August 3, 1985: Simpson Is Bills' First Hall Enshrinee

On August 3, 1985, O.J. Simpson became the first member of the Buffalo Bills enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Joining Simpson for enshrinement that day were Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, Jets quarterback Joe Namath, former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, and Browns offensive lineman Frank Gatski. Staubach and Simpson were the first two Heisman trophy winners to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Bills selected Simpson first overall in the 1969 NFL Draft from the University of Southern California (the seventh top overall pick to earn a spot in the Hall). While many believed he was underutilized by head coach John Rauch, he nonetheless contributed immediately, leading the Bills in rushing, kickoffs and total yardage in his rookie season.

When Lou Saban took over as Bills coach in 1972, Simpson took off. In 1973, he became the first running back to ever rush for 2,000 yards in a single season with the vaunted Electric Company offensive line leading the way. He may have had an even better season in 1975, when he topped 2,200 yards from scrimmage and scored a record 23 touchdowns.

He received so many accolades during his career that we can only list the biggest. He was named NFL Player of the Year in 1972, 1973 and 1975. He was All-Pro five straight times from 1972 through 1976. He played in six Pro Bowls, winning Player of the Game honors in the 1973 game. He retired second only to Jim Brown as the NFL's all-time leader in all-purpose yards, yards from scrimmage, and rushing yards per game.

When the Bills traded him to San Fransisco after the 1977 season, Simpson was the only man in Bills history to rush for more than 3,400 yards - and he nearly tripled that total with 10,183 rushing yards in a Buffalo uniform. He's the sixth-leading scorer in team history, but led the team annals in that category when traded. He also had over 1,300 more attempts and 27 more rushing touchdowns than the next player in team history at the time. He still holds team records for longest run (94 yards), yards per attempt for anyone over 200 carries (4.8 YPA) and rushing yards per game (his 90.9 rushing yards per game obliterates Willis McGahee's 73.2). He also leads the non-quarterbacks in a dubious statistic - fumbles.

Unfortunately, Simpson is better known off the field than on. After his playing career ended, he enjoyed a successful career in Hollywood, starring in television shows and movies like the Naked Gun series, and was the spokesperson for Hertz rental car. In 1994, he was accused of the murder of his ex-wife and her companion, and led police on a chase through the highways of Los Angeles. In 1995, he was acquitted of the murders, but was found liable in a civil trial in 1997 and had to pay over $33M. In 2007, he was arrested for armed robbery and kidnapping after breaking into a hotel room and stealing sports memorabilia from a man. He was convicted and sentenced to 33 years in prison with the possibility of parole after nine.

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