Like many Americans, I’m currently obsessed with ABC’s thrilling prime-time competition “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time.” The tournament features the iconic trivia show’s all-time best players: James Holzhauer, aka Jeopardy! James, who, with a 32-game streak last year, holds the record for winning the most money in a single game ($131,127); Ken Jennings, who has won the most games in a row (74); and Brad Rutter, who is Jeopardy!’s all-time earnings winner ($4,688,436). At press time, only two matches have aired—Jennings narrowly defeated Holzhauer by a slim margin of $200 on night one, but the latter proved dominant on night two.
The rapport among these contestants has been fun to watch. During the premiere, Holzhauer playfully taunted Rutter after beating him on the buzzer and nailing the answer to a clue asking for the city where Dick Clark first hosted American Bandstand. Of course, it is a city close to Lancaster, Pennsylvania-native Rutter’s heart (and the Print+Promo team): Philadelphia.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the intelligence on display. But, perhaps, what stands out to me the most at this early point in the competition is Ken Jennings’ willingness to try a different tactic, borrowed from Jeopardy! James’ playbook. If you’ve watched Holzhauer in action, then you’re familiar with his aggressive Double Jeopardy! strategy (i.e., uncover them on the board and bet everything). Jennings kept pace in a similar way—a departure from his traditionally conservative betting. It was a beast move that paid off.
Kudos to Jennings for stepping outside of his comfort zone. I think this is something we all struggle with, and it’s a topic that receives a lot of attention at the start of any new year or decade, like we find ourselves currently in. I’ve had the pleasure of watching friends, family and colleagues step into their own courage, which is a victory itself. As you begin to execute your plans for 2020, take a cue from these players. Have fun and go for it. And remember, no one expects you to be a GOAT; your best self will do just fine.