O.J. is free. And so is his number, after 42 years.
According to Tim Graham of TheAthletic.com, the Bills have finally given out the number of former running back O.J. Simpson, who went on to do some other stuff after football but who can really remember.
For the first time since 1977, the Bills have decided to let others wear Simpson’s number, with Senorise Perry drawing jersey number 32.
“Whatever they do is fine with me,” Simpson said. “That’s how I feel. When I played there, I tried to honor the team. Since I left, I always tried to honor the Bills.
“And, to be honest, it’s not something I think about. There’s too much else going on in life.”
On one hand, wearing the number of a Hall of Famer creates a high expectation. Then there’s that whole double-murder trial thing which led to a finding of civil liability and subsequent jail stint for armed robbery, but Perry seemed focused on the football.
“I thought it was retired,” Perry said, “but then I was told it was available. Boom, I took it.
“I know the situation. I know that greatness comes with that number, playing in Buffalo. But I’m willing to take anything that comes my way. I’m going into my sixth year, and I know what it takes to get in this league and stay here. With that number on my back, I know I’m doing well for my family.”
The Bills have only retired three numbers (Jim Kelly’s 12, Bruce Smith’s 78, and Thurman Thomas’ 34), any many assumed Simpson’s was locked up for good, until now.
The only shame is that the Bills didn’t sign quarterback Chad Kelly this offseason, just so Perry could have caught a ride with a slow white Bronco while he’s there.