"Fame," O.J. said, walking along, "is a vapor, popularity is an accident, and money takes wings. The only thing that endures is character."
"Where'd you get that from?" [Al] Cowlings asked.
"Heard it one night on TV in Buffalo," O.J. said. "I was watching a late hockey game on Canadian TV and all of a sudden a guy just said it. Brought me right up out of my chair. I never forgot it."
—SI, Nov. 26, 1979
Fame is a vapor, and his has evaporated, leaving only infamy for O.J. Simpson. Still, there is a positive lesson he has drawn from infamy, and it is this: Chicks dig it.
"I've discovered that infamy is a lot more attractive than fame," Simpson said with a wry chuckle on a Los Angeles radio station last week. "Because I've certainly had a lot of offers." The man gets mountains of femail, of every description. "I got my share, believe me, of the 68-year-old woman naked in cowboy boots," he told tittering deejays on KKBT-FM's House Party morning show. Still, Juice maintained, reports that he is getting plenty of action of the nonlegal variety are a bit exaggerated. "I was getting more than any guy in history, from what I read," he said with a laugh.
Just because he was acquitted of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, O.J. seemed to say, it doesn't mean he's no longer a lady-killer. If you catch his drift.
Popularity is an accident, and his has been towed away, leaving Simpson to see if any of its constituent parts can be salvaged. Thus he appeared on Black Entertainment Television to talk about how much he doesn't talk about all those things he does for the black community. "I'm not looking for people to reward me or to get accolades for things that I do," he said. "I don't need people to know that I give a scholarship to black men every year. I don't need them to know that I buy trophies and uniforms for my neighborhood, which is predominantly black...."
And so he bites his tongue and remains magnanimous, refusing to criticize the families of the murder victims, even though, as he told BET, "there's a side of me that's a little pissed at Fred Goldman and the Browns."
Who could blame him if he did lash out? TV stations have obstinately refused to carry ads for his video. The Riviera Country Club has made it clear that it doesn't want him to return, just when his golf game was shaping up. When he had a pair of Los Angeles Times reporters over to the estate last week—while making a point that he broke up with his ex-wife, not the other way around, as reported—he said a funny thing. "My handicap went down a few strokes in May after we broke up," he said with his trademark chortle. Then his assistant served soft drinks in glasses embossed with photos of the Juice in full football uniform.
Money takes wings, and his is flying away like a hawk, which is precisely what Simpson is doing to recover that cash: hawk. As you may have heard, he has a video out, and Simpson has spent the past fortnight flogging it. On the radio (twice), in the Times, on BET and CNN (also twice), he has put in more plugs than Sy Sperling.