Monday, December 16, 2013
Simpson Breaks NFL Record
On Dec. 16, 1973, that Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson became the first man to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season. Simpson accomplished the feat in just 14 games as that was the length of the schedule at the time.
Simpson entered the final game of the season against the New York Jets needing 197 yards to reach 2,000 for the season. The Bills were intent on getting Simpson to the milestone as they gave him the ball 34 times. In the end, he would finish the game with an even 200 yards and an amazing 2,003 rushing yards for the season. O.J. was the only running back to reach the 2,000 yard mark while playing just a 14 game schedule.
Since the NFL changed to a 16 game schedule in 1978, six men have joined Simpson in the 2,000 yard club.
In 1984 Los Angeles Rams' Eric Dickerson ran for 2,105 yards which still stands as the NFL record. Detroit Lions' Barry Sanders joined the club in 1997 and the very next year Denver Broncos' Terrell Davis became the fourth member. Baltimore Ravens' Jamal Lewis had the second highest total in NFL history in 2003 with 2,066 yards, and in 2009 Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson totaled 2,006 rushing yards. Last year Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards, putting himself above Lewis and into sole possession for second most rushing yards in a single season, only behind Dickerson.
Though OJ Simpson is just one of six men to rush for 2,000 yards he is more known for his involvement in the 1994 murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, his wife. In 1995 O.J. was acquitted after a lengthy, internationally publicized criminal trial, the People v. Simpson. In 1997, a civil court awarded a judgment against Simpson for their wrongful deaths; to date he has paid little of the $33.5 million penalty.
Than in the late 2000’s O.J. was back in the headlines, again for something other than football. Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada, and charged with numerous felonies, including armed robbery and kidnapping, that surrounded his memrobilia. In 2008, he was found guilty and sentenced to thirty three-years’ imprisonment, with a minimum of nine years without parole.