October 18, 2023
(LOS ANGELES) — “Just a fan” to some but a media mogul to others, Jimmy “Jomboy” O’Brien bridges the gap between digital and conventional media coverage, reshaping sports journalism for a broader audience.
James Vincent Michael O’Brien is a sports commentator, YouTube content creator, and internet personality. Jimmy, also known as “Jomboy,” is famous for his lip-reading skills and humorous commentary. He has leveraged these talents to build a multimedia sports and entertainment company.
In 2017, O’Brien launched a podcast with his friend Jake Storiale called “Talkin’ Yanks.” The podcast gained traction in 2019 after O’Brien posted a video on YouTube of Yankees manager Aaron Boone arguing with an umpire. MLB.tv had captured the original exchange on a microphone, and O’Brien used that audio and video to craft his own version, complete with subtitles and commentary. O’Brien’s video quickly went viral.
Jimmy continued to post more “breakdown” videos and introduced another podcast, “Talkin’ Baseball,” to the Jomboy Media lineup. His profile rose further when he released a series of videos covering the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in 2017. In these videos, he decoded the Astros’ actions and demonstrated that they cheated using technology.
Initially focused on baseball, Jomboy’s content has since expanded to include other sports, some less mainstream. I recently recognized teqball in a television competition from a 2019 breakdown video O’Brien published.
The company now offers multiple podcasts, social media posts, and YouTube channels, engaging fans with a blend of information and humor.
Jomboy videos always feature compelling headlines. The video “Stone Cold Killer Wins the 2012 Ear Pulling Contest with Ease, a Breakdown” has attracted 22 million views. Similarly, “Buzkashi, the sport that uses dead goats as the ball, a breakdown,” has garnered 1.5 million views. Who wouldn’t click on those links? Maybe PETA…
One popular segment is “The Weekly Dumb,” in which Jimmy and co-host Jake highlight unique or ridiculous sports plays of the week. They also select a non-sports story to discuss; a recent episode featured a Nebraska man who modified his Crown Victoria to accommodate his 1,300-pound bull in the passenger seat.
In a 2022 New York Times interview, O’Brien stated, “I would never call myself a reporter.” I’d argue that he is both a reporter and a multifaceted journalist.
Jomboy Media operates out of a Bronx, New York, office with 64 employees. What began as two friends discussing baseball morphed into a media conglomerate with approximately $1 million in funding. Jomboy has forged deals with the YES Network and Amazon.
Last year, Chris Rose, a well-known former MLB broadcaster, joined Jomboy Media. He hosts “The Chris Rose Rotation,” interviewing MLB players. Jomboy has also covered the World Series, the MLB All-Star Game, and Spring Training.
O’Brien, a history major who is largely self-taught except for a year in film school, says he spends 10 to 15 hours a day editing videos for his original content. While Jomboy still calls himself “just a fan,” I consider myself a hockey fan and I don’t spend three hours a day editing videos.
The diverse content portfolio created by Jimmy O’Brien and Jomboy Media is a unique and valuable contribution to the journalism landscape. They maintain engaging content and appeal to a broad age demographic. One quality that makes a good reporter is the ability to present facts clearly. Jimmy and Jake, even in their “The Weekly Dumb” segments, lead with facts before adding jokes or comedic banter.
When my husband showed me a Jomboy video, I thought it was just two guys laughing and casually discussing sports. I was right, but there’s also a lot more to it. After delving into various channels under the Jomboy umbrella, I am convinced that their work is most definitely journalism and a refreshing addition to sports broadcasting.