OT: 30 for 30: June 17, 1994

Submitted by bikethedistance on June 16th, 2010 at 11:57 PM

Did anyone else catch the special tonight? I thought it was very well put together and told a great story of that day. That day seemed to have everything going in it except for an NFL training camp story.

Can anyone else think of another day where so many front page sport stories happened all on the same day?

One thing I didn't understand was the cuts to baseball (Griffey). Was this just because he got to 30 home runs that night or was there another outlying big story that I missed?



June 17th, 2010 at 12:06 AM ^

For Griffey outside he was coming into his own to the start of a great career. All four sports were included plus Arnie and we all know the surreal Hertz commercial. The reason why there wasnt a training camp nor football story was that OJ WAS the football connection.


June 17th, 2010 at 12:12 AM ^

and just like the rest of the 30 in 30's, this gave me a real insight to things that happened before my time in the sports world.  From the look of the entire OJ saga, I could only imagine being old enough to understand it.  Pretty wild, can't believe from all the circumstancial evidence, he got off for it btw.  Crazy 30 in 30, can't wait for the next one......


June 17th, 2010 at 8:54 AM ^

I +1'd you because I just realized that, while not anymore, we had the same points (639), are almost the same age (23, 24), and became mgobloggers around the same time. What a (points) journey it has been that we have been on together, while not knowing it.


I'm bored at work already ok!


June 17th, 2010 at 7:26 AM ^

Amazing all the helicoptors in the air and how it was messing up the frequencies on TV. This was such a surreal day from Shapiro pleading with OJ not to kill himself at a presser, to the waves of people gathering on the highways to wave.

I am 24 now and just barely remember watching the coverage with my dad not realizing how significant it was. Also, I loved how they showed Costas before they went live on air saying "I don't have a transition to this, anything I say is gonna sound calus(sp?) and insensitive!"

Also, guy above, its "30 for 30," not 30 in 30.


June 17th, 2010 at 8:40 AM ^

I was sitting with my then-girlfriend (now wife) in my apartment and when the news broke that O.J. Simpson was threatening to kill himself while being driven in a white Bronco and being chased by about a million helicopters, police cars, TV crews and the simply curious, (only in L.A.). We watched like everyone else.

By the time the trial ended, a year and a half later, we were on our honeymoon. We were several time zones away, and we heard the verdict was going to be read that evening, (even in Europe, people seemed interested). So, we watched on CNN International. It was bizarre: watching the verdict from L.A. while sitting in a hotel room, on our honeymoon, 7,000 miles from the court room. Even from that distance, you could see the smug look on O.J.'s face when the words, "Not guilty," were read.

In between, O.J. added to the discussions of floral arrangements, dinner menu selections, dress styles, guest lists, and all the rest. Comedians say it all the time but, you can't make this stuff up.


June 17th, 2010 at 9:30 AM ^

I thought it was the best 30 for 30 thus far.  By a wide margin (The U and Run Ricky Run are 2 and 3 in my book). 

Being only ~ 11 years old at the time, I can vividly remember watching the helicoptor footage of the white bronco.  What I didn't remember was just how close OJ was to killing himself and all the damning things he said during the chase.  Of course, none of it was admitted in the criminal trial and he was found not guilty.  (text from my buddy during the 30 for 30 piece read "how was he proven innocent after that". 

But then we all know how OJ's story plays out.  "GIMMIE BACK MY STUFF". 


June 17th, 2010 at 9:43 AM ^

O.J. was also an actor. Call me cynical, but I don't believe for a second that he was close to killing himself. He's a narcissist, who was trying to get people to feel bad for him. He had two days to concoct that whole stunt with the chase, the scene at his house, etc. He was headed to Mexico with his bags packed when he probably figured he couldn't get across the border without being recognized.


June 17th, 2010 at 9:55 AM ^

Yeah a guy best known for the Naked Gun series and 1st & Ten is a legit "actor" whereby he was planning to making a run to Mexico and never really interested in killing himself. 

I'll label this as "has an outside chance of being correct". 

I'd still put OJ as 1) Football player, 2) Murderer, 3) Actor - in that order.


June 17th, 2010 at 11:09 AM ^

You probably don't remember as much about the chase. When O.J. was arrested in 1994, he had $8,000 in his pocket, a fake mustache and goatee, and his passport. Reports at the time maintained he was headed to Mexico, (which may have been speculation, given the money, disguise, and the passport).

EDIT: You made a good point about what he said during the chase, and how it wasn't admitted at trial. Actually, there were at least two key pieces of evidence that the prosecution didn't even introduce, because the witnesses had sold their stories to the tabloids:

1. Store receipts showed that O.J. had purchased a stiletto knife just before the murder.

2. A witness saw a white Bronco fleeing the scene of the murders.

You're also right about the "GIVE ME BACK MY STUFF!" line. Conveniently, he neglects to say how the Pete Rose memorabilia that was stolen was "his". Well, he's got at least 9 base years (before he's up for parole) and 24 more option years to think about it.

Kilgore Trout

June 17th, 2010 at 9:52 AM ^

I have to agree that was one of the best 30 for 30s.  The U and the Hank Gathers one were excellent too.  I'm far from a movie producer or anything, but I loved how they didn't have a narrator for the entire thing.  It was literally 45 minutes of clips edited together that told a complete story without using the crutch of a narrator.  Amazing. 

For a rundown of the events, it was the Rangers Stanley Cup Parade, Arnold Palmer's last PGA round, Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the whole OJ thing, and Ken Griffey being the quickest to 30 homers in a season that ended up being cut short.  I think the Griffey thing got in there because the announcers were basically ignoring the baseball game and talking about OJ when he hit a bomb out into the fountains in KC.  The Costas off camera stuff was great too.

st barth

June 17th, 2010 at 9:57 AM ^

I had just graduate high school and some friends and I had driven down to Detroit for the Tigers game that evening and somehow completely missed the OJ drama.  We were sitting in the upper deck bleachers of the old Tiger Stadium and I remember some fans starting a "Free the Juice" chant and we had no idea what it was about.  I found out later when I got home that night.  

Also, if I'm not mistaken that was the night before a Swiss vs. USA World Cup game at the Silverdome because I remember passing on I-75 and seeing a gigantic Swiss flag outside for the festivities.  I think we were in the midst of a heat wave too.

His Dudeness

June 17th, 2010 at 10:28 AM ^

I rememeber that they announced the OJ verdict in my middle school over the PA system. I was 13 or 14 years old and even I thought it was very strange. I can't imagine what the teachers at the time were thinking... besides "Wow, I wish I wasn't so hungover."

Louie C

June 17th, 2010 at 11:53 AM ^

Man, I remember that like it was yesterday. As a teen, I was  a big fan of P-Ewing and that Knicks sqaud from the 90's,  and was totally keyed in to that finals series. I remember the game being interrupted by the chase. My anger at having that pivotal game being interrupted at such a pivotal point  turned to shock and horror because I thought for sure that OJ was going to blow his brains out on live TV. I was in biology class in high school when the verdict was read. Every classroom in the building had their tv's on. It was surreal because the only thing you could hear was the creepy echo effect from all of the tv's being on the same channel. When they announced the verdict, the whole school just erpupted with cheers. I can only speak for myself, but I didn't personally see a racial divide. I saw many whites that believed he was innocent, and many blacks that believed he was guilty. I hate how the race card was brought into play;  I believe the disbelief stemmed from the fact that people simply could not wrap their minds around the idea of someone they considered a hero being capable of commiting such a shocking crime.


June 17th, 2010 at 3:52 PM ^

I was also in high school at the time.  It was amazing how everyone - even people who never followed sports -  were into that trial.  We interrupted class so people could cram into the lounge and watch the verdict on TV.  Same racial divide - white students were stunned, black students celebrated.  I wonder if things would be any different now, 15 years later (the verdict came in October 1995). 


June 17th, 2010 at 3:58 PM ^

I thought the "only editing thing together" was a bit precious, since he did put in a bunch of stuff that didn't happen that day, but was overall very well done. I remember it distinctly watching the NBA Finals over at Touchdown's...and going from "aw, they're interrupting the game for THIS?!" to splitscreen to "forget the worst NBA Finals of all time...just show us what OJ is going to do!?!". Watching it, I wondered how different the Country would be today if he hadn't just been a drama queen, and really killed himself. No trial, no race issues come to light, reality tv delayed, or altered...it really changed society.