Ricky Williams…..Barry Sanders….Hershel Walker….

Yes, yes, yes and yes….all great running backs.

But tell me what you remember about their careers?

SSOMG was around for all of those seasons and all of those careers.  Maybe it is because I was an avid USC Trojan fan back then.  Maybe it is because I lived in southern California and was able to see so many of the SC games on the TV.   Maybe it was because I was 15 years old and was looking for a football hero to emulate; or maybe it was because he was just that good.

Simpson went on to an 11 year career in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills.  He was the first NFL running back to gain over 2,000 yards in a season.  Remember, these were in the years long before Jim Kelly and the 4 AFC championship teams; in Buffalo; in the snow; a long way from Southern California.

Yes, OJ Simpson was a great running back; perhaps the best college running back of all time.  Unfortunately, he ran himself into a whole bunch of trouble.

Most people remember the trouble and his role in one of the most publicized and dramatized news stories of my generation.

SSOMG was there for all of that.

OJ Simpson is now 73 years old.  I guess his running days are through.

He was a hero to all of those 15 year-olds in Southern California back in the late 1960’s.  I can still remember his hesitation step, and then his incredible burst of speed when he hit the hole…I don’t think he was ever tackled for a loss….at least not during those years.

Orenthal James Simpson.  May he rest in peace.

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