The OJ Simpson murder trial was a spectacle hijacking American culture for much of 1995. Simpson was able to use his cultural fame as an American footballing hero to escape prosecution but inexplicably the Juice has blown his get out of jail free card and will be sentenced to prison on December 5, 2008.
The Greek tragedy template can hardly be ignored. In the first trial, OJ's fame and fortune were used day in day out as a reason to proclaim his innocence. The evidence of the murder investigation was secondary to the question why would a man so handsome, so successful and such a damn good football player risk his freedom for one woman when there were hundreds waiting in the wings. Johnny Cochran's magic was real and against all odds OJ was loose again. But almost from that very day of freedom his fall has been predicted. He just seemed too crazy.
Orenthal James "O. J." Simpson has been almost a comically bad citizen since that first trial. The irony is the crime in Vegas was a bungled attempt to recover the trappings insulating OJ from jail the first time. He was on a failed hero quest to steal the things that had once marked him a hero. Some signed pictures and footballs, etc. Because sports is merely soap opera for men this is a neatly tied tragic bundle. Get your t-shirts, sportsfan.
This time I doubt many people are pulling for anything but prison for the formerly elusive Simpson. The fall is complete. And the Greek for OJ in prison may be more than just theater.