Monday, June 16, 2014

OJ, Chuck, and Casey

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the arrest of OJ Simpson for the Brown and Goldman murders in California.  You remember how the day ended-- a slow speed white Ford Bronco chase, with Simpson being taken in to custody.

A lot of people remember the chase and the arrest as the signature moment of the crime, investigation, arrest, and trial.

For me, it was the acquittal in October of '95.  It was a total misfire of the American justice system.  Defense attorneys couldn't behave.  Prosecutors were incompetent, and an unfit judge lost control of his courtroom.

Simpson was later found liable, at a civil trial, for the killings.  He's now doing time for a Las Vegas robbery.  If everything goes OJ's way, he could be out in a few years.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll died Friday night at the age of 82.  He quietly built the Steelers into winners.  Four Super Bowls in six years.  Noll was never bigger than the game, never bigger than the team.  Old school.  Dignity.  He should be on the short list of great coaches in NFL history.

If there's ever going to be a Mount Rushmore of radio, Casey Kasem deserves a spot.  The former American Top 40 host died Sunday.  It was a sorry end.  Mother and daughter battled over his care.  It was clear the man was suffering, and it was awful.

AT40 was on hundreds of stations at its peak.  Around here, WILK carried the show on Sunday afternoons.  I was a WARM guy, even as a little kid, so I wasn't a regular listener.  However, I became a huge fan after old AT40's began popping up on satellite radio and oldies stations.   From what I read, Casey waltzed in, cut the voice track, and boogied.  Producers and technicians did the rest, and they did a marvelous job.  Now that I'm older and I've been in the biz for a while, I can appreciate how well those shows were put together.  They were solid, slick, and smooth.  I don't think there was anything better before or after.

Casey Kasem was 82.  He deserved better at the end.