Steve Jobs had a major impact on the sports world

Wed, Oct 5

Farewell, Steve Jobs.

We hardly -- actually, we knew ye pretty well. And by "we," we mean sports. Several stars reacted to Jobs' death on Twitter on Wednesday.

No, Jobs would never have been called Steve Jock. But the former Apple CEO affected athletics in many ways:

The iPod

Debuting in 2001, Apple's digital media player revolutionized how people listen to music -- athletes hardly excepted. Now many use it to get focused/fired up in the locker room. Sometimes they even share earbuds. A few like to listen while on the court during pregame -- although this has been called a no-no. And as technology advanced, this music/video device helped baseball players break down pitching matchups.

The "Cars" franchise

Jobs' savvy wasn't limited to computers and handhelds, as in the 1980s, he bought what became Pixar. He sold the company to Disney (which also owns ESPN) in 2006, but not before the groundwork for the popular (and racing-themed) "Cars" franchise had been laid.

The iPhone

It's far from the only smartphone out there, but America's best- and second-best-selling such gadget has had a massive effect on sports, helping athletes get into all kinds of social media shenanigans and build their respective brands. And let's not forget what this type of gadget means to fans: fantasy, fantasy, fantasy. Suddenly, Sunday brunch isn't as obtrusive when you can check scores and stats while outside the house.

The iPad

Much as they did with the iPod, teams are making use of Apple's newest hot gadget to check stats and video, further evolving off-the-field study.

The Super Bowl commercial

In the early 1980s, Apple called upon Ridley Scott (then of "Alien" fame) to direct a Super Bowl spot inspired by George Orwell's "1984." The commercial, debuted during the 1984 game, succeeded in many ways. It's a legend in advertising circles. It might have influenced film. It helped get people to buy Mac products. And some say it might have turned Super Bowl commercials into what they are today: a phenomenon that's often more memorable than the big game itself.

Now that's impact.