Zack Ward Talks About Being America’s Best Known Bully, His World’s First Sports Stock Market Venture And Super Bowl Predictions

Zack Ward has come a long way from portraying America’s best known raccoon-hat-wearing bully on the big screen (Scut Farkus of “A Christmas Story”) to now heading up his latest venture, Global Sports Financial Exchange (think stock market for sports).

The regulated sports exchange trades pro sports teams like stocks. Ward teamed up with former NHL player Bernie Nicholls to launch the platform that now allows fans to buy and sell their favorite teams, earning money each time their teams win and each calendar quarter.

We caught up recently with Ward to find out how it feels to still be one of America’s legendary bullies and find out what his predictions are for this weekend’s Super Bowl LII featuring the New England Patriots.

What was it like playing one of America’s best known bullies?

One of my favorite moments in recent years was Entertainment Weekly had a poll and apparently, I was ranked higher than the Grinch!  It has been an amazing experience and I feel very blessed. It constantly raises its head in a loving way. I have met people in their 70s and their kids in their 50s and their kids in their 30s and their kids like seven years old, who all watch the show together. It cracks me up.

Why do think “A Christmas Story” has stood the test of time?

It’s actually a more complex answer than you are probably expecting. If you look at the story, it’s about earning their father’s respect. Everyone wants people to like them, even Luke Skywalker has daddy issues (laughs). In a movie like “A Christmas Story,” it’s a coming of age. It doesn’t matter if you are black, white, Mexican, Jewish or whatever. It’s the same dynamic for everyone.

Can you share a fun memory from the movie’s production?

Doing the fight sequence was awesome for me. When I was in second grade, I did a show-and-tell called “Sailors, Fight.” We pretended to hit each other until the teacher told us to stop. I always loved action movies so getting to be a stunt man was a huge deal. At the end of the movie, the house was covered in snow and it was just beautiful. Everything was perfectly Christmas. The movie was shot in Cleveland, and 80s Cleveland was going through hard economic times that showed everywhere. They spent 15 hours turning the house into movie magic so when I actually saw it, my eyes opened as big as my squinty eyes could go.

Zack WardPhoto Credit: Bobby Quillard

Tell us how you went from acting, writing and directing to now becoming the CEO of Global Sports Financial Exchange, a stock market for sports teams.

It sounds like a Bond villain, doesn’t it? We’re like the West Coast Wall Street. It’s the first stock market for sports teams. If you take a love of stats and math and put it together with sports, the only way to do that previously was to gamble. Gambling wins only when you lose. Investing works when you win. You don’t have to know about sports to get involved. Think of it like this, if you bet $100 on the Patriots in the Super Bowl and I buy 100 shares and they lose, you lose the money, but I still have my 100 shares. Five years from now, I still have my 100 shares. We have 7,500 traders in 82 countries at the moment. Our mandate is that this is regulated. It’s not just a widget; it’s an economic engine. It’s complex and brilliant.

Calling from title town, we have to know which team has had the best returns?

The market dictates what happens. People buy what dividends will pay off, but they also love their teams.

Predictions for the Super Bowl?

It’s going to be a great time. I predict the most amount of chicken wings will be ingested; there will be a massive influx of economic growth; there will be hangovers and I predict Uber and Lyft will raise their rates. I think I am going to go with Philly.

Since this is a Boston publication, we’ll ask the question again and hopefully, you will answer the question right this time. Predictions for the Super Bowl?

(Laughs) That’s right, I should have said I was going to have a bowl of clam chowdah while I eat raw lobstah and drink green beer until I puke!  I’m from Toronto and have become thin skinned since I moved to LA in 1995. When I went back recently, it was bone chilling cold just like in Boston, but I love Boston. It’s such a beautiful city with a mix of crazy intellectuals and the guy who wants to kick you for looking at him the wrong way. The city is also a place that you can see where and how the country got started.