O.J. Simpson: Now that The Juice Is finally loose, what’s next?

Dan O'Shea

We’ve all heard of O.J. Simpson. Whether we know him from his NFL Hall of Fame career, his infamous 1995 murder trial, his conviction in civil court, his 2008 sentencing for armed robbery and kidnapping, his less than sparkling acting career, countless rap songs, or the guy Cuba Gooding Jr. played in “The People Vs. O.J. Simpson,” he’s clearly a household name. 

He may not be remembered for the right reasons, but Simpson is mostly a memory to many. Now that he’ll soon be a free man, it’s time to figure out what’s the next step for the artist formerly known as Juice.

For quite some time now, O.J. Simpson has needed no introduction. He’s been in the public eye for decades, even when all he was doing with time was spending it in a medium-security prison. For the past nine years, Simpson has been out of sight, out of mind, serving a 33-year sentence for his role in an armed robbery and kidnapping in order to get back some stolen memorabilia of his. For the first time in four years, Simpson was back on television, providing everyone with every quote they ever wished for.

As everyone clearly knows at this point, there’s never a cut and dry appearance with O.J. (no pun intended). He always seems to say something that makes you turn and whisper to your friend “no way did this dude actually say that” in a court setting. Simpson provided the world with all-timers like “I’m a straight shooter”, and “I’ve lived a conflict-free life.”

It’s like a correctional officer went up to him before hand saying “I’ll give you $100 if you say this without smiling or laughing” like the scene in Super Troopers where the characters bet they can’t fit the word “meow” in a sentence a certain amount of times. Simpson not only took those 100 bones to the bank, but walked away as a man who was just granted parole.

 

The man literally got away with murder back in 1995, was ordered to pay a hefty sum after losing a civil court case regarding the double murder that has now reached $58 million thanks to interest, got locked up back in 2008 with the judge presumably throwing away the key, only to get let out after serving the minimum nine years. That’s a busy two decades of life.

It doesn’t take a scholar of media ethics to predict a ruling like this would’ve stirred up all the eggs skulking around on Twitter. Some are tweeting about injustice so fast and often that their thumbs are catching fire while they get mad online. Others are taking to fire escapes to get to the roof tops in order to scream “The Juice Is Loose!” for all ears to hear. Then there are those who rushed to their computers the moment “granted” was uttered during that parole hearing to make some memes.

As of right now, the Juice isn’t exactly loose. He’s got a little bit more space, but not that same kind of space he found when he was hitting holes and escaping defenders/the police back in his heyday. Simpson is just being introduced to a new part of prison, population: O.J.

He’ll have to wait until October to actually be free, which is a perfect amount of thinking time to figure out what he’s going to do next.

An easy start is to get back to basics. Go back before the 2008 trial, the civil court trial, and the 1995 trial. Go back to where all the fame and fortune began, with his Hall of Fame career as a football player. Naturally he isn’t going to be featured on an NFL roster despite the public cry to add another criminal onto the Bengals roster, but he will be welcomed back in the Hall of Fame.

 

If he’s looking for spotlight, that’s not a bad place to start. He can shake the hands of all the other greats around him, allow Terrell Owens’ unpeaceful protest in Canton after he’s snubbed for another year take some of the cameras off him, and take a look at his bust from a time before he got busted. Maybe getting that dose of football back in his life will push him towards betting. Maybe Simpson can bet on himself, Pete Rose style.

If you’re already picking up your phone and calling your bookie to hammer that “YES,” you might want to hang up. Wait until about November when his life after prison plans are revealed and you can have a full understanding on what you’re betting on.

If he’s staying busy, you may not want in on that action. Apparently, he may be busy reading scripts and getting back into the acting game.

 

Alright so maybe scripts won’t be involved, which is a complete shame. That pretty much kills any dream we had of a fourth Naked Gun movie coming out, and don’t even get started writing those letters to Hertz to get a remake of those running commercials again. Yet another occasion where reality television ruins everything.

Although, there are plenty of possibilities on where to go with this. Maybe hire O.J. as a talkshow host and call it “Simpson Says”, where he gives people advice and they do the polar opposite. Or you could throw him on an established show like “The Bachelor” where he not-so-subtly threatens the other contestants before no rose gets handed to him. You could even try a reboot of the show “My Wife and Kids,” but this time Damon Wayans is no where near the set, and it features the Kardashians. Possibilities are pretty endless over here.

Speaking of things they can film, maybe we can try to get some cameras on O.J. as he goes back to his old plan- finding the real killer! The trail might’ve gone cold over the past nine years, without anybody helping Simpson by picking up where he left off all those years ago. They do say a crime scene is pretty much thrown out if they don’t find the killer in about 72 hours, so time isn’t exactly on O.J’s side, but he does have the upper hand of seeing the culprit in every single mirror he’s ever looked in. Watching that man search his own house for himself would be must watch television.

Even if he isn’t trying to have the cameras on him intentionally, they’ll likely be on him. He’s had a pretty hard time staying out of the spotlight whenever he’s been a free man. Maybe he can turn into the skid and come up with his own publicity stunt. Take his faith for example. Simpson is widely known as a baptist, and even led a prayer group while he was in prison. He could turn some heads if he actually converts to Judaism, sending Adam Sandler back to the studio to edit his famous “Hanukkah Song,” specifically around the 2:15 mark.

Simpson is known for making headlines while on camera, but he could go back to his work behind the scenes, or at least out of the public eye. We all know Simpson wrote a controversial book in the past “If I Did It: Confessions Of A Killer” back before he went to jail. He could’ve been writing a book all this time while he’s been locked up. Something like “That’s What You Get For Robbing My Stuff” or “Khole, Meet Your Father” could definitely turn some heads.

There are plenty of different routes O.J. can go, and I’m not talking about him switching his position to receiver. Many of these options may seem intriguing, but plenty of people are worried about this man getting back on the streets. Anybody over the age of seven years old wasn’t exactly sold when Simpson proclaimed he has a “conflict free life”, and are even concerned he’ll go back to it. Crime isn’t exactly something to joke about, but it’s hard not to laugh at the thought of a 70-year old man coming up with his own heist Reservoir Dogs style.

No matter what he chooses, people are bound to hear about it. O.J. Simpson is one of the most controversial figures of this lifetime, and isn’t bound to stop being controversial anytime soon. So you can debate his freedom, boycott anything he does, or just embrace the fact that this man will be in our lives until his death.