Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

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Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by jeopardyfan939 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:29 pm

Here's who I have in mind, and I will only be mentioning players who were on the show after the five-day limit for returning champions was lifted.

Roger Craig — In the second game of his initial run, he broke the one-day record with $77,000 (which would be later broken by James Holzhauer). But more notably, he delivered one of the most memorable ToC victories. In the first game of the final match, he hit back-to-back Daily Doubles, went all in, and responded correctly.

Larissa Kelly — She was the winningest female contestant before Julia Collins, both in terms of games won and earnings accumulated during her initial run. She nearly won her ToC against Dan Pawson but responded incorrectly in FJ! However, she was a big factor behind Team Brad's victory in the All-Star games.

David Madden — Prior to the All-Star games, he was yet another underrated champion. His 19-game winning streak occurred shortly after Ken's run; however, he lost in the semifinals of his ToC. But as a member of Team Brad in the All-Star Games, that changed as his team won the tournament, and the $1,000,000 prize was split evenly between him, Larissa, and team captain Brad Rutter.

Alex Jacob — Perhaps he was a foreshadow to James Holzhauer, as he himself is a gambler. He implemented some of the strategies that James would use, but to a lesser extent. In his ToC, he made both games of the two-day final match runaways. And he was a member of Team Ken in the All-Star tourney.

Austin Rogers — He was mostly known for his humor, but he would be one to consider a GOAT. During his original run on the show, he held two of the top ten one-day totals, until James obliterated them. He finished third behind Buzzy Cohen and Alan Lin in the 2017 ToC, but he was brought back for the ASG as one of the team captains.

Buzzy Cohen — Another contestant known for his humor, especially when he made references to SNL Celebrity Jeopardy! in FJ! responses. He won the 2017 ToC, and was brought back for the ASG, also as a team captain.

Jason Zuffranieri — He's the most recent 10+ day champion, winning 19 games (6 last season and 13 this season). Despite coming up short of tying Julia's streak of 20 wins, he surpassed David Madden as the third-biggest money winner in regular play (accumulated over $500K) after Ken and James. We have yet to see him in tournament play.

Julia Collins — Highest winning streak and most money earned for a female contestant. Despite she finished in third place in her ToC behind Ben Ingram and Arthur Chu, she was invited back as a team captain for the All-Star tourney. I hope she will be brought back for another super-tournament.

Arthur Chu — I would say he's the most underrated 10+ day champion on the show. A lot of people didn't like him because he implemented the Forrest Bounce, though in a different manner than James. He finished second in his ToC behind Ben Ingram; and maybe his infamy is why he hasn't been invited back on the stage since.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by QuizGeek75 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:36 pm

Matt Jackson was on Team Ken, not Alex Jacob. I believe Matt is also considered as the Greatest Of All Time, despite having Alex as the Brad Rutter to his Ken Jennings.
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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by MarkBarrett » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:41 pm

No one else can be considered the GOAT other than the three who will be airing in prime time in January. There is no case to be made as prior results speak for themselves. The three taping next month cast a large shadow over all others.

Word was Arthur Chu was invited to All-Stars and did not respond. Or not in a timely manner. That is different than not being invited.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by StevenH » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:01 pm

I see nothing that should keep Alex Jacob out of the conversation, except maybe the fact that he doesn't hold any records (that I know of).

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by gnash » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:57 pm

Roger Craig was literally one clue away from winning the Battle of the Decades, so there's an easy but-for scenario in which he would now be in the mix. Of the people on the list, he has the most solid claim.

Brian Weikle lost his TOC final due to a miscalculated final wager and fell dramatically to the excellent, brave, but also lucky Grace Veach in the UTOC. He's the anti-Rutter, with similar crushing fundamentals, but all the bad luck instead of Brad's good luck.

Several other people have clearly shown greatness, but have lost fairly decisively in direct competition with the GOATs. (Jerome Vered, Chuck Forrest and Michael Dupee come to mind.) I don't recall if Frank Spangenberg got to play Ken or Brad, but I think his best tournament performance was losing to Jerome in the UTOC semis.

Last, but not least, Larissa Kelly is as good as many of the people mentioned. Her first two FJ misses, after setting what was then the record FJ run, came at the most unfortunate time, though.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by jeff6286 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:22 pm

gnash wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:57 pm
Roger Craig was literally one clue away from winning the Battle of the Decades, so there's an easy but-for scenario in which he would now be in the mix. Of the people on the list, he has the most solid claim.

Brian Weikle lost his TOC final due to a miscalculated final wager and fell dramatically to the excellent, brave, but also lucky Grace Veach in the UTOC. He's the anti-Rutter, with similar crushing fundamentals, but all the bad luck instead of Brad's good luck.

Several other people have clearly shown greatness, but have lost fairly decisively in direct competition with the GOATs. (Jerome Vered, Chuck Forrest and Michael Dupee come to mind.) I don't recall if Frank Spangenberg got to play Ken or Brad, but I think his best tournament performance was losing to Jerome in the UTOC semis.

Last, but not least, Larissa Kelly is as good as many of the people mentioned. Her first two FJ misses, after setting what was then the record FJ run, came at the most unfortunate time, though.
Don't forget, but for Brad being given a second chance at pronunciation, Michael Dupee may very well have beaten him in the Battle of the Decades. And Dupee dominated in the UTOC but lost from a crush on a great FJ get by Robert Slaven.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by boson » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:01 pm

The bottom line to me is that they have invited back 3 white male millionaires-from-trivia to win more millions. They are undoubtedly the three strongest/luckiest (with varying combinations of luck and strength) to have played. It will be amazing trivia, but I like seeing new people on the show surprise me with how much yhey know.

I know there were some amazing people at trivia nationals who auditioned, who might put up equally gaudy stats. Why not bring them on instead of these pros?

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by Wpwells » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:10 pm

Alex Jacob. Period. He almost singlehandedly took his team to the finals of the All-Star tournament and, along with Larissa, was the strongest player there. He missed one DD that I know will haunt him, but we can’t let that take away from the performance we witnessed.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by jeff6286 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:50 pm

boson wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:01 pm
The bottom line to me is that they have invited back 3 white male millionaires-from-trivia to win more millions. They are undoubtedly the three strongest/luckiest (with varying combinations of luck and strength) to have played. It will be amazing trivia, but I like seeing new people on the show surprise me with how much yhey know.

I know there were some amazing people at trivia nationals who auditioned, who might put up equally gaudy stats. Why not bring them on instead of these pros?
Remember that unlike every previous tournament since 1990, this isn't an "instead", its in addition to the regular games.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by boson » Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:33 pm

jeff6286 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:50 pm
boson wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:01 pm
The bottom line to me is that they have invited back 3 white male millionaires-from-trivia to win more millions. They are undoubtedly the three strongest/luckiest (with varying combinations of luck and strength) to have played. It will be amazing trivia, but I like seeing new people on the show surprise me with how much yhey know.

I know there were some amazing people at trivia nationals who auditioned, who might put up equally gaudy stats. Why not bring them on instead of these pros?
Remember that unlike every previous tournament since 1990, this isn't an "instead", its in addition to the regular games.
Fair point.

Don't get me wrong: I'll be watching and comparing how I would do against them (spoiler: not well) and commenting here, and it is a fitting way to have Alex get the best ever players on the show during a likely last season. But I like variety and excellence on the show. This way we get excellence only.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by KenJenningsFan74 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:36 am

A player I believe deserves to be in the discussion is Bob Verini. If one Final Jeopardy! clue had gone differently in Super Jeopardy! and if Verini had responded correctly to either of his two Daily Doubles during the second day of the Million Dollar Masters finals, he would have been undefeated for his entire career at that point, and the holder of two super tournament titles as well as his own Tournament of Champions. He might not be able to play on that level currently, but Bob Verini is as viable a candidate as anyone to be called the greatest ever.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by MDaunt » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:20 am

I'll throw in a vote for Mike Dupee. Also Frank Spangenburg, Jerome Vered, Dan Melia and a few others. Probably all too old now to keep up - I know I certainly am not as quick to recall as I was.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by alietr » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:26 am

boson wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:01 pm
I know there were some amazing people at trivia nationals who auditioned, who might put up equally gaudy stats. Why not bring them on instead of these pros?
Yeah, in the wake of Holzhauer, maybe Austin Powers will finally get his shot. He'll wipe the floor with pretty much everyone out there (though obviously we have no clue on his buzzer speed).

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by Mark B » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:32 am

I've seen every great player on J! going back to that bouncy fella Chuck, and there have been a lot of great ones, including those mentioned above. That said, I don't think anyone could reasonably make a list of the three best players (who have actually appeared on the show) that didn't consist of Ken, Brad and James in some order.

This got me thinking: is there any other realm of sport, games, art, politics, or any other field of accomplishment that has a triumvirate of greatness that is indisputable? I can think of other troikas of terrificness, but none indisputably the best.

One other thing – my kids, now teenagers, are too young to have got much of a taste of KJ and Brad, but both were fascinated by James' success. They've asked me several times in the last few months, "Dad, who do you think is the best ever?" I've struggled to answer because my own opinion on the subject has proved unstable. Finally I came up with this analogy:

If the three were thought of as dragon-slaying knights, Ken would be the knight who slew the most dragons, Brad the knight who slew the most ferocious dragons, and James the knight who slew dragons in the most spectacular fashion.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by jeopardyfan939 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:13 am

MDaunt wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:20 am
I'll throw in a vote for Mike Dupee. Also Frank Spangenburg, Jerome Vered, Dan Melia and a few others. Probably all too old now to keep up - I know I certainly am not as quick to recall as I was.
A lot of players who appeared on the show when the five-day limit was in effect were very well considered GOAT. Chuck Forrest was the first one, and then along came guys like Frank Spangenberg and Jerome Vered.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by Woof » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:49 am

alietr wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:26 am
boson wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:01 pm
I know there were some amazing people at trivia nationals who auditioned, who might put up equally gaudy stats. Why not bring them on instead of these pros?
Yeah, in the wake of Holzhauer, maybe Austin Powers will finally get his shot. He'll wipe the floor with pretty much everyone out there (though obviously we have no clue on his buzzer speed).
Both AP and Schliemann are demons on the buzzer, as they've demonstrated at TN and similar events playing Bill Schantz's 5x5.

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by Coelacanth » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:51 am

gnash wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:57 pm
Brian Weikle lost his TOC final due to a miscalculated final wager and fell dramatically to the excellent, brave, but also lucky Grace Veach in the UTOC. He's the anti-Rutter, with similar crushing fundamentals, but all the bad luck instead of Brad's good luck.
Thanks for the mention.

Interesting you should refer to me as the anti-Rutter. I have twice had the experience of being in the audience as Brad missed an FJ that I knew cold. (The reverse was true on the one occasion where he was in the audience as I was on stage.)

I'd like to think I'd have a shot at winning a putative GOAT tournament for people who played pre-five-day-limit-removal. (Assuming Brad wouldn't be included.) But this is primarily because that was almost 20 years ago and I'm a lot younger than most of those people are now :lol:
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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by OntarioQuizzer » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:53 am

How is this discussion being framed if Buzzy Cohen is able to get Emma Goldman?

That in itself, I think, is a big checkmark in Alex Jacob's column.
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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by MarkBarrett » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:54 am

Mark B wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:32 am
I've seen every great player on J! going back to that bouncy fella Chuck, and there have been a lot of great ones, including those mentioned above. That said, I don't think anyone could reasonably make a list of the three best players (who have actually appeared on the show) that didn't consist of Ken, Brad and James in some order.

This got me thinking: is there any other realm of sport, games, art, politics, or any other field of accomplishment that has a triumvirate of greatness that is indisputable? I can think of other troikas of terrificness, but none indisputably the best.

One other thing – my kids, now teenagers, are too young to have got much of a taste of KJ and Brad, but both were fascinated by James' success. They've asked me several times in the last few months, "Dad, who do you think is the best ever?" I've struggled to answer because my own opinion on the subject has proved unstable. Finally I came up with this analogy:

If the three were thought of as dragon-slaying knights, Ken would be the knight who slew the most dragons, Brad the knight who slew the most ferocious dragons, and James the knight who slew dragons in the most spectacular fashion.
Yes, you get it for K, B, and J. It's the 4th position that easily opens up to a legitimate discussion.

For the troika of terrificness I like looking at bowling as that can be titles won, and $ won in a career. Walter Ray Williams has to be in the top 3 no matter how you want to slice it. From there there are cases for and against Pete Weber, Jason Belmonte, Norm Duke and Parker Bohn III. Key on the importance of major tournaments won and other names are in the mix. There would not be full agreement on the top 3 among fans.

Golf - Tiger and Nicklaus are locks while good luck figuring out the third.

I agree it's tough to find a solid example for top 3 as even Shemp has fans. :)

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Re: Besides Ken, Brad, and James, what other contestants could be considered GOAT?

Post by OntarioQuizzer » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:54 am

boson wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:01 pm
The bottom line to me is that they have invited back 3 white male millionaires-from-trivia to win more millions. They are undoubtedly the three strongest/luckiest (with varying combinations of luck and strength) to have played. It will be amazing trivia, but I like seeing new people on the show surprise me with how much yhey know.

I know there were some amazing people at trivia nationals who auditioned, who might put up equally gaudy stats. Why not bring them on instead of these pros?
I mean, this is being aired separately from the regular games.
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