A Storyville documentary: the first part looks at how OJ Simpson rose to fame as a running back in the NFL, and his acting, advertising and broadcasting careers took off later.
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This programme contains some strong language.
As a kid growing up in the ghetto,
one of the things I wanted most
was not money, it was fame.
I wanted to be known. I wanted people to say, "Hey, there goes OJ."
You're approaching five years now at Lovelock.
Tell us about your work assignments.
How have you occupied your time for the past five years?
Uh, when I first came here, I was a porter,
which comprised of cleaning things in the unit that I was in,
and, basically, after a relatively short period of time,
I started working as a gym worker.
I start each day disinfecting,
uh, the workout equipment in the gym,
mopping floors with the other, uh, group of us that work in the gym.
Uh, I've coached teams, um, uh, since I've been here.
Uh, and I like to say we won the championship,
and we were old guys, a totally mixed group of players.
I didn't play, I just coached.
I do see that in 1994 you were arrested at the age of 46.
We... We're talking about this case?
No, the age at first arrest.
How old were you, first time you were arrested? For any reason.
Um, I think about 46, yes.
With an enrolment of approximately 16,000 students,
this is the largest and oldest university
of continuous existence in Southern California.
Its buildings and grounds cover 45 acres
and it has graduated many thousands of men and women
who are now leaders in the business and professional world.
I didn't know that much about him.
I heard about his reputation coming out of junior college.
He was big, fast, powerful, dynamic.
You're awed, because you haven't seen that.
I was teaching part-time at San Jose State and a friend of mine said,
"Hey, man, you gotta go check out this little cat from San Francisco.
"His name is Simpson. Orenthal James Simpson."
OJ takes the football. Boom.
I think he runs about 90 yards with it for a touchdown.
He ran through 'em like foreign water through a tourist.
San Jose State was trying to recruit him, and I asked him,
"OJ, what is it that you're lookin' for?"
Said, "I want to be the best.
"I want to go to a school where I play against the best."
Superstar phenom is coming to USC
and all the buzz that goes around with it.
This is Marguerite Simpson.
She and OJ have been married for five months now.
-Are you happy after five months?
Yes, I'm very happy.
And do you like this campus and everything?
I love it. It's like a resort. It's beautiful.
Now, you tell us the truth, Marguerite. What kind of guy is OJ?
OJ is very serious. He loves football.
And he's just a serious person.
He has a great running sense.
Uh, as a team man, he's an outstanding person.
As a citizen, he is a tremendous boy and, uh,
I don't think we've had a boy around here who has ever been any better.
Whoo! Get up!
It was pretty obvious early on that OJ was a superior athlete, special,
and Coach McKay was warmer and closer with him.
He had never had a player of this calibre. And you didn't mess with it.
He protected him.
Johnny, would you describe that devastating
Southern Cal offensive attack for us?
Well, Duffy, I don't... I don't know how devastating it is, but our attack
is built around the, uh, tailback, OJ Simpson, running a football.
We think our attack will be able to let us move the ball on most people.
There was no drama.
John McKay was going to give him the football,
and he was going to give it to him 35, 40 times a game
and you were going to tackle him.
And then when you missed, we were going to score a touchdown.
So we fed him the football, fed him the football...
He had incredible stamina,
that he could take the ball every play and keep on going.
Every game he did something that was eye-opening.
You... "What? Did I see that?"
He was one of a kind.
This is OJ Simpson, USC's junior halfback.
You have been getting an awful lot of publicity lately.
How does it affect you? Does it bother ya?
Oh, it doesn't bother me at all.
It's... It's a matter of winning, I guess.
If you win, you get publicity,
and they have to give someone in our offence and on our team publicity,
and, uh, I'm just in a position to get it,
running at the tailback and carrying the ball as much as I do.
OJ, you've got an awful big game on Saturday.
It's the big intercity rivalry. There's just all kind of pressure.
How does the pressure affect you?
Well, uh, I don't know. I don't think the pressure bothers...
It doesn't bother me and...
and I think most of the team right now, it's not bothering them yet.
I'm sure it will tomorrow.
We're shooting for all the marbles this week,
and, uh, I think we'll be relaxed and ready to go.
USC football is not a matter of life and death.
It's much more important than that.
Live and in colour, you are looking at this view,
hovering above the Memorial Coliseum, which is jam-packed today.
As we look at Gary Beban, a reminder that college football,
a pleasant and colourful way to spend an autumn afternoon.
UCLA's quarterback was Gary Beban.
It's going to be his year for the Heisman Trophy.
So we have the upcomer running back
against the established superstar quarterback.
We were ranked number four, they were ranked number one.
The city of Los Angeles, the two top teams in the country,
and we're fighting for the national championship.
Today with ten cameras covering this game,
over 200, uh, newsmen here, 200 photographers.
There were people out here this morning at six o'clock
trying to get in to the ball game.
And the ball game is underway.
I had never been to a college game ever.
And we all wanted to go see OJ.
Offensively now for the Trojans, watch for number 32, OJ Simpson.
None of us had any tickets.
All of a sudden, we looked up and someone had cut a hole
in the Coliseum fence and about 50 people ran through it, including us.
OK, Bud, we have approximately nine minutes remaining in the first half.
I'd never seen the Coliseum full like that.
There was just the colours, I was in awe.
Tie ball game, and they are in UCLA territory. Steve Sogge. Simpson.
There's his brilliance. 13 yards. Touchdown.
A tremendously gifted athlete, number 32, OJ Simpson.
Everybody loved watching OJ run.
As we look at it in slow motion...
There was something about his style.
I said, "Man, if I could run half as well as this guy,
"I might be all right."
Beban hooking. Deep and long to Copeland.
UCLA has tied it up.
There is Nuttall.
And with 11 minutes and 40 seconds left in the game,
UCLA gets the lead.
We were losing. And we were fighting.
OJ Simpson is deep. Number 32.
And he's determined.
We were outplaying them,
and we were very angry that we were not winning that game.
30. Moving away,
and sheer sake of effort brings him out to the 34-yard line.
Things weren't going our way until that run.
Rose Bowl bid, Bud, is at stake.
Everything that they've fought for all year,
it's coming down to the wire now, Chris. These final minutes.
At the 36-yard line, a 4-yard gain,
it'll be third down and three for the Trojans.
It was a pass play.
They need three yards.
In the audible, and some guys missed the audible.
I couldn't hear it. I made a mistake. I stood up to pass block.
The linebacker read me and backed into his passing zone,
and that opened up a lane for OJ.
And he did his magic.
First down and more. There's Simpson.
Look at that cut! OJ Simpson!
All she wrote.
64 yards. 64 thrilling, captivating, collegiate football yards,
and let's look at that one again. Wow.
Don't recall seeing anybody that can turn it on like this boy, Chris.
If you were a football fan in the late '60s and someone said to you,
"Do you remember The Run?" It was just one run.
That set OJ apart from everyone.
He's so much faster, it makes no difference.
That single play is still felt
to be one of the greatest college plays.
He became an instant national star.
A civil rights leader in Los Angeles has said
if you are going to be a negro in a big city,
then Los Angeles is the best place to be.
The image of Los Angeles was milk and honey.
There's no prejudice in Los Angeles.
Everybody's free to do what they will.
You know, palm trees and sunshine. It's just the ultimate place.
And anybody who was trying to go somewhere, at least in my area,
you know, they were going to Los Angeles.
There is no group in America to whom California has meant more
than it has to the negroes.
In the two decades between 1940 and 1960,
while the population of all other groups in Los Angeles
went up by 100%, the negro population went up by 600%.
Where do the people come from?
People come from the states of Texas, Louisiana, Georgia...
The hope is that all the trouble I've known will be gone.
Two, four, six, eight, we don't want to integrate!
Two, four, six, eight, we don't want to integrate!
I will no longer be held down by this notion
held against my skin and my hair.
More literally, I can get work because it's growing so fast here.
And I can buy a house,
and nobody's ever going to come take it away from me because I'm black.
This is something that you didn't have in the Deep South.
The Simpsons are from Rodessa, Louisiana.
My parents and his parents, they grew up on a 200-acre farm.
Although they had land, there was no opportunity for people of colour,
so everybody "got out of Dodge", as they say.
OJ and I were born in San Francisco in '47.
He had aspirations.
He knew that he wanted to better his circumstances,
and LA was the place to do that.
I moved out here looking for opportunities.
My grandmother gave me 67 for a ticket,
and my mother gave me 65 to spend,
and I got on a plane, one-way ticket.
If I had the money, I would've gone back home,
cos it was very, very troubling once I got here.
Racism out here was as stark as it was in Jim Crow South.
You don't really have any more power out here than you had there.
Everybody was always conscious of the police.
-You a friend of Jack Grant's?
-Jack Grant a friend of yours?
-I'm not going to tell ya.
I grew up watching the Los Angeles Police Department.
They just were so sharp and professional all the time,
if you watched things that depicted them.
I'm Lieutenant Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Hell, no, we won't go.
If you do not leave now, you will be arrested
for violation of section 602-J.
They were just always squared away.
The institutional culture was really clear.
We expected you to be the best, we expected you to be professional.
It's not like it was in the '30s and '40s.
Police officers don't take bribes.
There's none of that stuff, that had been cleaned up by Chief Parker.
Chief Parker turned a very corrupt police department
into what was viewed as a very honest police department,
but with that he brought a level of being untouchable.
Everything at the police academy was white,
in the sense of command staff,
officers, all the trainers were white.
Bill Parker was reputed
to have actually recruited police officers from Klan rallies.
I think he, at minimum, was racially insensitive,
at maximum, he was racist.
Police officers under Bill Parker would respond to a radio call,
they would go snatch the person who was causing trouble,
put 'em in the car, take 'em out and leave.
So their interaction with the community
was almost entirely based on apprehension,
and that's where the notion of an occupying army comes from.
Just getting tired of being pushed around by you white people, that's all.
You stoppin' us on the street, kickin' down the doors,
takin' down to the police station, you're kicking our teeth in.
Well, he took me in the car and, uh, he just started getting on me.
-But was there a fight?
-How can I fight with my hands stuck?
The complaint that you hear everywhere is that the negro
is not getting the same treatment from the police as the...
Well, I know, but I'm getting a little bit weary of that,
and I think perhaps the best thing to do
is just to pull the police out of the area.
I've offered to do that again and again,
but you see how quick they are to come back and say,
"We can't afford to have that."
The negroes are stepping up, they're waking up, and they're going to do
something about what the white man did to them.
I'm not afraid of bloodshed. If I have to die for my rights, I will.
54 square miles in the middle of the nation's third-largest city.
No-one expected the flash point of discontent to be
in the sprawling, bungalowed 450 square miles of Los Angeles.
This is where the fuse was lighted.
It began with the arrest by white officers of two young negroes,
one on a charge of drunk driving, the other his brother.
Their mother came to the scene.
There was an argument, there was a scuffle.
By then, a crowd of several hundred negroes had gathered.
The story of police brutality quickly spread through the community.
SCREAMING AND SHOUTING
The Watts riots. I was ten years old, man.
It was summer, it was hot,
and white policemen had been treating us like shit forever.
And we were going to respond.
The police in their idiocy responded with too much force
and not enough understanding, and it mushroomed.
I was nervous.
There were people screaming, people shooting,
people lying on the ground, not moving.
The police, four-deep in a car, all holding up shotguns.
The Watts riot was one of the first major events in the city of LA
that was caught on TV.
People who grew up looking at those kinds of activities in the South,
they thought that's where all of the racial divide was.
The only thing was missing in LA, there weren't dogs.
Get 'em up. Get your hands up. Let's go.
I got home and my father was sitting there, upset, and he says,
"You know, Walter, they're out there, rioting."
And he says, "I want to do that. I feel that. I feel that anger.
"I know it's wrong, so I can't do it. But I want to."
I didn't think it was a big deal.
I didn't think these people were, quote, "persecuted".
I didn't think these people had any problem. Why were they rioting?
I was as naive as any other white person.
This area is being closed. Please go in your homes.
The question came down from white people after Watts.
They said, "Do most black people feel like this?"
And the answer came back,
"About 99% of them feel like this. And 1% are really mad."
In creating this situation, where was the failure?
On the part of the city, the county, the schools?
This, sir, I think, is one of the difficulties in meeting this,
is that we're trying to find a failure other than the people themselves.
They came in and... and flooded a community
that wasn't prepared to meet them.
We didn't ask these people to come here.
So long as this stubborn attitude is maintained,
I can only see the situation worsening.
I can still smell the smoulderings of that event.
There was nervousness all over the place
that would ultimately translate into traumatising an entire community.
What would make all the rioting stop?
I don't think it'll ever stop, really.
And the institution that gave life to OJ Simpson's image
and presence nationally and beyond was located
right in the middle of that very same neighbourhood.
USC was an isolated, beautiful school right next to the LA Coliseum
and on the other side were the slums of LA. Basically Watts.
Everyone was warned not to go down on that side of the Coliseum.
At the University of Southern California,
they have a living legend, and at homecoming,
that's all they want to talk about.
The name of the legend is OJ Simpson.
When you saw him on campus, it was like, "Wow! There's OJ!"
And you might go up and wave or say, "Way to go, OJ,"
and he'd give you a big smile,
and you felt like you were a million dollars.
You felt fantastic. "OJ Simpson said hi to me!"
-Hey, OJ, how are ya? How's it...?
I hope you're going to be smiling Saturday.
Yeah, in about four days or five. I plan to.
For most of the USC students, I wager, OJ Simpson
was the first African-American they really got to see and talk to.
Because most of them didn't know African-Americans at all,
or any person of colour.
We are! SC!
We are! SC!
USC was a football school, it was a Hollywood school,
it was glamour and glitz,
it was not the University of California, Berkeley.
It was not San Jose State.
Fight, fight, fight, fight!
It was above and beyond reach of the movement.
OJ went to USC in 1967,
so he's plucked
out of the black community,
out of black consciousness, and he's
submerged in an all-white university.
And I say this, and I don't say it facetiously,
but he is seduced by white society.
USC controls TV, Hollywood, banking, finance,
law and medicine in Los Angeles.
The alumni are very powerful, and their whole existence
revolves around the success of the football team.
And OJ is leading them to glory.
It was that type of school with that type of power and control
that could be directed towards him.
The black man has been brainwashed,
and it's time for him to learn something about himself.
The word "black" is a part of the times.
We are succumbing to the demands of the black man in the street
who says that the negro is dead and the black man is alive.
It was a condition that I was born into -
the unfairness, the racism, the hatred...
..the poverty that we had in this country.
You can't balance that with being a football hero.
In the '60s, societal issues were pushing their way into sports.
It has been said that I have two alternatives,
either go to jail or go to the army.
There was this engagement of the athlete.
Some major athletes stood up.
Nine top negro athletes meet with Cassius Clay
to discuss his anti-draft stand.
They include Bill Russell, Lew Alcindor,
and former pro-footballer Jimmy Brown.
Every man in that room was a soldier.
Every man in that room, for nothing other than his beliefs
and backing another brother,
felt that he should be there
and to hell with the consequences.
Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Ali, for sure, were race men.
They stood up for principle
and damaged their commercial possibilities.
They pointed to the discrimination,
not only of all blacks, but of black athletes,
of people who were supposedly given entitlement in America.
At the time you were supposed to be satisfied. Or grateful.
Why would someone that's making money
and cheered by 80,000 people be complaining?
For me, it was really a matter of fairness and what is correct.
The United States has hypocritically put itself up
as the leader of the free world, while right here in this country
there are 22 million black people who are catching more hell
than anyone in any communist country ever dreamed of.
Black men and women athletes, professional and amateur,
have unanimously voted to fully endorse and participate
in a boycott of the World Olympic Games in 1968.
The movement on the West Coast recently in which Lew Alcindor
supposedly said he might not play in the Olympics,
what are your thoughts?
Well, um... Well, this is his prerogative.
I'm not too well enlightened on the situation.
I don't know exactly what they're trying to do, you know.
The whole idea behind the Olympic Project for Human Rights
was to escalate the relationship between elite athletes
and the civil rights movement.
Let me say that I absolutely support this boycott.
I would also like to commend the outstanding athletes
who have the courage to make it clear that they will not participate
unless something is done about these terrible evils and injustices.
OJ was approached because he was
the biggest name in collegiate athletics at that time.
He was also a world record-holding track star.
-That's OJ Simpson...
-So here we got two for one.
..and Lennox Miller...
When I asked him, I said we were trying to get black athletes
to understand they have a role in the current civil rights movement,
his response was, "I'm not black. I'm OJ."
What they think is right, I guess, they must follow their beliefs.
Well, uh, right now I don't want to be involved in it, because,
uh, I'm not in track. You know, I'm running track, but when it...
when it comes to Olympic time, I'll be in football,
so I have no comment on the matter.
OJ was saying, "I want to be judged not by the colour of my skin,
"I want to be judged by the content of my character
"and most of all, the calibre of my competence.
"I think I'm the greatest football player that this country's ever seen.
"That's all I want to be judged by.
"Don't tell me I've gotta do this because I'm black."
I think football is a great sport. It teaches a person an awful lot.
I would say there's less prejudice in sports than any other field anywhere,
because, uh, it just... you're accepted as what you are,
you know, an athlete and what you can do,
and I think this is good for anyone.
Simpson rushed for 1,709 yards in 1968,
more than any other back in history.
His durability is almost as legendary as his speed and moves.
Simpson scored 22 touchdowns.
He carried a record 355 times
and proved himself nearly indestructible.
He was in a different world than the rest of us.
There was an OJ cult. It was building, building, building.
When you bring a student athlete in there on a visit,
they want to see OJ.
The community leaders, for speaking engagements, they wanted OJ.
They wanted a role model. They wanted the young black kids to see.
When I was 16 years old, I made an all-star team down in Los Angeles
and they had a banquet, and while we were eating,
the guy who was running the whole show, he says,
"OK, I want to introduce the guest speaker tonight, OJ Simpson."
And I was like, "Wow!" I said, "OJ's here. This is unbelievable."
OJ, when he walked up, he said,
"First of all, before I start, is Ron Shipp here?"
I put my hand up. I was like, "Is this... ? Is this for real?"
And he goes, "Are you the brother of Michael Shipp?" And I say, "Yes."
And he goes, "Hey, everybody, I just want to tell you about,
"uh, Michael Shipp, his brother,
"we played against each other, he's a great guy,
"so and so, Ron, if you're anything like your brother, you know..."
And, like, he made me an instant hero in that room.
I mean, I fell in love with the guy right then.
This is the most incredible human being.
Here is the star of our show, Bob Hope.
I don't have to tell you it's a pleasure to be here at OJU.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
But it's wonderful to be here at USC.
You haven't had a riot, a demonstration or even a sit-in.
Are you sure this is a college?
I have some very sad news for all of you.
Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis.
I tried to talk to OJ before the show,
but I guess he has something on his mind.
He kept referring to me as Mr Heisman.
RFK, RFK, RFK!
Pigs, pigs, pigs, pigs!
OJ, you've had quite a season.
Well, I have gained a few yards.
A few yards? You've gobbled up more real estate than Howard Hughes.
When you think of 1968, what do you think of?
1968, I think of winning all the games, getting OJ famous,
everybody on campus thinking it's the greatest thing on Earth.
That's all we thought about. There was nothing else going on.
MUSIC: US National Anthem
Several European newspapers today condemned
the International Olympic Committee for sending home
two militant negro athletes from the United States.
The two, Tommie Smith and John Carlos,
who ran first and third in the 200-metre dash,
were banished after they raised clenched fists in black gloves
during the playing of The Star Spangled Banner.
# Uh, with your bad self!
# Say it loud!
# I'm black, and I'm proud! #
I didn't believe in the national anthem,
but I stood up anyway, because I didn't want no static,
but those days are gone.
Brother Tommie Smith, Brother Johnny Carlos
and Brother Harry Edwards
join the ranks of Brother Muhammad Ali,
because we want black people who are concerned with us first
and with sports second.
# Say it loud!
# I'm black, and I'm proud! #
At about, uh, ten o'clock this morning, we were notified that,
uh, a Heisman Trophy winner comes back to USC
and, as you all know, it's OJ Simpson.
Thank you. Well, I... I don't know quite what to say.
I'm, uh, certainly proud, and I'm very happy, and I'm... I'm taking it
as a team award and all the other guys did as much
if not more than I do, for me to get the award,
and I'll be glad to see all the guys,
cos I know they're just as happy as I am.
As you can see, the Heisman Trophy award ceremony is over,
and OJ Simpson, number 32,
University of Southern California,
has been beset by autograph hounds.
Mrs Simpson, I wonder if you'd be good enough to come over.
Your tears only registered your pride, and it's a very great pride,
and you should enjoy it, because this is a very great young man.
OJ, the congratulations of all of us to you for a truly remarkable season
and, more importantly, for your impeccable character.
Thank you, Mr Cosell.
So that's the story.
The Heisman Trophy award proceedings, number 32, OJ Simpson.
Perhaps the greatest running back in the history of college football.
When I met him, I was quite taken with him.
This is kind of a warm June night in 1969.
Howard Cosell took OJ and me to Bachelors III,
which was Joe Namath's bar.
He was telling a story about being at a team-mate's wedding
with his wife, sitting at a table of mostly, as he said, negroes,
and you overheard a white woman at the next table saying,
"Look, there's OJ sitting with all those niggers."
And I remember in my naivete, saying to OJ,
"Gee, wow, that must have been terrible for you."
He said, "No, that was great. Don't you understand?
"She knew that I wasn't black.
"She saw me as OJ."
And... And really, at that moment, um, I thought he was fucked.
-Our first guest today is one
of the greatest running backs I've ever seen.
I met him when he was still in college at Southern California,
and he's not only a hell of a football player,
he's a hell of a guy. The winner of the Heisman Trophy,
the finest college football player in the country last year,
the Buffalo Bills' great rookie, OJ Simpson.
APPLAUSE Thank you, Joe.
Now, with all that money you got for signing with Buffalo,
I want to know if you're going to help me out
-in some business interests.
-I'm the one that needs the help.
Oh, it's pretty good. I, er... I'm under contract with...
-I don't know if I can say on here.
Well, I'm under contract with Chevrolet and RC Cola,
and I'm working with, um... What network is this?
..ABC. And, er, they're keeping me pretty busy.
The pitch to Chevrolet was
that this would be the first national black spokesman.
You've got a black market.
He's not going to be a negative in any way to the white market,
but you're going to get a lot of brownie points just for stepping up.
OJ? It's a real satisfaction to me to be able to introduce
a great ballplayer like you
to an equally great group of Chevrolet salesmen.
My pleasure, Chris.
At the time, athlete endorsements were virtually non-existent.
And for them to sign him, a black man, a football player,
They tell me that the Chevrolet selling team
is the greatest in the country. I believe that.
That's what made perfect sense.
OJ Simpson was the counterrevolutionary athlete.
White America is looking for somebody who can erase the threat
of these seemingly angry, principled black athletes
who are going to create a revolution in sports.
OJ made people feel good.
It was clear, once you spent some time with OJ,
that the Carlos, you know, fist pump, and those kinds of, er...
situations were not going to be, you know, present
in dealing with him.
He just gave you that confidence
that he understood what this was about.
I'd like to welcome a new member of the ABC sports commentary staff.
It is OJ Simpson.
Er, well, Jim, I'll be doing basically sports work
with the, er, ABC radio networks and the TV nextworks - networks.
OJ was very, very rough
and needed a lot of coaching in the early years.
It's pretty interesting, and I'm really looking forward to it.
We obviously wanted him to be able to speak proper English
and eliminate slang, and he didn't ever take offence at that.
It was, "Thank you." You know? "OK, I got it."
He realised that his Horatio Alger story
was based on him being a pleasing person to white people.
I really had the sense that he was enormously self-conscious
of who he was and who he needed to be to get over.
That there was this character, OJ, which he was creating.
What does OJ stand for?
OJ LAUGHS Oh, Joe.
-Come on, tell it. Tell me.
Orenthal James Simpson.
-Now, that's a nice name, Orenthal.
-It's a good name.
You... You never got in any arguments over that, did ya?
No, no, I had, er...
I had some pretty good friends, pretty big friends,
and they were the only guys that could tease me about it.
Well, in your movie career, er, motion picture industry,
are they going to call you Orenthal James or...?
They're going to call me OJ. HE LAUGHS
'I was taken by OJ as a character, as somebody to write about,
'that somebody was so self-aware'
and so obviously ambitious.
The question in my mind then and still now is
where did this imagination come from?
Where did he begin to write this novel about OJ Simpson?
Everybody looks at San Francisco now, "Oh, it's this cosmopolitan...
"You know, everybody loves everybody, gooshy-goosh."
It's not. It wasn't like that, man.
Potrero Hill was predominantly African-American.
Public housing, the old barracks from the navy.
When the navy left, the city turned 'em into low-income housing.
It was a rough area.
The Simpsons lived at the top of a big hill.
Carmelita, his younger sister, and Shirley had a room,
and Melvin and OJ had a room.
We crawled around on the floor together
before we ever learned how to walk.
Four months apart. I'm born in March, he's born in July.
We spend a lot of time at each other's house.
We're a close-knit family.
The mother worked at night,
so they were responsible for themselves,
and sometimes he would open the refrigerator
and there just wouldn't be nothing in there,
and I'd say, "Well, come on, let's go to my house and eat dinner."
OJ's mother, my aunt, Eunice, worked the graveyard shift
at San Francisco General Hospital.
She was a provider, she was steady,
but if you're in a single-parent situation,
you know, there's never enough money.
I mean, we were poor kids, you know?
We would steal cars, we would break into somebody's house,
take all the women's purses and stuff, like... You know?
We would be called criminals.
From the time we were ten years old, you know, we were hustlers.
You know, you'd go to the football game, scalp tickets,
-and everybody had their own technique.
I can recall crying in front of a cat, you know.
"Oh, I need it." HE LAUGHS
"Please let me have that ticket." You know?
THEY ALL LAUGH
"I want to see... I want to see Hugh McElhenny play," you know?
Cats break down, give you the ticket,
I would go on the other side of the stadium and sell it.
-Why didn't I think of that?
Did you ever see him in any fist fights?
-OJ didn't fight a lot.
No. OJ was boisterous.
When you say he was boisterous, did you ever see him, er...
talk himself out of a... a fight situation?
I've seen OJ fight... Talk himself out of a lot of situations.
-There was this one incident at school.
Myself, Al Cowlings and OJ,
we were all in the bathroom, shooting craps.
We were cursing and talking loud, and I'm shaking the dice...
then, all of a sudden, these big
wing tip shoes slide in the circle,
and I looked up, and it was Coach McBride.
We were all on the football team.
We're like, "OK, Mr McBride, we're busted. Let us go to class."
He's like, "No."
He's going to take us to the principal's office.
OJ stays in back of the pack.
I could hear him, "Oh, come on, Mr McBride.
"You know we're going to get suspended."
So we get in the principal's office.
Coach McBride says, "I caught these guys in the bathroom shooting dice."
And then he turned and walked out.
So OJ turns and walks away.
Dean Smith says, "Simpson, where you going?"
He says, "Oh, I was just helping Mr McBride bring these guys down."
And Dean Smith let him go.
SCHOOL BELL RINGS
It was just that kind of smooth talk
that OJ would do in all kinds of situations.
Do you think he was shown a little preference
-because of his football ability?
You said you had seen Simpson talk himself out of lots of situations.
Oh, yeah, talked himself... With me.
When we were younger, Al Cowlings used to stutter,
and he never was good with talking to girls.
Marguerite was the nice girl from the other side of town,
but Marguerite liked Alan, and they wound up going steady.
There was some party, and OJ came and got me.
I thought we was going straight to the party,
but we pull up in front of Marguerite's house,
and he tells me to get in the back, and I'm, like, in shock, like...
You know, I seen her with... you know, walking with Alan.
We go down to where the party is, and Alan spots us,
and he starts shaking his head and, "No! No way!"
He is furious, and Al is a big guy.
And he grabs the car, and he's rocking it,
rocking the car back and forth, just rocking it.
And Marguerite gets out of the car,
she says, "Alan, stop it."
And he stops.
-And we were like, "No, he didn't!"
How could OJ keep getting out of these situations?
He stole his best friend's girl.
Later on, you see the three of them together.
Alan went to USC also.
They were thick as thieves.
Everywhere he went, AC was with him.
Football really was what brought us together.
We were really braggadocious, you know.
We were like, "I'm going to be a pro football player,"
and OJ said something that really struck me.
He says, "Man, let me tell you guys something.
"One of these days, your children are going to be fighting over
"who wants to be OJ Simpson."
He knew that he was going to be somebody.
He was self-assured. I'll just... I'll just put it that way.
OJ has always wanted to be a hero.
If it was looking at Burt Lancaster as the man on the flying trapeze
or Burt Lancaster playing Jim Thorpe...
..he always wanted to be a hero.
An American hero.
The Buffalo Bills select, as their first choice in the first round,
halfback OJ Simpson, the University of Southern California.
It was the last place you'd want to be.
It was just like being sent to Siberia.
There was some players that said, "Oh, Mr Hotshot."
He understood that people around him was envious
what he was getting and what he was doing.
Stand by and go whenever you're ready, OJ.
Well, there was never much doubt about missing him.
Er, that was OJ Simpson.
OJ is now a professional football player.
The Buffalo Bills is his home,
and the question is how many professional defensive tacklers
is he going to get by?
So what kind of an attitude must OJ Simpson have
to play professional football?
Well, he's going to have to be strong-willed,
er, in many different ways,
because he will have a lot of people picking at him...
'We had a couch, John Rauch,'
which I've considered the worst coach that we ever had.
Blocking, he will have to block,
because other people are ball carriers also.
'He tried to make OJ a receiver, more or less.'
What we call tosses - quick, er, opening plays.
And OJ could not catch a ball.
He couldn't catch a ball if they paid him to catch a ball,
which they was. They was paying him.
-They was paying him a lot.
OJ hated Buffalo.
He hated the weather.
It's a blue-collar town.
Hard-working, blue-collar, factory-working people.
OJ was nothing of that.
And, plus, we was on a losing team.
The first couple of years of his pro career
were very frustrating for him,
and they were disappointing relative to the huge expectations
that everybody set for him.
I mean, they were saying he was a bust.
If it had have stayed the same
as it was when he first got drafted in here,
he would have been a nobody.
I honestly believe that. He'd have been a nobody.
Best thing happened to OJ was John Rauch got fired,
and Lou Saban took over.
Lou Saban was a person who believed in the run game first,
the pass game second. I tell you, if Lou Saban hadn't have came in,
we wouldn't be doing this story right now.
'73 was the year we opened the new stadium.
So we had a 80,000-seat stadium...
..and they brought in all these young offensive linemen.
Coach Saban built the team to run.
When I got there during exhibition season,
I saw him doing things that...
I said, "Wow.
"Homeboy's pretty bad."
Lou Saban started selling them on the idea that we can get 2,000.
"You can get 2,000. We can do this."
You can get it done. What's more, you gotta get it done.
And in that first game...
..we turned out the lights and started it...
..and never looked back.
First game I ever played in the NFL, OJ got 250 yards.
OJ Simpson could run sideways
faster than most men could run forward.
And he hit the line, and he'd go - fwip! - that quick,
and then up the sideline.
He was amazing.
I've been around a lot of good ballplayers,
but I've never been around anyone that was as breathtaking
or as captivating as he was.
He would, like, glide.
He never really picked his feet more than a couple inches off the ground,
so he was, like, slithering through a hole.
When he'd hit a hole, sometimes he'd turn sideways
and kind of leap through it sideways.
Then if he broke open into the open,
then you'd start seeing the knees go up in his stride.
That's when he was motoring.
He's the one who sucked me into being a rabid Bills fan.
Let's hear it for the Bills. Let's hear it. Come on! Let's go!
Let's go, Bills!
And once we got to the seventh game,
it was a Monday night game,
OJ went over 1,000.
Everybody said, "Hey, we have a shot at this."
2,000 yards in 14 games.
That was like somebody breaking Babe Ruth's home run record.
That was unheard of.
What was going through my mind at the time is
he might have a chance of breaking Jim Brown's record.
I never thought that he would go 2,000 yards.
-Why are you so much better than everybody else?
I think our offensive line is so much better than everybody.
Hey, you guys!
# We're going to turn it on... #
All of a sudden, we got a nickname - The Electric Company.
And, "Whoa, this is pretty cool."
The nickname came from the PR director of The Bills.
There used to be a cartoon called The Electric Company,
and his son watched it all the time.
He said, "Hey, Dad, why don't you call 'em The Electric Company?
"They turn on THE JUICE."
# The Bills, they got that Electric Company
# Montler, Foley, Big Joe D
# They turn on The Juice They turn on The Juice
# They cut him loose
# They turn on The Juice
# You know I love to see my Electric Company
# Turn on The Juice
# Turn him loose... #
OJ just couldn't be stopped that year.
# Throw that switch, boys Turn the power on... #
There were times when the quarterback
would only throw six passes in the entire game.
# There goes The Juice There goes The Juice... #
So the entire offence was OJ Simpson.
# There goes The Juice
# 30, 40... #
Nobody actually thought he was going to go for 2,000.
With only, er, two games to go, he was still 400 and a few yards short.
-Come on, Juice!
-Come on, Juice!
During the games, I never took a minute off from the offence.
# Do you want The Juice to put a move on you? #
I never made it to the bench.
# Turn on The Juice
# Yeah... #
I didn't want to miss any of it.
# Turn on The Juice. #
It was the most exciting thing that I'd ever seen.
When we got to New York, that last game,
he was going for Jim Brown's record.
It was 60 yards needed, and everyone knew that The Jets
didn't want him to get the record.
I was actually there.
The Jets had no chance of making the playoffs.
The only interesting thing about that day
was whether OJ was going to break 2,000.
It was a really snowy, cold day.
Hm, a little bit similar to today.
So a lot of people were worried
that he wouldn't have a lot of rushing yards
because of that, a lot of slipping in the snow.
He was nervous that day.
We had a little chat, and I told him, I said,
"Hey, homes, this is just another week for you."
I think he knew that, "This is going to make or break me."
He knew that in order for him to write his name in the book,
he had to be exceptional.
He was living a very comfortable life,
but he wanted to live an exceptional life.
And this was his exceptional feat.
I remember just about every play in that game.
Every time Simpson got the ball,
everyone was rushing to their, er, notepad to write it down.
And the announcers kept counting it down.
-Well, gentlemen, we are coming upon it,
and, er, The Juice should break
the National Football League rushing record in this next series.
Simpson running left, Simpson breaking loose,
-and there it is!
-All right! All right!
He needed four yards, he got five and this crowd,
his whole team is gathering around and congratulating him,
hitting him on the head, there isn't a person sitting down.
He got the 1,863 pretty early in the game.
And then he said, "OK, now we're going for the 2,000."
And now it's for the 2,000, boys.
More than 100 yards, OJ, OJ cuts inside,
OJ gets wide, this is on!
Now a race, he's at midfield
and he's inside Jets territory at the 43-yard line.
109 yards. That makes how many games that he's gotten 100 yards? 11?
Once he got over 100 yards,
a different excitement started to hit the game.
"Well, he might do this. He might actually hit 2,000."
You had Jets fans who were basically rooting for OJ
because they wanted to be part of history, and I think, you know,
I was basically a little kid, but I think I felt that way.
Who cared if The Jets won? Everybody loved OJ.
OJ, he's got five yards, and OJ running left,
-OJ, five more. Maybe more. I don't know.
-They did it. They did it.
-Yeah! All right!
'And when he did it, he was on my shoulder.'
'I knew how important it was.'
'I contributed to that also.'
The defence has to give the ball to the offence.
I felt it. It was mine, too.
Right after the game, there's "got to get OJ to the interview,"
and he said, "I'm not coming in unless you bring in all the guys."
And we were in a tiny room. We could barely fit in that room.
He brought in all the offence.
He refused to go in that room without us.
OJ, you brought 'em all with you.
Yeah. Hey, they did the job, all of you.
I want you to meet the boys. Here.
Mike Montler, our centre.
Jim Braxton, Bob Penchion, Joe Ferguson.
Didn't throw many passes this year, but ball-handling is the thing.
Donnie Green, Bobby Chandler, Paul Seymour,
Dave Foley, a former Jet.
All right, all right!
This is a guy, through the long winter
wasn't supposed to play any football this year.
He had a heart problem, but he came back, and you see what we did.
JD Hill, "Crackback" Hill. My main man, Reg McKenzie.
He was the most generous guy you'd ever meet.
When we broke the record, he bought us a gold wristband.
And on the back of it is, "We did it. The Juice. 3,088."
He didn't say "2,003", he said "3,088",
cos that's how much the team rushed.
I hope to stay in the, er, league long enough for, you know,
till all these guys get old so no young back
can get behind 'em and break my record.
'73 was like a rebirth of his celebrity.
I was 22 years old, I thought, you know,
"This is like being on a team with Babe Ruth."
Mentally, I think he was ahead of, er, a lot of people.
From watching how he handled himself, how he operated,
my whole demeanour changed.
I began to want to be like OJ.
He was Baryshnikov.
When somebody is that great at something...
..when we see those people, they are special.
They just can do stuff that other people can't do.
You expect it of yourself.
You hear the crowd, but you don't hear it.
I mean, you know they're cheering, but that's the way it should be.
When I'm in the open, I'm running, this is how it is supposed to be.
This is correct. This is the natural state of things.
I know whenever I've done it, my feelings have always been,
er, "That's nothing. "This is nothing yet.
"Yeah, I'm going to do it again."
Orenthal James Simpson had that shine.
The sun hit him, and there was this thing about him.
Because he really was that great.
He really was that great.
Football has been my vehicle to come out of the ghetto,
to give everything I've got. I think I have a lot more to offer.
There's a lot of things I need as a person.
You know, I need, er... I need that recognition.
I think that, er, what... what is driving OJ Simpson
is that need to be number one, that need to be liked.
That need to be said, "Hey, that's OJ Simpson."
When I walk down the street, I want people to know me.
We had done a survey asking the customer base,
what was the most important attribute
of the rental car experience?
And the most important attribute was speed of service.
So we went to the agency,
and they showed a storyboard of a businessman with a briefcase
running through the airport.
Our marketing guy said, "Frank, it doesn't work.
"That's not realistic to think a businessman's going to do that.
"We need somebody that connotes speed."
And I said, "Like what?"
He says, "Like OJ Simpson."
Juice comes off the blocks, immediately goes into the lead.
Steve Smith running in second place.
But here comes Schenk up. He moves past Riessen.
OJ looks back, sees Smith running at his shoulder,
steps on it a little bit, and The Juice puts him away.
It was one of the clients who said,
"Did you see the ABC programme The Superstars?
"OJ just lit up the screen.
"His personality came out, and he just made everybody smile."
You gave him about a yard and then you took a look at him.
Well, I was out there cruising. I figure I'd coast it on in.
I saw Steve pull up on me, you know,
and my ego got a little ruffled there.
I said, "I'd better get out in front again."
I called him, and his first comment was,
"Hertz is the number one rent-a-car company.
"If I'm ever going to do anything in advertising in a big way,
"it's always going to be for the number one brand."
When you're in a rush, take it from OJ Simpson.
There's only one superstar in rent-a-car - Hertz.
The first ad was filmed in Newark Airport.
He was very professional,
he was anxious to make sure that he did things correctly,
that his diction was appropriate.
Others claim to be fast, but nobody has more to do it faster.
More pros to execute the toughest performance standards.
More cars, more locations,
first with every good idea to speed up service,
like the Number One Club.
Before you get there, your form's filled out, car's preassigned.
Go, OJ, go!
Rent a Ford fast from Hertz, the superstar in rent-a-car.
I thought it was perfect.
I mean, it just made sense.
You're trying to portray speed of service,
and you've got the fastest guy in America running through the airport
and a little old lady yelling, "Go, OJ!"
Go, OJ, go!
It was perfect.
It tested so well that they decided to use him for the print work,
promotional work, and they did the right thing.
He made that company successful.
He became the image for that company.
We started in September of '75.
By two years of the campaign running, OJ Simpson
was the star presenter of the year for Advertising Age.
There was never a story that was written about OJ
that didn't mention Hertz.
Coming or going on a business trip, you've got no time to waste.
I can see him right now flying through the airport.
Whether it's picking up or dropping off...
I was proud. It made me want that.
-Go, OJ, go!
It gave me hope.
# There you are with super-speed. #
This is an important moment.
The young black kid seeing a black man running on television.
That's all he sees. He says, "He looks like my Uncle Reggie."
You know it.
That's something I could do. I want to be like OJ on television.
Hi. Ever need to rent a car fast? Watch.
You're in the limelight. We like seeing you. You look like us.
It's kind of like when I first saw black people
brushing their teeth on TV.
I mean, we always knew we brushed our teeth,
but it was, like, a big thing. Like, "Come see!"
That's what happened with OJ Simpson.
Those were heights that we had not reached before, so he was a pioneer.
You're a black man in America, you're fighting our war.
If you make a success for yourself somewhere, you've opened a door.
Fortunately, because of the riots of the early '60s,
some doors were opened to me.
If I were to have looked at myself in any other way except a man,
my brother could walk into a room
and know he's the only black guy in the room.
I walk in a room, and I don't care.
I don't count the blacks or whites in the room,
and in '68, when I signed to work for some white companies, you know,
Chevrolet Motor Division, I walked in the room,
and I never thought that I was the first black guy to do it.
I never even gave that any credence.
For us, OJ was colorless.
None of the people that we associated with
looked at him as a black man.
OJ portrayed success.
Success, I mean, from nowhere.
And I think people want to be successful.
OJ was the first to demonstrate that white folks
would buy stuff based on a black endorsement
as long as it was not pressed as a black endorsement.
And the way they did that was to remove black people totally
from any scene that OJ was in.
It was Fred Levinson who said,
"Guys, we're going to be showing a black man
"running through an airport in 1975."
I said, "When you see the commercial with a black guy
"running through an airport, a little different
"than seeing a white guy running through an airport."
So we came up with the idea of putting in various characters
who would see OJ and endorse him by saying, "Go, OJ, go!"
Go, OJ, go!
-Go, OJ, go!
Go, Juice, go!
Rent a Ford from Hertz.
-The superstar in rent-a-car.
They bought the notion
that you could erase the black character, the culture.
This is what made OJ marketable.
He's African, but he's a good-looking man.
You know, he almost has white features.
He wasn't the typical black look, African look.
What white America got out of it
was they could point to somebody that had "made it"...
..and demonstrated unequivocally that we are more than willing
to not just accept you, but to embrace you.
What OJ got out of it was money, fame, celebrity.
# Hey, hey, hey!
# What you got to say? #
I always say of it, he was the guy of the '70s.
I look back at those days,
there was Muhammad Ali, Hank Aaron and OJ Simpson.
And OJ was the most popular of all of them.
# Hollywood... #
I didn't see them running through airports.
# Hollywood swinger... #
When you're a star running back,
-you have to maintain a certain image.
I'mma tell ya, I dug OJ.
I got a chance to see how he lived, how he handled stuff.
I'd never been that close to that type of success before.
# Hey, listen, Hollywood city, yeah... #
They'd have 3,000 or 4,000 fans standing around the bus
just to get a look at him.
He would stay on the field and sign every autograph.
I've seen OJ sign autographs for hours.
I was like, "How in the world do you put up with this?"
He said, "Man, I wanted this."
OJ, tonight we're going to change your image.
Flip, you won't be the first who tried.
# Hollywood swinging... #
When I first met OJ, he was a huge star.
I'll shave one side with the leading double-edged blade.
I was friends with his wife Marguerite's sister.
I can't tell. Both sides feel the same.
They lived up in the hills, in Bel Air.
Marguerite felt like she was a single mother
while OJ was out being OJ.
Tonight, OJ, we're going to be sophisticated.
-We going to have a ball, Orenthal.
-I can dig it.
-Right on, OJ!
# Hollywood... #
The scene is this, here is three poor black kids,
never had 1,000 in our pockets.
Now he got a brand-new drop-top Cadillac,
we're driving down Rodeo Drive.
Women come up, throw their arms around OJ and just lay it on him.
Not just women, white women. Fine white women.
# What you got to say? #
It was that kind of world, man.
# Hollywood swinging... #
Do you feel, like, any kind of pressure in some ways to...?
You know, people expect that you're going to be a hero
so you always have to...
Well, I've found that... I thought that maybe my problem would be
that I would have to tear that down.
You know, I would have to, er... You know,
I found that I was becoming a trapped... You know,
getting trapped within the image other people have of me.
You know, my image was dictating what I did and who I was.
I even had a manager at one point,
I was going to do something and he said,
"You can't do that. OJ would never do that."
I said, "Hey, wait. Wait a minute. I'm OJ Simpson, you know?"
HE LAUGHS "And I'mma do it."
Yeah, cos I would think that someone
would like you to be a spokesman. You know, to get out there.
-All the time.
I've had a lot of pressure on me to go into politics.
I was pulled into it once or twice in the black movement,
when I was in school.
I think they tried to use us, and in many cases, it hurt guys.
I felt that with Harry Edwards.
It hurt Tommie Smith, it hurt John Carlos.
Standing on his platform,
I thought they should've been standing on their own platform.
I say if I'm going to be standing on the platform,
I'm going to be speaking for OJ. HE LAUGHS
When did you first meet Mr Simpson?
OK, and under what circumstances?
I met him, er, on a tennis court.
Would you be able to describe Mr Simpson's
basic personality as you knew it?
Very personable, very outgoing.
We did business together, and then we would, er, socialise together.
We were at Bob Kardashian's mansion in Beverly Hills.
OJ is playing tennis, and everybody's having a good time.
-I'm with black power, man.
I don't want to be around these people, all right?
Cos they're all phony to me.
I said, "OJ, look around you, man.
"These people don't care nothing about us.
"Just a few years ago, these guys woulda drove down Fillmore
"in their Rolls-Royce and they wouldn't have even spit on us."
I said, "Now they're acting like we're their long-lost brothers."
I said, "Man, the only reason we're here is we are jocks,
"and you're OJ."
And he looked at me, he says, "Mm-hm, yeah."
He says, "I understand what you're saying,"
and he rubbed his tennis racket.
He says, "But I am OJ,"
and ran off on the field, laughing.
And I was, like... I mean, I was furious.
Because I say, "He's lost. He's lost his identity.
"He doesn't know who he is any longer."
I think he'd been brainwashed.
Let me read you something that he said to me.
"That sort of thing hurts me
"even though it's what I strive for, to be a man first.
"Maybe it's money, a class thing.
"The negro is always identified with poverty.
"But then you think of Willie Mays as black,
"but not Bill Cosby.
"So it's more than just money.
"As black men, we need something up there all the time for us,
"but what I'm doing is not for principles or black people.
"No. I'm dealing first for OJ Simpson,
"his wife and his babies."
OJ's quest was to erase race as a defining factor in his life,
and that was the basis upon which white society
not only accepted him, but embraced him.
Now, there are problems with that,
because what enabled OJ to be OJ and not be black
was that so many negroes and black people stood up,
made the sacrifice, paid the price.
They're the ones that set the table for OJ and what he was saying was,
-"OK. We may not have arrived, but
"and, as far as I'm concerned,
"everybody else can get here the same way that I did,
"and when they get here, they can do what I do."
He was so privileged, he was so accepted,
he was so embraced that he was immune from the reality
that he could find in the mirror every morning,
that he was a black man.
No matter how far he runs and how long he runs,
when you look in the mirror,
that black man is going to be right there with you. Every day.
We were just sitting around the house once and, er, he says,
"Joe, do you think you could go back?"
And I was like, "Go back where?"
He said, "You know, go back to the projects, hanging out?"
I said, "Yeah, man." I said, "I could go back tomorrow."
Hasn't changed a bit.
We didn't have Dr King and these other bougie folks as role models.
Our role models was pimps and players.
Those are the only people that we looked up to,
because they had, quote, "things".
Man, they'd beat a ho down right there on the street,
in front of everybody, so that all the women would know it,
"This is the kind of treatment you're going to get
"if you don't bring me my money."
Your perceptions are shaped by the men that are in your lives.
Mama was Mama. We knew she loved us, but the reality is
I didn't want to be like Mama. Mama's a woman. I want to be a man.
He had to deal with his father from time to time.
Sometimes, I guess his father came by
to take care of the monthly payment or whatever.
One day, we went over to his dad's house.
We knocked on the door.
He kept looking at me, and when his dad opened the door,
he was in a bathrobe, which is not a crime,
but then his dad kind of opened the door more,
and there was a guy in the back in a bathrobe too,
so it was obvious that his dad was gay.
We left and on the way back, we were quiet
because there was so much tension.
We got to this certain point,
and we both bust out laughing.
Calvin came to me, and he was like,
"Man, do you know OJ's dad is a punk?"
I was like, "Man, shut up. I don't want to hear that."
Back in our day, that was the worst thing in the world,
that you could ever think about an African-American man
being a homosexual.
-Did you ever talk to OJ about this?
I felt like that issue was enough for him to deal with himself.
Think of OJ as an American man,
a poor American man, tough American man,
who's recreating himself in ways that people would accept and push.
OJ Simpson may be playing
the last game of his brilliant football career tomorrow,
when the Buffalo Bills meet the Minnesota Vikings.
All year, OJ has hinted he may hang up his cleats
for a movie career.
He could not wait to get out of Buffalo.
He was away from the glamour.
He was away from all the Hollywood and all that stuff.
He got attention here, but it was a different kind of attention.
It was not Hollywood attention.
Lou Saban said today that he's detected a change in The Juice.
He hasn't diminished one whit as a competitor,
but he's an intelligent man,
and he's thinking about the whole of his future life.
There are certain opportunities outside of football
that I can't, er... I just can't overlook too many more years.
You know, I came into the league, I thought the world was mine.
I had a few bad years, and I realised then that
"Hey, you know, when you're hot, you're hot,"
so there's opportunities that have come to me with ABC,
with the movies that I would like to, er, take advantage of
and, er, the only thing I want to do right now is play...
Get the best possible year I can so, if I do retire,
I will feel that I gave it my all and I,
you know, went out the best.
That's your own meretricious way of saying you want my job.
Well, you gotta explain "meretricious" to me, Howard.
I always felt that there was more
underneath OJ Simpson
than just the momentary superficiality of his pleasantness.
He had goals that he wanted to achieve,
and he internalised those things.
There was something driving him,
and I always felt that he was looking past a football career,
which was going to definitely come to an end.
We are T-minus 18 seconds from lift-off.
We're T-minus 15 seconds.
Would you and your men please follow me?
Gary, what the hell is this?
This is an emergency. Please follow me - NOW!
One of the most intriguing films now being put together in Hollywood
is Capricorn One.
James Brolin plays the first astronaut to set foot on Mars,
but the picture's scene-stealer will probably be OJ Simpson.
It basically came from the studio that they wanted OJ Simpson.
I thought there were worthy African-American actors
who had paid their dues as actors, who had shown their talent.
My first choice was either Robert Hooks or Bernie Casey,
so my reaction was less than enthusiastic.
I had seen Towering Inferno.
What? Damn it, man, you shoulda sent a man up there.
How do you expect her to hear a phone call? She's deaf.
I thought he was not going to frighten Daniel Day-Lewis.
OJ was a celebrity of enormous stature,
and somebody who had not shown the chops to play the part.
How uptight do you get making a picture like Capricorn One
where you're working in the company of actors of real stature and...
and you're just a football star trying to be an actor?
No, I don't think, er, it's given me that feeling.
It's obviously given me the feeling that,
"Hey, I've still got a lot to learn."
I think you never stop learning in anything,
and I realise I'm still just a babe, you know, in the woods.
My goal was to see if I could make this guy work for what I wanted.
Came time to do his last scene.
Tiny says signs for water.
He's a guy who's parched and delusional.
Dry river bed. Signs.
And so rather than him acting somebody
who was desperately thirsty...
..I put appliances on his face that made it difficult for him to move
and difficult to talk, and it just made him sound
like he was in desperate trouble.
HE SNIFFS Elizabeth, there's no water.
HE SOBS There's no water.
I don't want to die.
And, er, he was pretty good.
You know, at the...at the... What can I say?
He was a charming, terrific guy.
He was a positive guy. He tried very hard,
and it was clear that he saw a future for himself in film.
The Daisy was a private club in Beverly Hills,
and the only people that could get in it
were either rich, famous or beautiful.
All the celebrities used to go there, and really beautiful girls.
And you could get in even if you were underage, no problem.
Jack Hanson started the disco, and he knew every Hollywood star.
Jack was a former USC guy.
One day he said, "You chum around a bit with this Simpson guy.
"Could you bring him by, you know, and introduce him to me?"
He was married to Marguerite at that time.
But as we're sitting there, this gorgeous little surfer blonde
is waiting tables at lunch hour.
OJ goes, "Wow, who's that?"
Jack had Nicole come over and said hello.
And she didn't walk ten feet away,
and he looks right at Hanson and said,
"I'm going to marry that girl."
She was 18 years old, she had just graduated from high school.
She was just like my little sister.
She goes, "I met this man, and his name is OJ Simpson."
They went out, and I waited up for them.
She got home, it was, like, two o'clock in the morning
and her jeans were ripped.
And I went, "What...? What happened?"
And she goes, "Well, he was a little forceful."
And I go, "Nicole, why would you let him,
"first date, be a little bit forceful?"
"Well, Dave, don't be upset. I think I really like this guy."
That was, you know, the start of it.
About two days later, she went back to work.
She said, "OJ came in.
"He wants to get an apartment for me and also a car."
And I went, "Nicole, think about this.
"You know, he's married and has children."
And she goes, "But I think I really like this guy."
It was that fast.
18 years old. I mean, it was too young.
She was quiet, nice, didn't say too much.
She wasn't like she was distant or anything. She was just a shy person.
And Nicole was a doer.
Whatever Nicole put her mind to, she could do.
She actually wanted to be a photographer,
and she was always an artist.
Honestly, the connection's pretty obvious.
I mean, she's drop-dead gorgeous.
She was hot. My sister was really a beautiful girl.
We didn't know who he was.
We were girls in the Brown house.
We didn't grow up with football - we went to the beach.
So when Nicole came home with him, we were like, "Who are you?"
They had a real love affair, these two.
When they were together, it was just... It was love.
And that's what makes this thing so sad.
Five-part series and winner of the 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary chronicling the rise and fall of OJ Simpson.
To many observers, the story of the crime of the century is a story that began the night Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were brutally murdered outside her Brentwood condominium. But as the first episode lays bare, to truly grasp the significance of what happened not just that night, but the epic chronicle to follow, one has to travel back to points in time long before that.
To generations prior, when African-Americans began migrating to California en masse, trying desperately - and fruitlessly - to outrun the racism that had defined their lives. To the late 1960s, when in the heart of Los Angeles, OJ Simpson rose to instant fame as an unstoppable running back for the USC Trojans. To the early 1970s, when he expanded that fame in the NFL, becoming the first player ever to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, and emerging as one of the most visible faces in sports. And to a few years after that, when with his celebrity transcending the game, Simpson retired from American football and returned to Los Angeles - his acting, advertising, and broadcasting careers in ascendance. It was also then that he fell madly in love - with a young, beautiful woman named Nicole Brown.