You ask most people under 30 about O.J. Simpson and they will either tell you he is: “The guy who murdered his wife.” Or, “The guy who got away with murdering his wife.”
Well, Simpson, who is currently in prison serving 33-years on kidnapping and robbery charges, is definitely one of those two things. However, this isn’t about his innocence or guilt of a crime.
There was a time Simpson was simply known as the ‘Juice’, when he starred in movies, and ran through airports in Hertz television commercials. However, this isn’t about his once sparkling Hollywood career.
This is about O.J. Simpson the football player. And, one hell of a player he was from his days as a tailback at the University of Southern California, to his brilliant career in the National Football League for the Buffalo Bills.
After winning the Heisman Trophy his senior season in 1968, Simpson was the No. 1 pick in the 1969 draft by the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League. He struggled his first three season in Buffalo, running behind a horrible offensive line. But in 1973, new Bills’ coach Lou Saban made a point to emphasize running the ball. The the Bills’ improved their offensive line, and Simpson took off. He ran for a record 2003 yards, in just a 14 game regular season.
While other great running backs such as Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, and a few others, have eclipsed the 2,000 yard rushing barrier. Only Simpson did it in 14 games. Simpson played a total of 11 years, and rushed for 11,236 yards (4.7 per carry) and scored 61 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
A big man, (6-foot-1, 215 pounds) Simpson was a combination of blazing speed, power and balance. Posted below is a video of O.J. in action, and one of his famous Hertz commercials: