Trading O.J.

With a new trial about to start, can't we please just pawn O.J. off to some other race?

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On the day of his induction into Pro-Football Hall Of Fame in 1985, O.J. Simpson should have said to the crowd in Canton, Ohio: "Thank you guys so much….This is great," then turned, taken one last look at his old life, draped his yellow blazer across his broad shoulders, hopped on his spaceship and flew back home to Planet "Orenthalquitmakinganassofyourself."

Had he done that he would have gone down in history as "The Juice," one of the greatest football players to ever have graced the gridiron. He would have been enshrined in both the Hall of Fame and in our hearts as a hero—and he would have stayed there. That's what sports do, create modern-day Greek gods out of regular men.

Instead, Simpson chose to stay here on Earth, just long enough to ruin his legacy and become a tragically flawed, goofy-faced oddball. As if the murder charge and infamous trial weren't enough, now he's coming off a beatdown from his daughter, Arnelle, and a kidnapping and robbery beef that was caught on tape. Since it seems the planet is stuck with him—jury selection for his new trial started this week—O.J.'s only hope of redemption at this point is to start a rap career.

Seriously. O.J. needs to stand up in front of the judge and say, "You know how it is, son. Got cats trying to steal my stuff and whatnot. What ya'll need to do is take these cuffs off me so I can find the real robbers of all that O.J. paraphernalia, ya dig?" Then he should sit quietly and wait to be taken off to jail, where he can take his time to work on his first album, Don't F* Wit My Mem'ahbilia. The jail time will boost his "rap-sume," and maybe that will earn him a spot on the Billboard charts.

None of this is as weird as it sounds because we are talking about O.J. He has always been a Martian; superhuman on the field and super strange off it. In fact, he is no longer a person but a verb. You are "O.J.-ing it," if you start soft-shoeing around The Man. You are on that "O.J.-ish" trip if you start chasing white women. And you are "O.J.-ing" if you turn your back on your black friends until you need them to drive the getaway car.

He is an object, an archetype, a bastion of blackness that exemplifies every derogatory stereotype. He was a superior athlete, married black when he was low, then married white when he was high, beat the system and is as ignorant as a shit-house rat. He is the kind of black smudge that makes upstanding, good-hearted black folks cringe. Like the fools on Maury that dance a jig when they hear they aren't the fathers. He is the wince-inducing O.J. He is of the televised chase, the banana-stabbing re-enactment, the tell-all-but-lie-about-it book and the "alleged" armed robbery during which he and some goons straight busted in that joint yelling "put my shit in the bag!"

At this point, we could really live without him.

Since being black links us all into this abyss of universal blackness, I suggest we trade him in the racial draft for players to be named later and money considerations. Having him on the team has exceeded the cap. At this point, O.J. is just a liability. He is causing insurance rates to go up. He is the reason for the deficit. Can't find your car keys? O.J. did it.

Let's commission his genealogy charts to see if there is any truth to the rumor that he is one-sixteenth Norwegian. Or maybe we can save time and all collectively agree at this moment to make O.J. Norwegian and push him off onto their team. We could make buttons and T-shirts, and it would be glorious. He can change his name to Orenthal "Tres Dos" Nordhagen.

Truth is, O.J. stopped being Orenthal a long time ago, and he lost most of us around 1994. The fall from grace can be a hard one, especially when you aren't doing anything to break your fall. Sometimes it is better to board the flight to obscurity instead of trying to make sure the world remembers your name. Had he left that day in '85, sports announcers would still be talking about his moves on the field instead of all of us shaking our collective heads at the strangeness of it all.

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