$0.02: The Juice got thirsty one too many times | VailDaily.com
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$0.02: The Juice got thirsty one too many times

Karma has a way of catching up with even the fastest humans. But that’s not the beauty of O.J. Simpson’s conviction last week on the 12 counts he faced for storming a Las Vegas hotel room and robbing memorabilia dealers at gunpoint a year ago.

No, the poetic justice lies in the fact that O.J.’s final, pathetic act relates to his football career ” not his acting career, not his widely dramatized criminal past, but his football career: the very thing that made him a somebody in the first place.

The Juice, of course, has long been the prototype for how athletic superstardom opens doors and offers protection from things that might otherwise impede the everyman.



He had enough money to pay for extravagant legal counsel and ultimately beat the gruesome double murder rap in 1995. Even after he was convicted of those killings in civil court and ordered to pay $33.5 million to the deceased’s families, he was still able to live comfortably off his $22,000-a-month NFL pension, because restitution cannot legally come from a pension.

O.J. has always been famous and charismatic and well liked from his playing days, which delivered the 1968 Heisman Trophy and the NFL’s first 2,000-yard rushing season. To wit: when he showed up at the Breckenridge Town Party a couple of years ago while on vacation, locals joked with him and posed for pictures, smiling as if they were standing next to John Wayne.



Alas, O.J. has always been a tad greedy, as well. He was convicted four years ago of pirating a satellite TV feed so he wouldn’t have to pay the $50 monthly fee, or whatever it cost then. Most accounts I’ve read report he’s paid only a fraction of the restitution to the Goldman and Brown families for killing their children, electing to spend his money on himself or his own offspring.

In the robbery case that could send him to prison for the rest of his life (he is already 61, and figures to get 15 years at a minimum), O.J. was attempting to retrieve what he claims were items that belonged to him.

Did he need those items to live the quiet, grateful life that he should’ve been living? Hell no. But he went after them anyway, like a crackhead sticking up a liquor store. …



And Johan Bruyneel thought he had it tough piloting a cancer survivor to the front of the Tour de France peloton in 1999? Lance Armstrong’s revered director, by all accounts the Bill Walsh of modern cycling, hasn’t seen anything yet.

Bruyneel might say all the right things in advance of mediating a Lance-Alberto Contador intrasquad rivalry ” which he’s now assured us we’re going to get, since he refuses to release Contador from his contract ” but getting them both to embrace a goal that features only one of them, well, let’s just say it presents a monumental challenge.

I can only imagine the amount of fur that’ll be flying on those December training rides. …

As the NFL tries to make sense of the late-night ambush that left Jacksonville Jaguar Richard Collier paralyzed and with an amputated leg from 14 bullet wounds, let us not overlook the miracle clouded by the tragedy: he lived. …

I’m all for fair, no more, no less. Which is why it made zero sense for the White Sox to host last week’s playoff game against the Twins (decided by a coin flip) when Minnesota won the season series between the two, 10-8. …

Is Al Davis one absurd bird, or what? …

On that note, pundits have wondered what in the wide world of sports Travis Henry is doing getting involved in multi-kilogram cocaine deals.

For starters, lest we forget, he’s got nine child-support payments to make to nine different women. …

Jay Cutler is averaging 300 yards passing per game, second in the NFL only to Drew Brees (335 per game going into Monday night). But the most impressive part has been how Cutler is distributing the ball. Six different Broncos have caught touchdowns. …

Speaking of quarterbacks, can you name the top-rated passer in the NFL?

Answer: Brett Favre, who’s thrown a league-best 12 touchdowns. …

Quick prediction on the biggest college football game of the year to this point: No. 1 Oklahoma 38, No. 5 Texas 35. …

In parting, keep your fingers crossed for a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series, if only for the sexiness factor.

In L.A. you’ve got Manny, Torre, Lowe and Nomar in, and in Boston you’ve got a team trying to win its third championship in five years, after 86 years without one.

Breckenridge resident Devon O’Neil’s $0.02 column runs Tuesdays. He can be reached at devononeil@hotmail.com.


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