Orenthal James Simpson (born July 9, 1947 in San Francisco, California), publicly known by the initials O.J., and nicknamed The Juice, was a Hall of Fame college and professional football player and film actor. Although considered to be one of the greatest running backs of all time, Simpson is most recently known for being charged with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994. He was acquitted in criminal court in 1995 after a lengthy, highly publicized trial (often called the Trial of the Century). Subsequently, Simpson was found liable for their deaths in civil court in 1997.
While attending Galileo High School in San Francisco, Simpson played for the school's football team, the Galileo Lions.
After originally playing in Junior College at the City College of San Francisco, his talent landed him at the University of Southern California (USC) and won him the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, the nickname "The Juice", induction into the College Football Hall of Fame and the distinction of being the first player selected in the 1969 professional football draft after winning the Heisman Trophy.
Simpson was selected by the American Football League's Buffalo Bills, who held the first selection in the draft after finishing 1-12-1 in 1968 — the worst record in professional football. Early in his NFL career, Simpson struggled on the poor Buffalo teams averaging only 622 yards per season. He first rushed for 1,000 yards in 1972. In 1973 Simpson ran for a then-record 2,003 yards, becoming the first player ever to eclipse the 2,000 yard mark, and was voted the league's Most Valuable Player. Although his 2,003 yard season has subsequently been eclipsed by four running backs, only Barry Sanders managed to match Simpson by rushing for 2,000 or more yards in 14 games (Weeks 3-16 of the 1997 season; including Weeks 1 & 2, Sanders rushed for 2,053 yards. Eric Dickerson holds the 16-game season and overall records with 2,105 yards rushing in 1984).
Simpson's yards per game average was ten yards higher than that of the closest competitor. "The Juice" powered one of the league's top rushing offenses, and ran behind the famed "Electric Company" offensive line. His 1973 performance earned him the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year. Over his career, Simpson ran for an NFL record 6 200-yard games, three of which occurred in 1973. He also had back-to-back 200 yard performances in both 1973 and 1976.
Simpson went on to earn All-Pro honors five times. He finished his 11-year career in 1979 with 11,236 rushing yards, 203 receptions for 2,142 receiving yards, and 75 touchdowns(61 rushing and 14 receiving). After being traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 1978, Simpson retired from the NFL the following year, and on January 23, 1985 became the first Heisman Trophy winner elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Bills' Wall of Fame.
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