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Morning Briefing: Would you want to wear O.J. Simpson’s old number?

Morning Briefing: Would you want to wear O.J. Simpson’s old number?
O.J. Simpson with the Buffalo Bills. (Associated Press)

No one has worn the No. 32 for the Buffalo Bills since 1977. And, truthfully, for the last few seasons, no one was probably excited to wear it. Because that was O.J. Simpson’s number when he was with the team.

This season, however, the Bills decided to give the number to someone: running back Senorise Perry, who signed with the Bills as a free agent and is wearing the number during the team's organized team activities.

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"I thought it was retired, but then I was told it was available. Boom, I took it," he told the Athletic.

"I know the situation. I know that greatness comes with that number, playing in Buffalo. But I'm willing to take anything that comes my way. I'm going into my sixth year, and I know what it takes to get in this league and stay here. With that number on my back, I know I'm doing well for my family."

Simpson led the NFL in rushing four times in nine seasons for the Bills, but the team never officially retired his number because of his numerous off-the-field issues. In 1995, he was found not guilty in the brutal slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. A civil court jury later found him liable for wrongful death and ordered him to pay $33.5 million. In 2008, he was sentenced to prison for armed robbery and kidnapping and was paroled in 2017.

"Whatever they do is fine with me," Simpson told the Athletic. "That's how I feel. When I played there, I tried to honor the team. Since I left, I always tried to honor the Bills. And, to be honest, it's not something I think about. There's too much else going on in life."

The whole thing is fake

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have a longstanding rivalry. They have played each other almost 2,300 times and there is almost nothing baseball-related you can think of that hasn’t happened at least once in those games. Until now.

When the Yankees and Red Sox play in London next month, it will be the first time they have ever played each other on artificial turf.

Major League Baseball wanted to convert the current grass soccer field in Olympic Stadium to a baseball field for the two games (June 29-30), but there won’t be enough time after the second game to remove the baseball field and set up for another event at the stadium July 6. Olympic Stadium is the home field for the West Ham soccer team.

So, MLB will have gravel spread over the covering protecting the stadium’s grass soccer pitch and running track. The artificial turf baseball field will then be installed on top of that. Approximately 141,913 square feet of FieldTurf Vertex will be used to make the field.

Another factor in using artificial turf: cost. The fake stuff can be used again, while a real grass field would have to be destroyed.

The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will play in Olympic Stadium next year.

"This way we've got a synthetic turf system that's got two games on this year, two games on it next year and then the commissioner can do what he wants to do with the system,” Murray Cook, who is overseeing the project, told the Associated Press. “Whether he wants to have another event somewhere, sell it or donate it or whatever they want to do.”

And Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia has no problem with the fake stuff. "It's the first Yankees-Red Sox game out of the country, so why not a lot of firsts? I think it will be fine."

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