So, uh … this is kind of awkward.
The Buffalo Bills are in their first playoff game since 2000. And that’s filled everyone in Bills Nation with tremendous pride. But here’s the thing: Bills Nation happens to include a fella by the name of O.J. Simpson.
Early in Buffalo’s wild card game against Jacksonville, Twitter lit up with photos of Simpson enjoying the game at a bar in Las Vegas with fellow Bills fans:
OJ Simpson is hanging out with Bills fans in Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/NluMAe7HZ7
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) January 7, 2018
(Some early reports that Simpson was in attendance at the game were inaccurate.) Simpson is sporting a LeSean McCoy No. 25 jersey; he himself wore No. 32 back in his playing days, back when he regularly led the league in rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns. In perhaps his finest season, 1973, he rushed for 2,003 yards and 12 touchdowns in 14 games. But he only reached the playoffs once, and after retirement, his life took a decidedly different turn.
Simpson spent the ’80s and early ’90s basking in a Southern California life of celebrity, party-hopping and golf, until, as you may have heard, he was accused of the murder of his ex-wife and another man in 1994. Found not guilty of that crime in one of the most notorious trials of the 20th century, Simpson couldn’t stay out of trouble. He spent most of the last nine years behind bars for his involvement in a 2006 armed robbery in Las Vegas, and was released in October.
His continued presence puts the Bills in an awkward situation. Simpson is, without a doubt, one of the most electrifying players in Buffalo history. But he remains suspected of committing the most heinous crimes imaginable. Clearly, he’s trading on what first made him famous, and plenty of people are willing to overlook what came after.
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