ESPN CareersESPN.comSoccerThe ESPN DifferenceWalt Disney CompanyWho Does That?Working @ ESPN’s James Tyler Revisits His “Jeopardy!” Championship Journey

The senior editor for soccer says: "I won the game I should have lost and lost the one I should have won. That said, I'm a 'Jeopardy!' Champion for life!"

James Tyler, senior editor for soccer at, knows a thing or two about the importance of speed – he manages, assigns, and edits writers reporting breaking news and live, in-the-moment coverage of the world’s most popular soccer events.

But as Tyler learned recently, nothing can quite prepare a contestant for the fast-paced, quick-thinking speed needed to buzz in and answer the clues on “Jeopardy!,” one of America’s longest-running game shows. senior editor James Tyler recently made appearances on two episodes of “Jeopardy!” (Screenshot courtesy of Jeopardy! YouTube/Sony Pictures Television)

Tyler scored a comeback victory during the episode that aired Monday, July 10 before losing his second game on the Tuesday, July 11 show.

“I won the game I should have lost and lost the one I should have won. That said, I’m a ‘Jeopardy!’ Champion for life!” Tyler told Front Row. “I’m now eligible for the second-chance tournaments, and I truly had the experience of a lifetime. Whatever I imagined it would be, it was a million times better.”

While firming up’s coverage plan for the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand (July 20–Aug. 20), Tyler shared more about his “Jeopardy!” appearance with Front Row.

When did you become a fan of “Jeopardy!?”
I moved to this country from England in the late 1990s as a teen and immediately took to watching endless amounts of TV as a means of getting acclimated to my new home. I think the “Saturday Night Live” episodes spoofing “Jeopardy!” were my first exposure to the game, but then I got into it quickly from there! My interest waxed and waned through the years, but I always harbored the dream of making it on the show.

How long were you trying to get on the show?
I think the tests used to be open every six months until 2021, and I took them every six months for well over a decade in the hopes of making it. I think I first really started with the online tests in 2010 or so.

How would you describe the experience?
What a thrill! The games are so much faster in the studio than on TV: You’re hearing maybe four questions per minute, and you barely have time to think before the next question comes. If you go a while without buzzing in successfully – and I was struggling on Monday to get in first, despite knowing many of the responses – it can mess with you, but I hung in and was determined not to beat myself.

How much did your role as an senior editor help or hinder you in the competition?
Well, I would have loved to get some sports questions, but no dice there! (The categories and the contestants for each episode are randomly drawn by different people to ensure a fair episode.) That said, I’d say my quick-thinking skills – necessary when juggling breaking news, reporter calls, and edits – were super helpful. You need quick recall, and I’d say my job requires that from me every single day.

EDITOR’S NOTE: From 2020: ESPN’s James Quintong reflects on his “Jeopardy!” run

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