Catching up with the weekend’s news: thirteen years to the day after he was acquitted of murder charges, NFL Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson was found guilty of armed robbery and 11 other criminal charges. Simpson, 61, faces five years to life in prison.
For me, the most striking thing is that he’s 61 and going to jail. I mean, I can see killing people in your late 40s. But armed robbery at 60? Typical of a pro athlete: he didn’t know when to call it quits.
Not to be outdone, Lawrence Phillips, the troubled Nebraska standout who bounced around the NFL and CFL before hitting rock bottom, was sentenced to ten years in jail. In 2006, Phillips lost a pickup football game to a group of teenagers, prompting him to drive his car onto the field, where he struck three boys, aged 14, 15, and 19.
In court, Phillips tearfully apologized to one of the victims… “I’m sorry you have to come in here like this,” Phillips said, adding that he “wanted the chance to say I didn’t mean to hurt people.”
I don’t know if I’m feeling particularly human today or what, but these stories are kinda bringing me down. I’ve never been, but I hear prison sucks. I can only hope that these two stories convince future running backs that maybe you can get away with murder sometimes, but armed robbery and vehicular assault will catch up with you.