30 for 30: Season 1, Episode 6

The Legend of Jimmy the Greek (10 Nov. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography | Sport
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This film follows the career of Jimmy Synder, a professional gambler. He helped legitimize betting in NFL games by finding ways to give points spreads during pre-game shows. His demise was ... See full summary »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Fritz Mitchell ...
Jimmy 'The Greek' Snyder ...
Himself (archive footage)
Rich Podolsky ...
Hank Goldberg ...
Robert A. Fishman ...
Irv Cross ...
Frank Deford ...
Art Manteris ...
Richard O. Davies ...
Joe Namath ...
Himself (archive footage)
Gary Paul Gates ...
George Veras ...


This film follows the career of Jimmy Synder, a professional gambler. He helped legitimize betting in NFL games by finding ways to give points spreads during pre-game shows. His demise was both dramatic and swift when he finally stepped over the mark. Written by glenchapman@ruraltel.net

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10 November 2009 (USA)  »

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The Legend of Jimmy the Greek
16 November 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

30 for 30: The Legend of Jimmy the Greek (2009)

*** (out of 4)

Another winning episode in the impressive 30 for 30 series from ESPN. This time out we take a look at CBS's The NFL Today show, which was an original when it first aired and it also featured a character known as Jimmy the Greek, a professional gambler, who would take sports gambling to a whole new level. After becoming one of the best known faces in the country, Jimmy would eventually give an interview about black players and this would lead to his downfall as many found it to be too much even if he didn't really mean for it to come out the way it did. Apparently director Mitchell started as an intern on this show so he certainly knows the material well and the entire life of Jimmy Snyder makes for an interesting fall from grace type of story. I'm sure many would make a documentary about the evils of sports gambling but this film takes a look at Jimmy under a different point of view. It looks at him very highly and shows how much good he did and why betting in sports has caused the sport to get even bigger. We also have the other three talking heads from The NFL Today show, which included Brent Musburger, Phylis George and Irv Cross. It's interesting to see the stories these three have about the man because it's clear he went after George many times because, she felt, he didn't think women should be doing sports. Cross, an black man, also has some interesting opinions on Jimmy's racist comments and what he thought should have happened. Dan Rather and Frank Deford are also on hand to give their opinions on the man who started gambling at a young age and eventually grew to be something great. Being a 30 for 30 episode, there's also plenty of tragedy to be found, which includes the sudden deaths of several of his kids as well as Jimmy eventually ending his life with nothing to his name. I wish the documentary had given more time to his lack of a career after The NFL Today show because that's pretty much wrapped up in a brief three minute slot.

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