I didn’t care.
Unlike the June night 14 years ago, when I sat in Madison Square Garden during a Knicks playoff game and watched a white Bronco roll eerily across a television screen in the press box, I had no feelings one way or the other.
O.J. Simpson could spend the rest of his life in jail after being convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and 10 other charges in a bizarre case involving memorabilia — O.J. memorabilia. A jury deliberated 13 hours before rendering its verdict in a Las Vegas courtroom.
The 61-year-old former running back will be sentenced in December.
I didn’t follow the trial. Even when news broke last year on the day O.J. allegedly (do I still have to say that now?) rushed into a hotel room in an effort to regain “his” memorabilia, I wasn’t moved.
I’m O.J. numbed.
He’s come to symbolize so much more than he deserves — race and relationships, race and the criminal justice system, race and money, race and privilege.
So much so that I don’t even think of him as a sportsman any more. Think: caricature. (In fact, with a 431-yard, four TD performance for Illinois in a 45-20 romp over Michigan Saturday, I’m officially declaring that sports has a new “Juice” — Illini QB Juice Williams.)
The man who dazzled us as a Trojan, earned our praise as a Bill and engaged us as a pitchman, that guy’s been gone for awhile now. Long gone.
Replaced by a pathetic cutout that finally folded.
Folded chasing his own shadow — his own stuff.
His own fault. Now we really can move on.