The Blazers and The Juice

Jason English

I'm reading The Breaks of the Game, David Halberstam's book about the 1979-80 Portland Trail Blazers. I recognize this may not be a subject you find intriguing. But this might be. On an unnumbered page before the Table of Contents, Halberstam offers this preface:

"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?" 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."

"“ From an article by Paul Zimmerman,
Sports Illustrated, November 26, 1979,
on O.J. Simpson

Orenthal James talking about the importance of character is funny. Not as funny as Elaine Benes begging Joel Rifkin to change his name to O.J. to avoid the embarrassment of sharing a name with a serial killer in a 1993 episode of Seinfeld, but still enjoyable.

I'll let you know if The Juice reappears during the regular season. I'm only on page eight.