WYOMING, Mich — A football player for Kelloggsvile High School is used to hearing jokes about his name.
"After the game, they'll some times make jokes about it," Simpson said.
He's heard it all before. "Oh man, I was very tired of it around 13-years-old," he said.
But instead of hiding from the giant elephant in the room, this 18-year-old high school senior is now embracing who he is.
"Hi my name is OJ Simpson and I play football for Kelloggsville High school," Simpson said. Yes, you read that right. The Juice is loose again.
"I remember when I was 8-years-old watching the original OJ play at USC. Then the whole slow speed chase," said Kelloggsville head coach Don Galster. "Now all of a sudden we have one on our team."
Let's be 100% clear here. Simpson was not named after the infamous hall of fame running back. His father, on the other hand, was.
"OJ Simpson was a strong role model to my dad and the family at the time," Simpson said. "Then my dad wanted a junior for sure."
Simpson was 10-years-old when he first learned about that OJ. Once he got all the facts, he went straight to his parents and requested a name change.
"I've asked them plenty of times," he admits. He never got his wish. He did, however, get teased a ton.
"It's just OJ Jokes. Did he do it? Things like that," Simpson said.
That's the kind of stuff that used to drive Simpson crazy, now it just drives him.
"My dad didn't have a great life so I want to try and have a good future and do it for my kids and I want him to see me successful," Simpson said.
After all this time, Simpson has finally stopped running from his name. In fact, after his father died last year of a heart attack, Simpson promised to continue the family tradition. When he has a son, he says the baby will be named OJ the third.
"Mainly because I want to build a legacy," he explains. "I know he'll get teased, but it only makes you stronger. I know it made me stronger."
His name is OJ Simpson. And he is proud of it.
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