Sports betting is absolutely huge right now, and it’s only going to continue growing. If you’re a fan of sports gambling content being prominent in the media, well then, you’re in luck as we’re only going to see outlets, in every medium, devote a higher percentage of their content towards the gaming aspect of sports. Broadcast networks and sports leagues themselves even have deals directly with sports wagering operators now.
Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court constitutionalized sports gambling, in May of 2018, this is the way that the wind has been blowing. It’s now up to the individual states to regulate sports wagering and with this development it’s all become mainstream.
But it wasn’t always this way, once upon a time sports gambling was taboo, but as the industry progressed and evolved, a few media figures stood out among the crowd of all those who cover sports gambling. Now you can wager on the web, from American computers, at the online casino freispiele ohne einzahlung. In other words, it’s a brave new world.
Let’s take a look at five of the most impactful media figures in the history or sports gambling.
Jimmy The Greek Snyder
The original, and Godfather of the whole genre. The Greek was the O.G. and like many trail blazers, he had a downfall that was all his own doing.
You may have seen the ESPN 30 for 30, “The Legend of Jimmy the Greek.” Snyder moved to Las Vegas in 1956, where he started a weekly pro football betting line and eventually parlayed that, in the mid 1970s, into a 12-year stint on CBS’s famed NFL pregame show, The NFL Today.
As sports betting was illegal pretty much everywhere outside of Vegas in the United States back then his segment would not overtly mention betting. Instead, Snyder would just predict the score of each game.
In January 1988, Snyder was fired after he made comments suggesting that breeding practices during slavery led to African-Americans becoming superior athletes.
His full quote was:
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 trading, the big, the owner, the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have uh big black kid, see.
That’s where it all started!
Snyder sued the broadcasting giant, three years later, but lost his case. Eventually, The Greek expressed regret for what he had said, but maybe the best synopsis of the incident that killed his career came via the legendary sports writer Frank Deford, who expressed a degree of sympathy for Jimmy when he appeared in the 30 for 30.
Deford said that Snyder often tried to appear more educated than he actually was and that his comments were basically him trying to convey knowledge about a subject on which he knew nothing.
Despite the awful ending to his career, Snyder still lives in pop culture lore, having even been parodied in an early episode of The Simpsons titled “Lisa the Greek.” A character clearly created to mimic him, “Smooth” Jimmy Apollo (voiced by the late, great Phil Hartman), makes a cameo appearance giving NFL score predictions.
Snyder passed away in 1996 at the age of 77.
We transition from Snyder to somebody who not only worked alongside him but was once actually physically attacked by him! Musburger, 82, worked with Snyder on those picks/gambling segments for CBS, and one day, according to accounts, he got punched in the face by The Greek after insulting his intelligence.
Name any huge event in any sport, and over the years, Musburger has called it, multiple times over. His voice has been the soundtrack for a lot of the biggest moments that the sports world has enjoyed the past few decades. As his broadcasting career winded down, he made the switch to becoming a major sports betting guy, and thus helped to mainstream the industry as much as any single person.
Today he’s the leading broadcaster and managing editor at Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN) and radio play-by-play voice for the Las Vegas Raiders. Over the years, Musburger has had plenty of controversy, thanks in part to his reputation for pointing out women in the crowds of the games he calls.
Three women who later rose to fame after being spotted and highlighted by Musburger include Jenn Sterger and Katherine Webb McCarron.
During the 2013 BCS National Championship Game when Alabama was utterly housing Notre Dame, a camera turned to Webb while she was in the stands cheering for her boyfriend, Alabama quarterback, A. J. McCarron. Musburger remarked, “I’m telling you, you quarterbacks get all the good-looking women. What a beautiful woman. Wow!”
And he just kept talking, in a similar fashion, about her. There was major blow black, forcing ESPN to apologize for his comments, saying they “went too far”. The controversy died down rapidly, mostly due to Webb stating that she was not bothered at all by Musburger’s comments.
That’s a great rule to abide by in life in regard to controversies- you’re not allowed to be more outraged than the victim. Even if you do think what Musburger said and did regarding Webb was creepy (and it indeed it really kinda was), he’s still an all-time legend of the game.
He was even in Rocky II.
Spiranac is a professional golfer turned Instagram model, influencer and podcaster. As she built up her own personal, individual brand through a really large number of heavily engaged followers (could we have stuffed any more web 3.0 buzzwords into this sentence and paragraph?), she parlayed that into a deal with PointsBet Ambassador.
In 2021, the page views generating machine and SEO gold of a human joined the global sportsbook operator, as a brand ambassador and on-air personality.
Credit Spiranac for this- no topic for potential discussion is off limits.
Spiranac is often very open about what a polarizing figure she is. While her justifications/explanations for her professional style and career choices sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, you must give her kudos for answering the critics directly.
While she didn’t make it in the LPGA, she certainly has established herself as the internet’s queen of sponsored content. She has the hocking products in her own social media posts game sewn up, and that put her in a great position to invest in the growth industry that is sports betting.
According to the PointsBet official announcement, she also took an equity stake in the company and became a “significant” shareholder. She also models for some of the company’s promos.
It’s really quite profound when you think about it, at least in terms of baseball, but it applies to betting on the other sports too. Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hit leader, will forever be left out of the Hall of Fame because of his gambling links. Shoeless Joe Jackson, one of the greatest players in the entire history of the game, has a lifetime banishment for the same reason.
Yet nowadays, you can go to the ballpark and place a bet at the onsite sports book.
Crazy ironic, don’t you think?Follow paulmbanks