Best Subject Teams/Players

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Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Sima Guang Hater » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:31 am

This was brought up in the IRC earlier, so I thought I'd start a thread ranking the best players in particular categories. I'll start with myth:

1. Seth Teitler - Obviously the undisputed champion of the category. Beating Seth to a myth tossup is a rare accomplishment indeed. Possibly no one has as commanding a lockdown of any category as Seth does for myth.

2. Susan Ferrari - If Seth doesn't beat you to that tossup on Svipdag, Susan assuredly will. Very deep real knowledge of several myth canons, including esoteric ones, moves her up here.

3. Seth Kendall - The fact that he managed to beat Susan in Seth's myth singles certainly means something. I also hear he's a classics professor of some kind.

4. Rob Carson - Definitely a notch below the others on this list, but solid nonetheless. Strong knowledge of world mythology, especially Asian myth, moves him up here. Also solid on most other myth canons from what I can tell.

5. Dominic Machado - Its tough ranking Dominic and Dallas relative to each other; both of them clearly focus on Greco-Roman myth, which Dallas probably has a slight edge on. However, Dominic has better generalist knowledge in the category, so he moves up.

6. Dallas Simons - Unquestioned lockdown (even against Seth) of Greco-Roman myth, but spotty coverage elsewhere. With time he will probably become the next great myth player.

Others:

Eric Mukherjee - Pretty good coverage of most myth canons, but not quite as solid as the above players, possibly due to lack of real knowledge. Got the bulk of the mythology points on a fairly myth-strong Brown A team.

Bruce Arthur - His recent RMPfests have certainly amped his knowledge, but his knowledge of the subject still seems fairly patchy overall. An excellent complement to Dallas' myth knowledge on that Harvard A team and solid command of that slowly growing eastern European myth sub-category, but not necessarily a super-strong myth player in his own right.

Mike Sorice - Definitely knows his stuff, but I've never seen him as a player who emphasized myth as a part of his game. I could be wrong about this.

Jerry Vinokurov - Strong on all aspects of mythology, especially Norse and Finnish, but not necessarily lockdown on any of them.

Aaron Rosenberg - Up-and-comer to the category, had some scary early buzzes at ACF Winter, and is severely underrated due to being overshadowed by Eric and Jerry.

Auroni Gupta - Certainly one of quizbowl's Shinto experts, but not sure about his knowledge elsewhere. Had an amusing neg with "Teucer" in the MO final last year, though.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:35 am

I will plug Andy Watkins as a really good Celtic myth player.

I find Greek and Celtic names hard to memorize for some reason, and having Andy and Dallas around is just a godsend. They make those questions disappear.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Crimson Rosella » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:20 pm

I have no idea whether he'd stack up to some of the players on this list, but myth, particularly Norse myth, is one of my teammate Robert Harden's strongest categories.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Auroni » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:35 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:Had an amusing neg with "Teucer" in the MO final last year, though.


Easily the low point of my open tournament career.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Mettius Fufetius » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:40 pm

Dutton Speedwords wrote:I have no idea whether he'd stack up to some of the players on this list, but myth, particularly Norse myth, is one of my teammate Robert Harden's strongest categories.


Based on what I've seen from Robert, yeah, I would definitely say he belongs on this list.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby idrayer » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:52 pm

I don't think I've ever seen a philosophy question at any level go three lines with Keith Stephens (UCLA senior) playing, and most don't get past the second clue. I have never seen dominance like that in any subject.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Self-incompatibility in plants » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:36 pm

Matt Bollinger definitely needs to be up there for myth. I can't tell you how many myth questions he one-lined at both TIT and T-Party, but let's just say it was a lot. He has read many works of Classical Greek/Roman Literature, and it shows.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Cheynem » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:40 pm

We might want to wait until someone gets into college before pronouncing him one of the best players ever in a subject.

That said, Matt is certainly a very good myth player.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Self-incompatibility in plants » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:44 pm

Cheynem wrote:We might want to wait until someone gets into college before pronouncing him one of the best players ever in a subject.

That said, Matt is certainly a very good myth player.


Well, to be fair, I was basing my judgement off of college tournaments I have seen him play at, so I don't think that I was being too too premature in making that statement.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby JackGlerum » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:36 pm

I'd like to hear a "best team at x subject" list.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby DumbJaques » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:11 pm

Matt Bollinger would probably beat at least some of the people in that post in a myth-off, so I don't know why he wouldn't be illegible for recognition. Jeremy Eaton is a pretty good myth player, too.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Auks Ran Ova » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:53 pm

DumbJaques wrote:illegible


I second Tmta Baosdihfsl!
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby magin » Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:25 am

Charles Meigs is the best history player I've seen consistently, but I don't know how he stacks up against Jeff Hoppes and Adam Kemezis. They're the first tier of history players, I think.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby canaanbananarama » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:35 pm

Having played Jeff a number of times on the West Coast, I would give him the edge over me in general. The problem with history is that it could be split into a number of specialties-I certainly know Jeff would dominate me on English and probably Western European history, but I might know more about something like Balkan history due to specialization. I'm fundamentally a specialist in Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and (some) Eastern European history. I don't have many glaring gaps, but I'll own up to being a very embarrassingly bad Japanese history player (then again, I played in the days when the usual Japanese history tossup threw a bunch of Japanese names and you'd get points for saying Sekigahara) Adam, whom I've only played sparingly, is probably better as well, and is probably the best classics history specialist (better than Seth Kendall) in quizbowl. His knowledge of other topics seemed wide enough. I would give Jeff the edge over Adam, probably just because I've seen Jeff more. From about 2006 onward, you could argue that I was the best, since those two had more or less retired. Also, though I've played him only sparingly, Ed Cohn is certainly a very good history player in general. Andrew Yaphe is an excellent history player even though it's not his niche; he could certainly give me a run for my money. Again, lack of playing him makes it hard to judge, but Peter Austin's knowledge in Byzantine and Chinese history is certainly thorough. Chris Frankel wrote the first history tournament, so he probably knows stuff, but again, I played him only once and four questions in a packet is not enough to make an impression. The last time I played Kemezis was in Bruce's 2006 (2007?) history doubles tournament, and we (Jerry and I) soundly defeated his team, but to be fair, there are valid criticisms about that tournament and our round featured a hilarious moment from a fresh Charlie Dees who negged Kemezis out of a classics tossup, plus I think his quizbowl skills had somewhat eroded due to lack of playing. Kemezis/Yaphe destroyed me/Jerry the year before. The Lafer/Westbrook combo was very good, although I can't particularly note any specializations of those two. I have a similar problem with Matt Weiner, for whom I cannot define a particular specialty although he's a very good all around player. As far as current players go, I can't really say too much, but NAQT's tossup on Shivaji at HSNCT must indicate that high schoolers have a very refined knowledge of Indian history. Chris Ray certainly had his moments, despite his frequent negging. I don't know how he's developed. Jerry's very good at certain things, European and military history, but is weak on other categories. Other players I'll mention for personal experience: Bruce Arthur has very strong niche knowledge in American history and certain facets of European history, but his knowledge, last I played him, had a lot of gaps. Steve Kaplan of Berkeley/UCLA was a dominant force on antebellum US history, but again, had many gaps elsewhere. It's difficult to rank, but for my "era," I'd place Hoppes, Cohn and Kemezis on a first tier, Yaphe and myself on the next tier, and Weiner/Arthur on the next (although this last grouping displays the difficulty of ranking, as Bruce would get things earlier against Weiner, but Weiner would probably beat him on a packet). Brendan Byrne's probably pretty good too. As far as my personal experience goes, history is one of Seth Teitler's very few weak spots.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:52 pm

canaanbananarama wrote: As far as my personal experience goes, history is one of Seth Teitler's very few weak spots.


This was certainly true in 2007, I don't think it's true anymore.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Cheynem » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:07 pm

Brendan is a really good American history player.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby grapesmoker » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:43 pm

Seth has always been great on classics subjects, and that includes history.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:19 pm

It's kind of sad that this thread stopped.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Nine-Tenths Ideas » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:24 pm

Man, Trey Taraila sure has egg on his face now-- Matt Bollinger is a terrible myth player!
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Cheynem » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:26 pm

I've never seen him win a myth tournament.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:58 pm

Cheynem wrote:I've never seen him win a myth tournament.


Yeah, it's almost like he wasn't even at YMIR.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:50 pm

I would add Matt Jackson to the list of great myth players of the current era.

The subject heading suggests that we were planning on doing this for other categories (as does the original post). How about it?

Some questions I've had about great players in the categories that are dearest to me (but I'm still very curious about great players in all categories):

Literature: Whenever this is discussed, the two names I hear are Yaphe and Magin. I've seen Magin play a lot (once on his team) and saw Yaphe only at ACF Nationals 2010, and they both seemed clearly better than any of the Lit players of the current generation. But they're the only two major Lit players I know who were active in the early- and mid-2000's. Who else from this era was good and how would they stack up today?

Visual Art: We rarely talk about good painting players. These days, we probably consider it one the easiest categories to improve in, and nearly every major generalist is at least good if not great at this category. Has there ever been an instance of a "dominant" painting player? Particularly, was this more possible in pre-internet days?

Music: Before Kevin, Aaron Rosenberg, Dees, Ted, and I emerged, who were the good music players?
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:11 pm

Mike Sorice is very good at music, as is Jonathan Magin.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Cheynem » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:15 pm

So is Selene Koo.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby cornfused » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:46 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:Visual Art: We rarely talk about good painting players. These days, we probably consider it one the easiest categories to improve in, and nearly every major generalist is at least good if not great at this category. Has there ever been an instance of a "dominant" painting player? Particularly, was this more possible in pre-internet days?

I've heard Kelly Tourdot's name given for this kind of thing, but I'm not sure how good she was on the national collegiate circuit.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:08 pm

Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:07 am

From what I've seen of him in matches now and again, Doug Graebner is extremely good at visual art.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Sima Guang Hater » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:46 pm

Hate to necro, but I was just reminded of ANFORTAS while I was writing the myth for Penn-ance. Seth is still the mythpocalpyse.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Cheynem » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:02 pm

His lake monster and Mothman knowledge is lacking, however.
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Re: Best Subject Teams/Players

Postby Captain Sinico » Thu May 01, 2014 12:07 pm

After losing my stack to consecutive 3-outers at a poker game yesterday, I was thinking about this and I'd have to put Ike up there with the best lit players. What do you think?

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