Nobody likes to see greatness come to an end. Whether that greatness be the Roman Empire or my Little League baseball career, seeing what was once a dominant and driving force come to a halt and dissolve is enough to bring anybody to tears. One such example of this happened last night, when James Holzhauer’s impressive streak on the game show Jeopardy! came to an end after 32 consecutive wins. In these 32 games, he amassed $2,464,216 and set the single game record for winnings with $131,127. This leads me to ask that even though he did not break the all time streak or winnings record, was this the most impressive display of knowledge to ever happen?
The jury is still out on the preceding question, but Judge White Kid is enthusiastically ready to slam down the gavel and say yes. I’ve been on Team James since his reign of utter domination began, even blogging back in April when he set the single game record with $111,000, a feat he would then break again.
Watching James play was like watching Lebron play a pick up game against middle aged fat guys at the local YMCA (AKA my dad and his friends). He would sniff out Daily Doubles like a German Shepherd in the Narcotics K-9 Unit sniffs out cocaine from the luggage of a flight that just landed from Peru. And once he found it, you just knew he was gonna put his dick on the table and bet a shitload of money. That’s just how James rolled, and before you knew it, he had 10 times as much money as everybody else.
There’s no rational explanation for how he knew everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything. If you asked him what the name of my gerbil was when I was 9, he would get it right before I did. He was so calm about every answer too. While all of the other contestants were mashing their buzzers like trauma patients trying to increase their morphine drips, James would buzz in with a casual push and say, “What is The Byzantine Empire?”.
I think my least favorite thing about James’ defeat last night was that the episode leaked, so the news had already spread throughout the web that he lost before the episode even aired. I was pissed at how many outlets jumped on board and completely ruined this for everybody. It’s one thing if some dipshit on twitter says, “Hey 12 followers that I have, James loses tonight!”. But to have actual news sites and figures like Darren Rovell spoiling the outcome made me want to Rambo them all.
Despite the clear domination, it is worth mentioning that he did not break the longest streak record, nor the all time winnings record. Ken Jennings beat James in both of those categories (74 games, $2,520,700). So with that being said, how can I think that James’ run is better? Simple. James racked up nearly the same amount of cash in half the time. He had multiple perfect games where he didn’t get anything wrong during this stretch. And most importantly, where players like Ken would play it safe, James put his gigantic pair of brass balls on full display and bet it all. Ken Jennings also had pretty close games, whereas James came, saw and conquered just about every game, except for that very close call with the professor from Brandeis (Massachusetts represent)
It’s also worth mentioning that when he lost last night, he was the first to walk over and high five the competitor that just ended his streak. You can’t teach that type of sportsmanship. God bless you James.
The word is used all too often in hyperbole, but it was honestly incredible to watch James’ run. I don’t know if we’ll ever see something like this ever again, and to preserve his legacy, I hope we never do. Where other geniuses such as Newton and Einstein were masters in 1 or 2 areas, James is a Jack of All Trades. You could ask him about sports, history, Art, geography, and so on and so forth. It didn’t matter, because he was gonna get it right. That’s why I think this was the most impressive displays of widespread knowledge I’ve ever seen. We’re gonna miss you James. Thanks for the memories.
PS: I just crunched the numbers, and he made about $75,000 every episode if you average it out. He made more in each 20 minute episode than I do in a year to sit in a cube for 45 hours a week and type until my hands cramp up. Please excuse my while I slice my wrists open vertically