Now that the shock of last night has worn off and cooler heads have prevailed, I wanted to make a quick update to a blog I wrote earlier today.
As someone who has long admired Ken Jennings, the process at Jeopardy, and well as good sportsmanship, I figured the best way to recap last night was to mention who took how the GOAT trophy.
HOWEVAH, I would be doing a great injustice to Jeopardy, Alex Trebek, and America as a whole if I didn't recognize the greatest contestant the show has ever seen: Watson.
For Jeopardy fans that just recently got into the show or young'ns that don't remember Watson,
he it was a supercomputer built to enter the trivia realm and humble nerds at the one thing they were good at. For further explanation, here is Watson's Wikipedia entry:
Watson is a question-answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, developed in IBM's DeepQA project by a research team led by principal investigator David Ferrucci. Watson was named after IBM's founder and first CEO, industrialist Thomas J. Watson.
The computer system was initially developed to answer questions on the quiz show Jeopardy! and, in 2011, the Watson computer system competed on Jeopardy! against champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings,winning the first place prize of $1 million.
How did Watson do in competition against two of the three contestants from the Jeopardy GOAT Tournament? Glad you asked!
With the Jeopardy "GOAT" (very strong air quotes) bending the knee Kent Brockman style to Watson's super computer brain.
Watson retired from televised competition after putting those two heads on a spike. But his pelts are on the wall and is currently undefeated.
Now I know we just had an entire tournament to eliminate the whole sticky Jeopardy GOAT controversy so it wouldn't turn into a MJ vs. LeBron situation (with Brad playing the role of Kobe). But to ignore the contestant that mopped the floor with two of the three GOAT candidates would be ignorant. Which is why I have updated the official Jeopardy GOAT rankings following the events of the last week.
Jeopardy GOAT Rankings:
2. James Holzhauer
He never has played Watson which means he has never lost to Watson, thus making him the number 1 contender for the GOAT title. James has also never bent the knee to a computer even if his brain may be an actual computer, thus making him Team Human. If you don't like James, you are anti-Human.
3. Ken Jennings
Current human GOAT champion but in a distant 3rd place whenever there is a computer on stage (James is not a computer but instead a robot). You can make a case that Ken should be lower than third since he letdown an entire species by coming in dead last to Watson. But I will not tolerate any Ken Jennings slander after he beat the brilliant James Holzhauer in head-to-head competition (as long as you don't think that Jeopardy either rigged the contest to let Ken win so he can transition to host once Trebek retires or that this video isn't concrete evidence of collusion).
1298472. Brad Rutter
He fought valiantly against the machine and is a legend in pre-GOAT tournament Jeopardy as he is still the all-time winnings leader in Jeopardy history. However I cannot place him in the top one million after becoming a breathing punch line over those last four games. Can't do it. Maybe time will heal those wounds, but they are fresh right now.
On the bright side, at least he didn't flip sides like Anakin and become a traitor to his entire species on national television.
These rankings are final and will be updated the next time there is a competition with 2 or more players in the rankings.