Simpson is an All-America football player in the story, which is tentatively scheduled for national viewing on Wednesday, Sept. 24. The most charitable thing that can be said of the script is that it is certainly up to CBS' usual standards. Sample dialogue:
LITTLE BOY: Did you cut off my hand?
DOCTOR: Yup. From now on things get better.... You'll be playing football and skiing again—soon—and about as well as you ever could.
The doctor, who wears a turtleneck, safari jacket and boots, quickly diagnoses Simpson's malady as pheochromocytoma, a tumor of the adrenal gland. "What we need," says Executive Producer Frank Glicksman, smiling, but on the level, "are diseases that show symptoms for awhile, go away for a couple of weeks and then come back." Simpson's symptom was regular nosebleeds, and so a little man with a blood dispenser was never far from him during the filming.
The drama revolves around the fact that, if the last-place pro team named the Warriors finds out that Simpson has pheochromocytoma, they will not draft him first. This all seems true to life, except that, unlike the Bills, the Warriors are prepared to start at $500,000.
Simpson has many lines in the script, but there is also some football action. Marv Goux, the taskmaster on John McKay's USC staff, was hired as technical consultant and also to play the team trainer. Other USC assistants, Craig Fertig and Willie Brown, appear in the back-field with O.J., and the line includes Adrian Young of the Eagles and Wes Grant and Mike Ballou of UCLA.
Goux ran tough scrimmages for the cameras, or what the script calls, "thuds, grunts...the collision motif." O.J. busted off right tackle on one collision motif, scoring as he was brought down. Goux growled like they were getting set for Notre Dame: "Don't slide off him, run over him. He's getting paid."
O.J. smiled. "It's been a long time since I ran over anybody," he said. "You last longer that way."
Because he has pheochromocytoma, Simpson takes plenty of time getting up after each collision motif, but this was perfect casting since, like Jimmy Brown, he has always been slow to rise from a tackle. After the TD he has to take a few steps and crumple again to the ground. Like a veteran actor, he staggered a few extra yards each time the scene was shot. Then he would lie there awhile until his stand-in took his place, at which point Simpson would jump up and go play touch football with the extras. They made him play center and rush and they wouldn't throw him any passes.
Other times he sat in his special "Guest Star" chair and read the script over. "Learning your lines, darling?" a USC teammate asked. O.J. pretended to frown. He took the role very seriously, often made suggestions that Director William Graham accepted and, when the script called for him to take a down-and-out pass and smash into the goalposts, he hit them so hard that Barnes winced.