Jimmy The Greek Fired After 12 Years
March 7, 2012 by staff
Jimmy The Greek Fired After 12 Years, For those inclined to consider collisions of circumstance, here’s a good one: Tomorrow at 8 p.m., ESPN’s “30 For 30″ documentary series presents filmmaker Fritz Mitchell’s superb one-hour take on the rise and colossal fall of Jimmy The Greek Snyder.
Naturally, the piece spends more than a few minutes on the events of January 1988, starting with the beginning of Snyder’s end, when a local TV crew found him in D.C.’s renowned restaurant/hangout, Duke Zeibert’s, and asked questions that Snyder was ill-suited to answer.
To know The Greek — and I knew him well — was to know that a) he enjoyed attention, and b) he was incapable of delicate answers to any questions. And these questions, in conjunction with Martin Luther King Day, were about race, specifically why blacks are superior athletes.
SIMILAR RAPS? Jimmy The Greek, who will be featured tomorrow on ESPN’s “30 for 30″ documentary, was canned by CBS in 1988 for sounding like a racist. Yet, Jay-Z (inset) has had his song “Empire State of Mind” become the Yankees’ anthem despite often using self-enslaving stereotypes of blacks, says Post columnist Phil Mushnick.
Snyder provided a fractured lecture on U.S. history, genetics and the breeding of slaves, all roughly spoken. That’s how he spoke about horses, pastry and people. And although some answers sounded as if he admired African-American athletes and some sounded resentful, it all came out the same: Ugly. He sounded like a racist.
But what could anyone expect? For crying out loud, he was from river-town Steubenville, Ohio; he was a kid when his uncle shot and killed his immigrant mother. Who did CBS think was in its employ, Adlai Stevenson? His 12 years as a kibitzer/tout on CBS’s NFL pregame show were based on being a street guy with a big mouth and lots of opinions.
And so CBS fired him because he was a street guy with a big mouth and lots of opinions.
Abandoned as a pariah, The Greek’s career — TV, movies, commercial gigs — was over. He’d gone bust before, lots of times, but he wasn’t going to rally from a racist rap.
Demetrious Georgios Synodinos, born to wrong-side Steubenville, was buried there in 1996.
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