by Alex Poletti
With the trial of the century almost 20 years old and the world of sports and politics getting weirder everyday, The Second String has decided to tackle an interesting and difficult question: is it okay to say OJ Simpson was good at football yet?
Clearly, there’s no denying it: OJ Simpson was a damn good football player. With a Heisman trophy and over 2,000 rushing yards in his career, it’s evident that the Juice was one of the best to ever run with the pigskin. He was also pretty good at some other things, such as allegedly committing double homicide.
So with OJ out of prison and the world full of forgiveness and more important issues, can we talk about Simpson’s football prowess? We can turn to the folks in Hollywood for some answers. It took Hollywood about a decade to renominate Mel Gibson for an Oscar after his comments on African-Americans and homosexuals, but Roman Polanski still has a lifetime ban. But is OJ a Mel or a Roman? Does double homicide run closer to the MeToo movement or racial slurs? It’s hard to say, but The Second String now offers a comprehensive guide of when to talk about OJ’s talent.
If you are having a conversation with friends or family about the Heisman winners of the 1960s, it’s okay to talk about OJ Simpson. You can even mention how good his year at USC was, as long as it is immediately equivocated by a comment about how he probably murdered two people. If the conversation is with in-laws or coworkers, it’s best to name drop Ernie Davis and let another poor sucker fall into the OJ trap.
It is not okay to say that OJ Simpson is good at football if the conversation surrounds the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. The statement “the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman was a tragedy” should never be followed by “yeah, but that OJ was one hell of a runningback.”
If the conversation centers on “The Naked Gun” franchise, it’s okay to use OJ Simpson’s football ability as a justification for his appearance in the films. However, it must be said that Simpson does not possess the comedic timing or acting chops to keep up with the brilliant Leslie Nielsen, who (probably) hasn’t murdered two people.
Finally, if anyone says that a professional athlete is having a killer season, the comment must be immediately followed by an OJ Simpson quip. In this scenario, it’s permissible to exhale sharply and say “Damn, he was good back in the day,” but only while concurrently shaking your head.
With all of these tips, you should be the politically correct champ of your next OJ-themed party or wedding reception.