O. J. Simpson: A Legacy of Success and Controversy.

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Orenthal James Simpson, known as O.J., died on Wednesday, April 10th at age 76 after battling cancer.

Simpson was a football icon, an NFL hall of famer and a trailblazer. He starred in commercials, like the unforgettable Hertz campaign, which ran for years, one this writer remembers as a kid; this was one of the first times an American audience saw a Black spokesperson for a major national company. Simpson later went on to become a movie star of sorts. In his phenomenal 1973 NFL season, O.J. “The Juice” Simpson accomplished the unthinkable — his thunderous cleats battered records alongside defenders’ spirits. The bulldozing Buffalo Bills running back amassed 2,003 rushing yards! Most running backs rejoice at cracking 1,000 rushing yards, yet Simpson practically doubled that stratospheric number. It was the first time any gridiron great reached that 2,000-yard pinnacle.

O. J. Simpson: A Legacy of Success and Controversy.

First: For the Record

The LAPD police officers who beat a man named Rodney King on an unseen camera; were acquitted in 1992, leading to the deadly Los Angeles riots that spring. Many African Americans may not have been totally convinced of Simpson’s innocence. But they supported the verdict regardless. According to a corresponding survey, some 80% of Black Americans agreed with the result of the trial, while more than half of whites disagreed with it. An unfortunate 1994 TIME coverin which O.J.’s mug shot was visibly darkened, contributed to the perception that the cops, the media, and America at large was out to get a prominent Black American accused of murdering two white people. If the jury was delivering a makeup call for sins of the past, so be it. Enough was enough. This was the America we lived in; however, this writer will separate O. J. from his illustrious and controversial past to concentrate on his sports prowess moving forward in this expose.

One-Man Offense

The Bills starting quarterback in 1973, rookie Joe Ferguson mustered a paltry 939 passing yards ALL SEASON! That is like having zero threat with a quarterback who couldn’t even gain 1,000 yards through the air. Essentially, O.J. was Buffalo’s solitary offensive threat that year.

Despite his teammates’ inefficacy, the indomitable O.J. could not be shackled. The Bills still went 9-5 thanks entirely to O.J.’s superhuman running ability. Simpson’s remorseless rampage refused containment. Defenses scheming solutions found themselves dizzy, their machinations squished beneath his unstoppable force.

Record-Shattering Prowess

Week after punishing week, his legend magnified via lung-bursting bursts trampling beleaguered foes. Eleven times Simpson’s claws ripped through for 100+ rushing yards. He had seven games with over 150 rushing yards — including 219 against the Patriots and 200 brutal yards versus the hapless Jets in the finale whilst chasing the 2,000-yard mark. Out of Buffalo’s 4,085 total offensive yards, Simpson accounted for over half (2,073) by his lonesome!

The previous single-season rushing record (1,863 yards by Jim Brown in 1963) not only fell to Simpson’s onslaught, but O.J. also absolutely obliterated it. And remember, this godly damage came in a mere 14 games, not today’s 16-game slates. O.J. averaged a superhuman 143.1 rushing yards per game, that’s over 10 yards per game more than any other back in history!

 Iconic Impact

When immortal Jim Brown’s longstanding mark fell, Simpson’s coronation felt destined — certifying his place amid gridiron deities. While stats like “approximate value” posit 1975 as his zenith, it lacked 1973’s majestic milestone attainment.

Before nor since has any 14-game season unveiled such singular prolificness from one tailback. Only Barry Sanders and Adrian Peterson have achieved similar 2,000-yard supremacy — yet none rivaled Simpson’s profound gridiron’s comprehension of offensive possibility.

Not just the tape-confirmed numbers, but the cultural resonance renders Simpson’s ’73 season iconic. He landed huge endorsements like Hertz, graced Rolling Stone’s cover, entranced Hollywood. O.J. The Juice transcended mere athletics, becoming a full-blown pop culture phenomenon.

Grand Legacy

When singularly assessing Simpson’s on-field magnum opus in ’73 — the superhuman numbers, lack of offensive support, cultural seismic impact — it retains a mythical aura as potentially the NFL’s greatest individual season. For one eternally unforgettable autumn, O.J. was unquestionably The Greatest.

A legacy solidified through indefatigable hustle, triumphing over an offense unfit for history’s grand stage. An achievement echoing evermore across gridirons — exceeded only by Simpson’s calamitous personal downfall decades later due to the adulteration of his once-brilliant Q-rating. Nevertheless, man can no longer judge him because his soul now rests with the Ultimate Judge…who never made a mistake.

Associate Editor; Stanley G. Buford

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