Quick Takes


    Melissa Kolber told me before the game that the Cowboys would beat the Colts. She knew more than I did.


    Great quote and something Bob Knight should consider. New York Giants’ Michael Strahan, when asked on “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” if he’d ever been slapped by a coach: “No, and that’s why I’m not in prison.”  

    ESPN’s Colin Cowherd is very knowledgable. I therefore couldn’t believe his recent statement that National League baseball is boring, and American League baseball with its designated hitter is all he cares to watch. My response is a simple one; I could manage in the American League, so you know it’s a no-brainer! The best managers have to be in the National League. The National League is purist baseball with far more strategies to consider and decisions to make because there is no DH rule in the NL. National League baseball is far more interesting; it’s not even close!


    In my article last week, I stated that if Ohio State beats Michigan by a little bit, they could play each other again in Phoenix for the #1 spot. It happened. Ohio State won by exactly their home field advantage, three points, in an absolutely great game. The game showed Ohio State and Michigan are dead even, and they should play each other again on that neutral Fiesta Bowl field for the BCS Championship. USC is no match for Ohio State or Michigan this year, and Notre Dame proved earlier that they can’t handle Michigan. I hope the BCS agrees with me.


Story of the Week


    I had planned to post a feature story today on Roberto De Vicenzo. That article will have to wait. Because O. J. Simpson will be interviewed on Nov. 27 & 29 on Fox, I elected to run this article by Erin McClam today instead. (At this writing, it is rumored that the book and the interviews may be scrapped, but I'm running this article anyway.) I originally felt that his new book was all about the money, but this article suggests there may be more than just financial reasons involved. It certainly provides food for thought, whether the interviews do or do not take place. Whatever the motive(s) for the book, it is my opinion that O. J. Simpson, one of the greatest football players in history, is one demented, desperate and despicable S.O.B.

O.J.: Is It About More Than the Money?

By ERIN McCLAM, AP National Writer

Friday, November 17, 2006 02 54 PM


It may be about more than the money. Experts say that in writing a book about how he hypothetically could have committed murder, O.J. Simpson may be trying to recapture the limelight. Or maybe, just maybe, he is trying to get something off his chest.


Even his own publisher, Judith Regan, has pronounced the book Simpson's confession, saying in a statement Friday that she has been told by experts that killers often confess first in hypothetical fashion before they come clean. "For many of them," she said, "it is the only way to tell the truth."


The book, "If I Did It," is due out Nov. 30, and Regan will interview the former football star in a two-part, sweeps-month showcase on Fox television Nov. 27 and 29. The interview is billed as a hypothetical discussion of how Simpson might have killed his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994.


The strangest publishing sensation of the year has raised the question of why: Why would Simpson write such a thing? Psychologists and criminal justice experts said the reason is almost certainly deeper and more complex than money.


While financial details of the book and interview have not been made public, Regan said she had been told the money would go to Simpson's children. And the victims' families can try to go after the proceeds to help cover the still-unpaid $33.5 million judgment against him in the wrongful-death lawsuit he lost in 1997.


Instead, the experts said, the book may amount to narcissism: A man who dodged tackles in the NFL, dashed through airports in car-rental ads, yukked it up in movies and starred in the trial of the century may be hungry for the attention again.


Whether Simpson committed the murders or not, "he's trying to get back some of the limelight," argued James Alan Fox, a professor of criminal justice at Northeastern University in Boston. "And this is the only way he can do it."


"It's a tease," Fox added. "In the end, I doubt that he's going to say, `This is how I did it.' It's always a tease. He'll stand behind his facade of innocence. He just wants the crime of the century to span more than one century."


At the same time, experts said, the book could really be the truth — carefully veiled, but the truth nonetheless.


Saul Kassin, a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said it is true that interrogators trying to coax confessions from suspects sometimes ask them to reconstruct crimes hypothetically.


He said it is possible Simpson is offering a false confession. People in criminal cases, guilty and innocent alike, have been known to confess to things they didn't do, for all sorts of reasons, including coercion or a guilty conscience. Or, Kassin said, Simpson could be offering a true confession, couching it just in case.


"People sometimes do this just to get it off their chest, as a means of release, as a catharsis," Kassin said. "We'll just never know."


The National Enquirer quoted a source familiar with the book as saying Simpson writes of angrily confronting his ex-wife over an alleged affair, blacking out and then coming to with a knife in his hand and the two bodies nearby.


If Simpson's goal was to return to the national conversation, he appears to have achieved it. Word of the project brought down abuse on Simpson and disgust for his publisher.

In a long statement Friday, Regan defended herself, suggesting she was honoring the memories of Simpson's ex-wife and her friend, looking out for his children and seeking "closure" from her own history of being abused.


W. Keith Campbell, a University of Georgia professor of psychology who has studied narcissism extensively, noted the attention Simpson got over the slayings was far from negative. "He has a lot of supporters," Campbell said. "People were cheering him on the freeway. He's been away from that for a long while. It could be an opportunity to get some more of that."


Last Week’s Trivia


    The Saints have made some terrible mistakes down through the years. One of their biggest was letting Morten Andersen get away. Andersen holds the NFL record for most field goals of 50 or more yards in a career (40), a season (8) in 1995 with Atlanta, and a game (3) in 1995 with Atlanta. He missed the 2005 season, but is back with the Falcons this season. Gary Anderson is the all-time leader with 538 career field goals, but Morten Andersen is only four behind him now, and will soon overtake him for the top spot. Andersen, with that powerful left leg, is the best I’ve ever seen.


Trivia Question of the Week


    The inaugural season for the Cy Young Memorial Award was 1956, given to the outstanding pitcher in MLB. In the beginning, the NL and AL shared that award, and did so until 1967. This great pitcher won both the Cy Young Award and the MVP of the National League in 1956. Name him. See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.