Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: May 16th, 2012
What happened to O.J. Simpson?

With news that OJ has hired a new lawyer this summer to appeal his criminal case in hopes of proving that his former lawyers did a terrible job, it brought me back 18 years to the media fiasco surrounding the murder of his ex-wife.

I was home playing with my 3-year old son when the football Hall of Famer took the LAPD on that fateful car chase. Like many Americans, I watched what is now considered the world’s most publicized criminal trial as it spanned nine months. Along with my father, I would sit riveted to the nightly assessments of the television lawyer talk show circuit. And like many Americans, my jaw dropped when he was acquitted.

But obviously that wasn’t the end of his criminal woes. OJ has been sitting in jail since 2008, working off his 9 to 33 year term for being found guilty of several felonies including armed robbery and kidnapping, in an ill-thought out attempt to retrieve some of the memorabilia from his illustrious past that he claims was stolen from him.

I have to keep pinching myself when I write this. Is this the same OJ Simpson who is considered in the top three running backs in NFL history? The gifted athlete with a decorated career that went on to parlay his fame into acting and branding himself?

Google him now and page after page is about OJ, the convicted felon. It’s intriguing to me, in a sad way, how he is not alone. So many gifted athletes have ended up broken and broke. Why is that?

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