Saturday, December 06, 2008

O.J. Simpson's memorabilia was his and yet not his...


WWW--This trial has been very interesting to me for a number of reasons. My brother has worked for over a decade in advertising and had the misfortune of meeting a lot of Northern Indiana businessmen over the years (hint: car dealers think "Top Gun" is the "greatest film ever made"--wrong again).

As one might vividly imagine, most of them are antisocial turds with less personality than a houseplant, but a few of them actually wanted to chum it up with "the help," so my brother had to oblige their overinflated egos.

One of these clowns was a very big O.J. fan. He took my brother down into the basement den of his very expensive and poorly-designed-and-built clapboard where there was a wall literally covered with sports memorabilia.

And there it was, it even had its own display-nook: O.J.'s 1968 Heisman trophy.

"He lets me keep it for him, and I give him money every once in a while," he said (I'm paraphrasing now, isn't it thrilling?). This was within the last eight years. Yeah, it's crazy, but these things just have a way of coming to me and not the reverse, a kind of "Jungian" latticework of coincidence that's plagued my life from its inception.

What is there to gather from this? That O.J. has such an enormous ego that in his mind he wasn't "selling" anything, but "allowing" fans to "rent" his memorabilia in return for an audience with him, to be on his "good" side. I won't even go into what it must have been like to have been on his "bad" side, that's now a foregone conclusion after this trial.

In 1999, O.J.'s Heisman was sold to a Philadelphia--that wonderful town Poe loved so much--businessman named Tom Kreissman, except that he went and sold it to the man who O.J. and his co-conspirators attacked in a Vegas hotel, Alfred Beardsley:
Nevertheless, it’s believed that he bought the 1968 Heisman trophy -- the first and maybe only one ever to be auctioned — from the winner of that 1999 sale. The trophy was originally sold to Tom Kreissman of Philadelphia at Butterfield’s auction house on Sunset Boulevard for $230,000. But a source at Butterfield’s says Kreissman returned and sold it a couple of years later. It’s thought that Beardsley was the buyer. ("O.J. Simpson's 'Victim' Part of a Long-Running Feud," Foxnews.com, 09.20.2007)
And why wouldn't Beardsley have "sold" or rented the thing out to raise money for himself and "the Juice"? Why not?

The unintelligent businessman told my brother, "I went to USC when O.J. was playing there, I've known him since then," and "I'm actually borrowing it from another collector." He exhaled on and on, painting a scenario in which all of these successful old school fans of O.J.'s were shuffling these artifacts around to hide them from the Goldman and Brown families who were doing their best to track down all of the assets he was selling off to pay them from the 1996 civil suit ruling ($33 million).

Hey, who says once something's sold that it's really "
sold"?

Over time, O.J. had a number of folks around him who felt he "owed" them money, and the trophy changed hands several times before 1999, and likely afterward:
The man Simpson accused of stealing the items from him is Mike Gilbert, another one-time associate. As Simpson's licensing agent in the late 1990s, Gilbert admitted snatching Simpson's Heisman Trophy and other items from his client's Brentwood home as payment for money he said was owed to him. He later turned the items over to authorities, save the trophy's nameplate.

Gilbert swore he'd go to jail before turning the nameplate over to the Goldman family, which was trying to collect on the $33.5 million civil judgment won against Simpson. Gilbert later surrendered it under court order. ("O.J.'s Vegas Accuser Says He Wants Charges Dropped," Foxnews.com, 09.15.2008)

Yeah, real class act folks there. After 1999, the trail appears to grow cold, wikianswers-be-damned, the Wikiuniverse almost never being correct about anything.

I think that the Goldmans had a good idea this kind of shell game (aka "three card monty") was going on with wealthy fans of O.J., a constant shifting of the memorabilia around with a rental fee and lots of broken promises. Egomaniacs like Simpson can convince themselves of almost anything, the same applying to pea-brained American businessmen with penis envy.

My feeling is that these people aren't mere fans, but criminals--all of the players involved in ferring around O.J.'s memorabilia. Beardsley is just a flash point. I hope that this verdict smokes the rest of them out and that they pay the price of aiding a vile murderer simply because they love football too much. To these clowns, the murders don't even matter--only football does. What a pathetic bunch. I wouldn't use that Heisman for a doorstop, although it would make a great lighter/ashtray combination with a few modifications.

None of it matters, the game is over, finally, at long last. But I still have to wonder: where's O.J.'s 1968 Heisman...and why would anyone in their right mind want it? They may as well buy one of those lousy John Wayne Gacy oil-paintings while they're at it.

"O.J. Simpson's 'Victim' Part of a Long-Running Feud," Foxnews.com, 09.20.2007: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,297400,00.html

"O.J.'s Vegas Accuser Says He Wants Charges Dropped," Foxnews.com, 09.15.2008: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296934,00.html