Prison Orange Juice Just Got Really Weird

This is my first Newrosis post. Accordingly, it gives me anxiety...Mainly because four readers is three more than my other blog.

Anyway, so I'm blogging from my couch while watching TV, which usually causes me to blog not at all. But today the TV actually gave me slight inspiration...In the form of Orenthal James Simpson. Yep. For those of you sitting at work who haven't paid mind to our recommendations of CNN.com and/or ESPN.com as Internet essentials -- AKA sites that should always be open on your work computer -- The Juice had his armed robbery/kidnapping sentencing hearing today. I wasn't intending to watch it, but after Ellen and The Price is Right, I turned to CNN not so much for the news as to avoid soap operas...Plus, that Don Lemmon, is just so cute, isn't he?

So, yeah, CNN is on, more or less in the background, and for the first time this week they cut away from the newscast to something other than the automaker bailout hearings. Just like that, we're in Vegas watching the judge (this is live mind you) lecturing OJ Simpson about just how wrong it was to storm into a room with a gun and spout some naughty language. Really? You can't do that even if you're OJ?

I was immediately engaged. The judge, Jackie Glass (doesn't OJ always get the best names assigned to his cases?) was basically scolding him...It was some serious mom-laying-into-child-type verbal fury; very demeaning stuff. Anyway, as she berates OJ--basically for being an idiot--the camera is panning around the court room and I swear everyone but Kato Kaelin is there. The Goldmans, his kids, a big chunk of the cast from 1994. Just surreal. And then there's OJ, at the front, just glazed over and aloof. It was compelling television in the same low-brow, voyeuristic way that Cops is compelling television.

Well, after far too long Judge Jackie Glass gets to the point and reads the supremely multifaceted sentence, which, when added-up, amounts to 15 years in prison...At least 9 of which would be served. Whopping, right? OJ finally going to prison?

I duly note that OJ has finally gotten what he deserves...kinda. I thus proceed to inform one or two people of the outcome and then I prepare to find an rerun of Law and Order or NCIS, ready to let OJ drift into the recesses of my brain where he belongs. Well, CNN doesn't give me the chance. Before I can settle on a new program, they cut to OJ's courtroom apology taped earlier in the afternoon (embedded below). At first I am tempted to ignore it, but soon I can't. There he is, not yet knowing his fate, spilling his guts. The Goldmans are in the background jeering, The Juice's daughter is there looking genuinely despondent, and the Juice is pleading with the judge. Before long I realize something horrendous, something that just about knocks me off the couch...

Sitting there, sipping my coffee, watching Simpson squirm, I realize that I actually, in some weird way feel sorry for him: I am finding the whole thing to be very sad. Of course, as I'm watching his apology, I'm not thinking about it like that, but shit man, after a while, even though I already know his sentence, I am in some strange way hoping OJ will be cleared. YES. I DO NOT BLAME YOU IF YOU STOP READING NOW.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's partially because I'm a sucker for tears -- and he was definitely battling them -- but I think this desire for a free OJ came from somewhere far more remote: in a nasty kinda way it stems, I reckon, from The Naked Gun. It occurs to me, watching him beg for his life, that whenever I see OJ, I can't help but think of Detective Nordberg and, from there, OJ's entire existence pre-1994. It was as if, as I watched today, I didn't feel sorry for the OJ who was standing there, but for Nordberg and, subsequently, for the kid that set almost every tangible college football rushing record and rushed for over 2,000 yards in a 14-game NFL season. As I watched OJ apologize, I felt sorry for his earlier self and everybody, including me, who liked that guy.

I wonder which guy his fellow inmates will see? Who knows, maybe it'll be like The Longest Yard and he'll beat the guards in football and all will be forgiven. Then again, I've seen Sleepers too. All I know is, from now on the OJ in prison won't be quite so palatable.

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