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Where Was I When…

March 7, 2012

Sometimes what are personal moments in the lives of regular people are very public moments for celebrities. Sometimes those personal moments take place in courtrooms. And sometimes those celebrities are just people who achieved notoriety because they ran three thousand yards in one direction while holding a football.

This is another blog post in my series of where I was when something significant happened.

Where Was I When… OJ Was Acquitted

I don’t remember where I was when the car chase in the white Ford Bronco took place. I don’t remember where I was when OJ Simpson was arrested and charged. The only thing I remember for certain is the moment the verdict in the resulting criminal trial came down. I was in grade ten, living in Richmond Hill, going to high school.

I was in grade ten, I felt sure of myself and my academic prowess. Instead of enrolling in eight grade ten courses, I enrolled in seven courses and one grade eleven course. I felt my wisdom and creativity would allow me to succeed with my elders. I enrolled in a grade eleven marketing course.

In marketing class, I studied the basics and introduction level theories of marketing in the late 20th century. Also, in marketing class, I discussed the current goings-on in popular culture. Most of popular culture at that time was dominated by Judge Ito presiding over the fate of one OJ Simpson.

OJ Simpson, the juice, star football player, hall of fame running back and occasional actor, was charged with the murder of his ex-wife and one other person. Everything about this murder case was filmed and analyzed. There were more cameras covering this murder trial than an episode of Law & Order. It was pretty obvious why. The entirety of the case was a parody of the criminal justice system.

OJ Simpson hired a “dream team” of defense attorneys to prove his innocence. The judge had an odd comedic look to him as if he was just an actor in a sketch comedy troope wearing a cheap wig and fake beard. The prosecutor looked like a character on a low-budget Canadian legal drama television series. The theories and alibis presented throughout the trial often seemed like hair-brained ideas one would expect to see on television and in movies but not in real life. I’ve seen better ideas scribbled on bar napkins.

The sheer entertainment value of the trial kept many people glued to their television sets each and every day. Eventually the boredom of a real trial set in and turned me off. However, I think my disinterest put me in the minority.

Being the young guy in the class, being that I didn’t have too many friends in the grade above me, I was often involving myself in class-wide discussions in order to make myself and my ideas and opinions known. That meant listening to conversations about the OJ trial.

In my class, there was a pair of brothers, twins. They were nice guys, always pleasent, always involving themselves in discussions, always willing to have a good laugh. One day, only one of the brothers made it to class. The teacher, Ms. Magic noticed one twin was missing. She asked the attending twin where his brother was. The answer “Outside listening to the radio, waiting for the verdict from the OJ trial.”

Class began from that point like any other class. The teacher teached, the students learned.

Halfway through class, the portable door opened. Yes, this class was in a portable. The second twin stepped into the classroom. The entire class turned around in their chairs, me included. Ms. Magic asked “So, what’s the verdict?”

“He was acquitted.”

The rest of the class was spent discussing details of the case. The glove found on the scene, OJ’s trip out of town, the shuffling of defense attorneys; all of it was fodder for discussion.

Still to this day, I’m confused. Why was this trial such a circus of absurdity? I thought the legal system was supposed to be a bit more prim and proper. I’ve seen episodes of Night Court with more decorum than this farce.

In the end, OJ Simpson was later found responsible for the deaths of the two people in a civil trial brought on by the families of the deceased. Currently, OJ is in jail for holding somebody against their will in what looked like a hotel room invasion and robbery.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2012 2:49 pm

    I was in grade 11 I believe, perhaps OAC. They wouldn’t let us watch it on TV but we had a radio in the classroom so we could hear the verdict as well.

    Well, if I was in grade 10, you were probably in 12.

  2. March 10, 2012 2:49 am

    I remember where I was too.

    You know, the wife, Nicole, was killed overnight and I didn’t hear the news about it until my alarm went off the next morning and the early radio broadcasts were all over it. That was what I woke up to on my birthday that year.

    Weird trivia – in the movie Jagged Edge, the victim was also killed on the same month and day.

    Happy birthday, the Juice is on the run, but this time, from the law.

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