If the crime doesn’t fit, you must acquit

Joe Harrington

I asked to write this column because if I didn’t, I would have to read Chris Crowell writing about how the Browns are going to win the Super Bowl then fly to Honolulu the next weekend and win the Pro Bowl. I’m from Cincinnati and the only football story worth writing about this week is the one with O.J. Simpson.

When will people leave the greatest player in Buffalo Bills history alone? What, O.J. Simpson played football? Yes, he played football, won the Heisman Trophy and was elected into the Hall of Fame. Of course he also committed a crime after his football career when he portrayed Nordberg in the Naked Gun movies.

By now, unless you don’t watch every major news organization including ESPN, you probably know O.J. has been arrested for robbery, this time in Las Vegas.

And it stinks more than the Bills 0-4 Super Bowl record. Here’s a shortened, narrow-sided view of what didn’t stay in Vegas.

First of all, O.J. says the memorabilia, which for the love of all comedy better be a signed jock strap, was his and it was stolen. Well, now you’re going to say to the Juice, “Then you should have gone to the police.”

But do you think O.J. has ever gone to the police for anything since 1994? I know I sure wouldn’t if I were him.

OK, so now O.J. learns where his stuff is and then finds out who has it. He grabs his buddies and raids the guy’s hotel room. Are there guns involved in the friendly raid? I don’t know because I can’t believe anything this department says – I mean look at the city motto.

But I do want to know is: How did they know that O.J. was going to raid the hotel room? Were they keeping something that they thought was so valuable-like the Barry Bonds steroid needle – that George Clooney and Brad Pitt were going to burst through the ceiling?

Point is, how did they know O.J. Simpson, of all people, would be on his way to their room, if they hadn’t taken his jock strap. Maybe the guy had a wire on waiting for O.J. – like the Steel Curtain Defense. They caught everything O.J.’s posse did on tape. Is Mark Furman now working for the Las Vegas police department?

O.J. just maybe, finally, was unjustly prosecuted.

But why do we care? It’s not like he’s the first famous person, or a Massachusetts politician, to get away with something like murder years ago. Why is he a lightning rod for this stuff?

Why is it that when he’s asked to leave a steakhouse in Kentucky for being a suspected murderer, it makes national news? Why am I, a football writer for Kent State, writing about O.J. Simpson on the Wednesday sports column? Well ask Chris Crowell and the Cleveland Browns why they had to ruin my week. Browns score 51 points, while allowing 45 points in one game; man, that’s like getting away with double-murder.

Contact football reporter Joe Harrington at [email protected].