O.J. Simpson, the ex-NFL star who has so far eluded justice the way he eluded tacklers, has been formally charged with a slew of felonies in last weekend's alleged armed robbery in Las Vegas, including kidnapping and robbery. That's good.
But I think his O.J.-ness colors this whole case. Think of it this way:
If Ray Romano's home had been pillaged by one of his trusted aides, and Ray burst in with the entire (armed) cast of "Everybody Loves Raymond," would we be so secretly delighted that Ray was in trouble ... or would we be slightly more generous with a good, innocent guy who was merely taking back what was rightfully his? I think we'd suspend judgment a while, and be seeing far more defenders if it was Ray. But it's O.J. and everybody hates O.J. (Me, too.)
I think we all hope this is a second chance for the justice system to smack O.J. around. Much like the Isiah Thomas sex-harrassment case is now showing, the well-managed luster of these stars fades fast when they happily outgrow their own press image and believe they are bullet-proof. I wouldn't lose any sleep if O.J. went up the river for a while.
For the record, I hope the Goldman and Brown families get all those valuable mementoes. I hope O.J. finally pays a little of his enormous debt to society. I hope you didn't buy that "If I Did It" book. And I hope Ray Romano keeps his mouth shut.