About an hour and a half after the game, down in the USC dressing room, which had finally emptied and grown as quiet as it had been before the kickoff, a brief scene was enacted that served as a fitting epilogue. Dressed now, blazers on, hair combed, refreshed, Gary Beban and O. J. Simpson met, looking like two young men anticipating a fraternity council meeting.
"Gary, you're the greatest," said O.J. "It's too bad one of us had to lose."
"O.J., you're the best," said Beban. "Go get 'em in the Rose Bowl."
O.J. grinned. Presently, he ambled down the hall, through a door and up a walkway to an exit gate where clusters of USC fans were still gathered. It was roughly, oh, about 64 yards.