The Greek

Born Dimetrios Georgios Synodinos in Steubenville, Ohio, Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, was the self-made man with the million dollar smile.

He single handily moved betting and point spread conversation from back rooms and gin joints to America’s kitchens and living rooms.

He not only made it commonplace, he made it respectable.

The Greek moved to Las Vegas in 1956 and started his weekly pro-football betting line. He became a television icon on CBS’ NFL Today.

Unlucky for Jimmy, on January 16, 1988, he was fired by CBS for a controversial off-air, off-the-cusp interview at a dinner reception on MLK’s birthday.

Ala fellow Greek, Al Campanis, Jimmy made controversial remarks about black athletes and their roll in sports.

Jimmy, obviously in the bag, was asked: “What about blacks in coaching?

Jimmy: “Pretty soon they’ll have to equalize it for the blacks for the Greeks, the Jews and for everybody. And I mean let’s make it equal for everybody.”

Question: What about it was equal in sports?

Jimmy: “Well they’ve got everything and if they take over coaching like everybody wants them to, there’s not going to be anything left for the white people. All the players are black. The black talent is beautiful, it’s great, it’s out there. The only thing left for the whites is the coaching jobs. Pretty soon they’ll take over that too.”

Question: Don’t they need more black coaches?

Jimmy:  “I’m alright with that too. Whites control coaching jobs, that’s all that’s left for them.”

He unfortunately continued: “The black is a better athlete to begin with because he’s been bred to be that way, because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs and he’s bred to be the better athlete because this goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trade … the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid …”

Walter Payton and Ahmad Rashad spoke out in defense of Jimmy the Greek.

Jimmy the Greek Snyder died an ostracized and broken heart on April 21, 1996 at the age of 77.

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