We’ve all heard of the OJ Simpson trial, but not many people know the inspiring original story of OJ Simpson, the best running back in the National Football League of his day.
This inspiring story began when Orenthal James Simpson was in San Francisco on July 9, 1947 with Eunice and Jimmy Simpson. OJ grew up poor and his early days were spent in a ghetto when food was always in short supply. As a result, OJ suffered from malnutrition and developed rickets. At the age of six, OJ’s legs permanently arched and his calf muscles suffered severe atrophy. He acquired the nickname “Pencil Legs” at a young age.
Growing up, OJ found his football story inspiring through All American running back Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns. Brown was the best running back in the NFL at the time. But OJ was too poor to pay for tickets to see his idol in action every time Cleveland visited San Francisco. That never stopped his dream and goal of becoming a star player in the future.
During those games when Cleveland played in San Francisco, OJ waited diligently outside the stadium until the maintenance team opened the stadium doors at the end of the fourth quarter. Then he would go to the stadium and immerse himself in the final minutes of the game, dreaming of seeing his idol and also his own goals and inspirational story to become a professional soccer player.
On one of these occasions, at the age of thirteen, he finally achieved his dream of meeting his idol, Jim Brown. As the inspiring story progressed, he approached Brown and said, “Mr. Brown, I am your biggest soccer fan!” Graciously, Brown thanked the young man and went on his way. But OJ insisted on asking for Brown’s autograph. When Brown signed the autograph, OJ told him that he had all his photos on the wall and that he knew all the football records that Brown had. Brown was flattered and thanked his young manager again. Before leaving, OJ surprised Brown by saying, “Mr. Brown, one day I’m going to break all your records!”
OJ Simpson broke all but three of Jim Brown’s records before injuries shortened his soccer career and inspiring story. Goal setting is the most powerful force for human motivation. Set yourself a goal and make it happen.