Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Simpson found guilty; headed to prison

O.J. Simpson will finally go where many thought he should’ve been 14 years ago and that’s prison. Accounts vary, but Simpson was sentenced Dec. 5 to at least nine years which could extend up to 33 year max. No matter the number of years Simpson will have plenty of time to think about his life and the mistakes he’s made in solitude.

The latter is rather sad, but it’s true.

Most people can recollect where they were when the verdict was read in October of 1995 when Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole-Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman hence ending what was hailed as "The Trial of the Century." For a year America was captivated by this case because of all of the intricacies involved. Race, sex, police corruption, celebrity, and affluence were integral factors in the murder trial. It was riveting stuff.

This trial clearly lacked the media attention of the murder trial, and rightfully so. In 1994 two human beings were murdered. This time around a 61 year old man bursting into a Las Vegas Hotel to retrieve memorabilia doesn’t have the same luster as a murder trial. Nevertheless many, like the Fred Goldman, feel Simpson is where he belongs. He stated, "It's kind of a bittersweet moment knowing that that SOB is going to be in jail for a very long time, where he belongs."

Simpson was one of the greatest college and N.F.L. running backs of all time. He was one a Heisman Trophy winner in 1968. Simpson had a great NFL career as well where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985. His football talents lead to broadcasting and endorsement opportunities such as doing Monday Night Football and being a pitch man for Hertz.

Simpson’s once lovable persona allowed him to have a wonderful life until the summer of 1994. After the murder trial Simpson lost most of his luster in the mainstream-now I feel he’s lost it all.

I personally think the sentence rendered was rather extreme and there was a clear bias against Simpson stemming from his past. I believe the deck was stacked against Simpson for the jump. He faced an all white jury and a no-nonsense judge. I also think he was unofficially was retried for “The Trial of the Century.”

But I must add Simpson brought most of his recent turmoil on himself. If he’s guilty of anything he’s guilty of being rather stupid. Even in his plea to the judge he stated, "I wasn't there to hurt anybody. I just wanted my personal things, and I realize I was stupid."

Last year Simpson wrote a book titled "If I Had Did It" chronicling how he'd commit the murders from 1994 "if" he were to undertake the task. To me the latter oozes with stupidity.

Often the light that shines from the star can often be curse as much as it can be an asset. Stardom often makes some feel they are above the law. Being competitive, affluent, and successful often creates an aura of entitlement which sometimes takes precedent over rational behavior and exercising sound judgment.

Simpson's competitive nature, need for attention, and poor choices has all but destroyed him. He just couldn't find it in himself to play golf, collect his N.F.L. pension, and drift off into the sunset.

Sadly we won't remember Simpson as great college running back who won The Heisman Trophy 40 years ago; we’ll remember him for the poor choices he made off the field.

Simpson won’t be remembered for his Hall of Fame career in the N.F.L.; he’ll be remembered for getting away with a double-murder.

Simpson won’t be remembered for using his celebrity and excelling as a broadcaster and pitchman for Hertz. He’ll be remembered as 61 year old man being sentenced to prison in a Las Vegas courtroom because of his stupidity.

Simpson was a man who had it all but lost it but unfortunately lost it because his poor choices. It’s a sad story indeed, but unfortunately it’s true.

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