#580 – Top 30 Male CrossFit Games Athletes of All Time

Caleb Beaver (00:00):

And hero what? Every day for a year.

Sevan Matossian (00:02):

Bam. We’re live. I thought the guy’s name was Jim.

Caleb Beaver (00:04):

Yeah. Jim, Bob broski.

Sevan Matossian (00:07):

Jim who?

Caleb Beaver (00:08):

Bob broski. I don’t think it’s his real name. I’m almost certain. It’s not his real name.

Sevan Matossian (00:13):

What’s the F stand for

Caleb Beaver (00:15):

Black it’s black flag performance. That’s his like workout stuff.

Sevan Matossian (00:20):

Uh, that guy had sells programming.

Caleb Beaver (00:23):

I think so,

Sevan Matossian (00:24):

Jim, I

Caleb Beaver (00:25):

Can’t remember.

Sevan Matossian (00:26):

Oh, it’s a cool hat. Brian, are you gonna Sue?

Brian Friend (00:30):

What? No. What are you talking about?

Sevan Matossian (00:34):

Bruce Wayne, Kyle Landis, Austin Hartman. Indicate get your favorite Seon podcast. Badass gear at vindicate V N D K eight.com. Eric Wise. Geez, Louise. Oh, no, there he is. Jeff Elise bone, Elise bone bone, and who? Good morning. Crazy show. How dare you not include teams? How dare you? Uh, why not include teams in your factor for the 30 greatest CrossFitters male of all time? And, and before anyone says anything stupid, of course, he’s gonna do the female settled down, settled down over there. We’re saving the best for last.

Brian Friend (01:26):


Sevan Matossian (01:26):

Why? No. Why no team factor,

Brian Friend (01:30):

Because I don’t have all the team data historically, and then no one does really, except for Chad. Uh, also because it just opens

Sevan Matossian (01:37):

Up Chad Schroeder or Schrader

Brian Friend (01:38):

Schroeder, Chad Schroeder, and it ju it also opens up it, it con it complicates and convolutes the conversation too much. There’s, you know, I think that a majority of the people who are interested in including the team element of CrossFit are only interested in it because of rich phoning, which is to me, you know, I know one person, I think in the comments did mention some others like Tommy hack and Brooke, someone mentioned maybe the same person mentioned Kyle Casper Bower and his, you know, prowess, uh, in the master’s division as well. Um, and of course I I’m, you know, I know about these things and I’m aware of those things, but, uh, it just, it’s kind of the same reason why I don’t, I’m not including the off season competitions. There’s been so much.

Sevan Matossian (02:23):

I think you feel bad for it. I sense you feel bad for it that you wish you could, you could.

Brian Friend (02:27):

No. What I feel bad for is that people think that I’m undervaluing what rich has done for the sport, or has done in, you know, as an individual in his collective career as the sport, which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just when doing something like this, there’s the sport CrossFit is so broad. There’s like, you know, there are thousands of competitions every year at this point, and it doesn’t really make sense for me to investigate that fully up to this point in the sports history, all of the athletes that have tried to compete in CrossFit have tried to compete with one goal in mind, which is to win the CrossFit games, making it the pinnacle event, making it, you know, and even though it, it in itself changes year to year and over, you know, different eras. It’s the big one, it’s the uniform one. It’s the one that we can, you know, most easily look at and, and take a, a data set or a sample size. And I think derive something meaningful from it

Sevan Matossian (03:26):

Who who’s the greatest team athlete to ever do to do CrossFit? Do we know, is it,

Brian Friend (03:37):

I mean, with, with that question in itself is a great example of what the problem is. Okay. Is rich a team athlete, right? Or is an individual athlete or is he just a CrossFit athlete? Because he’s basically had a, you know,

Sevan Matossian (03:50):

Well, bare minimum. He’s both, he’s both. Right, right.

Brian Friend (03:52):

So am I gonna look at his six individual? Uh, or is it six team competitions?

Sevan Matossian (03:58):

Let’s say you weren’t

Brian Friend (03:59):

When I’m answering that, when I’m saying, when I’m answering that question, should I neglect his individual success and only what you did him as a team athlete. If I, it would still be him

Sevan Matossian (04:08):

And then, and then who would be second, you think? Do we even know

Brian Friend (04:12):

I be Adam Neer?

Sevan Matossian (04:14):

Oh, just

Brian Friend (04:15):

Because you know,

Sevan Matossian (04:16):

And I’m asking you leading questions. My question would, is this James

Brian Friend (04:20):

Hobart, maybe Tommy Hacken Brook, maybe. I mean, it depends on what you value. Like what Adrian Conway did in a year was incredibly impressive, but it was a year and you look at Adam knife for over 10 years and now, and I’ve only mentioned men so far. How do you factor in someone like Annie thar, who said one year as a team or Lauren Fisher who’s had multiple years as teams kind sprinkled throughout her career?

Sevan Matossian (04:40):

It would definitely be Taylor

Brian Friend (04:43):


Sevan Matossian (04:43):

Right. One of them

Brian Friend (04:44):

And only done the team competition. How heavily does that weigh against someone like, um, you know, China Cho, who, who joined on the mayhem team and won, like, you know, there it’s, it’s so much more complicated when you factor all those things in. And when I’m, I mean, it’s already difficult enough to assess, you know, there are thousands of men who competed at the CrossFit games close to a thousand. I think when you go back to the early years, which I have a couple hundred each

Sevan Matossian (05:10):

You’re really trans, this is the most transparent ranking I’ve seen. Maybe I wasn’t paying close attention, but by transparent, I mean, you let people see some of the big, uh, the big levers you looked at appearances titles, podiums, uh, top tens, average finish event wins. Uh, what’s change mean

Brian Friend (05:31):

I, I released a, uh, rankings last year. We did it. We talked about it on this, oh, show actually. And it’s a, it’s actually one of the most important things I wanted to talk to you about at the start of this conversation is since, from last year when we did that to this year. So if it says change and there’s a dash, that means their ranking didn’t change. So Fraser was first, last year. He’s still first this year, no change someone like Justin, Maderas, he’s new on the list, which just says new. And then, you know, everyone who is behind Maderas, who enters into, you know, somewhere on this list is obviously gonna drop down at least one spot. So that’d be a minus one, minus two, minus three, whatever. And then for some others like Sam quant or Travis Mayer, or, or col Seger their performance this year, elevated them by, uh, you know, whatever number of placements. So be a plus two plus four, whatever you see on there

Sevan Matossian (06:18):

To make it on this list, you have to, oh God, there’s ti this. Sometimes I just ask brilliant questions and I don’t even, I just savor them. I don’t even want them coming outta my mouth. They’re so good. I, I feel like I should. It’s like, you know, when there’s a great movie, you don’t wanna watch it. Like after I saw boys in the hood, I was like, fuck, I wish I wouldn’t have watched this cuz now it’s like,

Brian Friend (06:38):

You’ll never get that experience

Sevan Matossian (06:39):

Again. No. So fucking the first time, that’s how I feel about this next question. It, um, so to get on this list, you have to have competed at the CrossFit games three times. That’s a baseline. Even if you won your first year and your second year, you still don’t get to be into this competition. There’s a baseline of three years competing. Um, who are the guys? Who’ve been in two years that you’re like, oh shit, next year they’re

Brian Friend (07:04):

They’re on this slide.

Sevan Matossian (07:06):

I’ll see. Oh, they are

Brian Friend (07:07):

The last slide has those names.

Sevan Matossian (07:09):

Oh my goodness. I can’t wait. Only a slide. So you’re even ahead of me. It’s a great question, but it’s a great stat you’ve already even thought of

Brian Friend (07:17):

Yeah. The, the really like looking at ones

Sevan Matossian (07:19):


Brian Friend (07:19):


Sevan Matossian (07:20):

Not sure about looking at dessert before you eat dinner.

Brian Friend (07:22):

The one that I’m not sure about is, is Ricky, like, was this, would you consider this to be his first or second year? This past year? Mm,

Sevan Matossian (07:30):


Brian Friend (07:31):

I’m counting it as one.

Sevan Matossian (07:33):

Oh, what a great slide. Notable names eligible next season. You’re counting it as what? His second year,

Brian Friend (07:39):


Sevan Matossian (07:40):

Oh, poor Rick Lito. Uh, Roman

Brian Friend (07:44):

Have I fault that he got disqualified that,

Sevan Matossian (07:46):

Uh, Roman CCR, za Zad Juki and Jason Hopper, uh, all can’t be put on the list yet because of the only the two years.

Brian Friend (07:59):

Right. And the other three guys below that Willie George GIS, and will MOED could have been on this list. They all have competed at least three years and we’re close to making it, but haven’t made it yet.

Sevan Matossian (08:10):

Mm mm-hmm. Who was, who, uh, was, was GE the closest.

Brian Friend (08:15):

Yeah, I mean seventh and 10th is remarkable. Obviously for two years, the only other year he competed was 2019. He finished somewhere in the forties. It changed after they were, you know, uh, eliminated a few people who failed drug tests that year. So I think he may have ended up 49th or something like that. Um, but, uh, really I wanna see one just one more full year from him and then definitely he’ll be on the list

Sevan Matossian (08:37):

From, from gee.

Brian Friend (08:39):


Sevan Matossian (08:39):

Even if he shoots the bed, even if like he took a 24th, he didn’t think he’d push out Austin Mallilo

Brian Friend (08:47):

Um, yeah. If, if he had a major regression next, next season, then he’d be a lot lower on the list. I still think there’s a potential for him to slide in there. Um, but we’ll see

Sevan Matossian (09:02):

The, the, and I know that we’ve only been doing this a couple years now. This is year number two, but, uh, that currently the best newcomer who’s ever come onto the list is Justin Maderis, the highest anyone’s ever come onto the list is seven.

Brian Friend (09:18):

Yeah. And I, and I think more so than any other name on that list, that’s seems to be the one that most people have taken exception to.

Sevan Matossian (09:25):

I’m struggling with it. I’ll tell you,

Brian Friend (09:27):

I struggled with it also. It was very difficult to decide where to rank him. I know it seemed like a lot of people wanted to have him third. I did consider putting him third and, uh, you know, and, and obviously every spot in between there. And then I ended up settling on seventh,

Sevan Matossian (09:44):

Uh, um, for now. And we’ll circle back to that you have on here, appearances titles, podiums, top tens, average finishes, uh, event wins as your criteria,

Brian Friend (09:58):

Not just as criteria. There

Sevan Matossian (10:00):

Are as criteria.

Brian Friend (10:01):

Yeah. There are certainly other things that I think about and consider when, when making this and you are exactly right. You know, by putting that, all those data points out there, it’s very easy for someone to look at it and see an outlier, uh, in some of those categories and say, well, that’s ridiculous. Just look at the numbers. This guy should obviously be higher or lower, but I think there are other factors that aren’t as easy to quantify, uh, with a simple stat or chart like this that are also important to, to factor in.

Sevan Matossian (10:33):

You have Ben Smith at 11 appearances.

Brian Friend (10:37):


Sevan Matossian (10:37):

Does that include the appearance where he was invited?

Brian Friend (10:40):

It does,

Sevan Matossian (10:41):

Uh, you, you, so if Ricky show, uh, showed up, uh, if he popped and he doesn’t get to count that because he used nefarious means to get to the CrossFit games, uh, should, should Ben only be 10 appearances or should there be an asterisk next to him?

Brian Friend (11:03):

I don’t know. I mean, it was, uh, that was something that was out of his control, whereas Ricky’s choice was in his control. Um, Ben’s Ben’s career. Uh, it was what was, what earned him that invite. And I, you know, I, I don’t think the competition was any worse for having him there that year. I think it was probably better having him there. Um, and it also, I think in terms of just that concept of having an invite, um, I don’t, you know, I don’t, there was obviously a lot of controversy about whether that should have existed or not, but

Sevan Matossian (11:38):

Should not have,

Brian Friend (11:40):

You know, it’s one of those things where like, once you do it and you’ve done it, then you can, then you can look at it and say, okay, well we did it, did we like it or not? Did it work or not? Whereas if you never do it, then you don’t really know. And since we’re doing so many other new and different things that year, I didn’t think it was like, it was, if we’re gonna do it one year, that was the year to do it.

Sevan Matossian (11:58):

Hey, was that the year that, that, oh, was that the year that, no, that wasn’t the year Ricky popped.

Brian Friend (12:03):

It was two years later. It was 2019.

Sevan Matossian (12:05):

It would’ve been cool if they, they just waved Ricky popping too. That’s fine. It’s okay. And you come on in, I know you didn’t qualify, Ricky, you popped it’s. It’s all good. Just everyone chill, chill. The balance is out there’s balance in the universe. A minimum of three years, competing at the CrossFit games as an individual to make it on the top 30 greatest CrossFitters of all time. Brian friend is not factoring in team performances. This is an individual a list based on individual performances and achievements specifically around the CrossFit games. Uh, the undisputed crowning event that crowns the finish human being who walks planet earth, uh, primary statistics used were podium finishes, top 10 finishes. Number of years, qualified average finishes across a career, sorry. Average finish big difference, average finish across a career. And finally event wins. Oh, that’s a, that’s a nice one. Uh, additionally, and, and that’s what saves someone like gee, right?

Brian Friend (13:08):

What the event

Sevan Matossian (13:09):

Wins event wins.

Brian Friend (13:11):

It certainly is, uh, it’s a feather in this cap compared to most of the athletes. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (13:16):

Additionally, there is an element of my own perception as the data can be misleading in some cases

Brian Friend (13:22):

<laugh> yeah.

Sevan Matossian (13:24):

What’s your, of these, which is your favorite, um, stat, which, which one like, is, is, is there a bread and butter or is there any two that are a bread and butter when you bring, let’s say appearances and average finish together, you’re like, all right. I’m really like, cause if your average finish is second, but you’ve only been in three games versus your average finish is, is 2.4. And you’ve been in seven games. I mean, is there any two that where you’re just like, yeah, that’s, you’re the guy.

Brian Friend (13:54):

Um, I don’t know. I mean, obviously winning is, is, is, is huge, but I like, I like to also recognize longevity in the sport. Uh, I think that it’s a pretty impressive sport to have, you know, consistent and long runs. We’re able to, even if you’re not necessarily winning, but we’re able to string together 6, 7, 8, 9 consecutive trips to the CrossFit games. And then if you couple that with average finishes that are around 10th place, that’s, that’s pretty impressive. So I would say like the combination of, you know, cuz there’s only a couple guys that have won, obviously there’s a few more that have podiums, but there’s a lot of people that are on this list whose average finish is somewhere between, I don’t know, 10 and 14 over a career that spans six to nine years. And those to me are, you know, fairly significant.

Brian Friend (14:41):

If you go down this list, I’m pretty confident. There are 2, 1, 2, there are only two people on the list that have three years of competition experience and make this list. And they’re Justin Maderas, who’s obviously in the beginning of his career and Miko Salo, and every other person on this list has at least four appearances. And none of the people who have four appearances, even Tommy Hacken Brooks, the highest ranked at 20. And then you have Adler, a Anderson and Kyle Casper Bower who are all outside the top 20. So clearly I’m factoring in longevity and durability and excellence. Coupled with that over, you know, a career as something that I wave fairly heavily,

Sevan Matossian (15:22):

That appearances you’re right. Is fascinating because I think it’s, we always talk about Matt winning five and rich winning four. And it’s just one more. And then I’m always like, you know, just rolls off my tongue. Well, rich is better cuz of all the team shitty one, but look how many appearances Matt has had seven that’s more than Malo. Neil Maddox, Casper Bower, Alex vio, Alex Anderson, Jacob Hepner Jeffrey Adler, Spencer Henle Saxon pan, Tommy Hacken Brooke, Samuel qu Miko Salo, Matt Chan Graham Holberg Dan Bailey, Josh bridges and Justin Maderas and rich Froning. He beats all those guys on appearances. It’s fucking nuts. That’s a lot of times to go to the games, right?

Brian Friend (16:16):

Yeah. And in, and over that amount of times doing it, he, the whole he’s good has an average finish better than him is rich and it’s by a 10th of a point.

Sevan Matossian (16:24):

Wow, he’s good. Right, Matt Fraser.

Brian Friend (16:28):

I think he’s the best that’s ever done it.

Sevan Matossian (16:29):

Yeah. And, and he’s not just the best that’s ever done it he’s like exceptional. Yeah. Like when you say there was never gonna be another rich and then for Matt, just to just come in it’s it’s out of this world kind of. Right.

Brian Friend (16:41):

Yeah. And I wanna say, you know, like a, again, I think it’s really important to, to factor. And when I say that Matt’s the best that ever, that has ever done it. I, I don’t think you can say that without recognizing that he, he wouldn’t have, I don’t think he would’ve performed and excelled to the level that he did without rich. So I think rich set the standard and, and that’s why when we were talking with John the other day, I would say, you know, that rich is kind of like, um, a babe Ruth or a bill Russell, like he’s, you know, you have to keep in like imagine 50 years from now looking back and you’ll say, well, the first great athlete in the sport was rich Froning and he created a landscape that was possible for someone like Matt Fraser to come along.

Brian Friend (17:23):

And so you could say, well, was Mickey mantle better than babe Ruth was, will Chamberlain better than bill Russell? It’s like, yeah, maybe, but they couldn’t have existed in the way that they did. If those guys hadn’t come before, that’s what rich Froning is for the sport of CrossFit, especially on the men’s side of things. Um, and I actually, you know, I know a lot of people wanna see the all time greatest list and is Tia. They fit us ever, or, you know, whatever conversation. I think that in the sport of CrossFit, it actually is practical to have those kind more practically have those conversations independently. Um, I think that the, especially with where we’ve only where we’ve been so far in the sport, that the, the landscape for the men and the women is so dramatically and drastically different, that it’s fun to talk about. ’em collectively, but not that practical necessarily

Sevan Matossian (18:10):

People aren’t gonna like this one here, it comes, the women don’t have a rich phoning.

Brian Friend (18:16):

Well, you could argue that it’s Annie Thor’s daughter. Um, and I don’t think that people that, that

Sevan Matossian (18:22):

You’d have to argue it though. You’d have to argue it.

Brian Friend (18:24):

I mean, that time, like the years that they won back to back together was like, that was a critical pairing of years for the development and pushing forward of the sport. And I would say that Annie’s impact on the sport for women was maybe not at the same level as rich, but was, was definitely notable. And I don’t know that

Sevan Matossian (18:46):

It’s notable, but there’s been others now. Now we got MC yeah,

Brian Friend (18:49):

She, she was the first, like, if you look before her, I don’t think Chris clever had the same impact that Annie did or Tanya Wagner or Katie math or Jolie, you know? So I would say Annie was kind of that first. I think Sam Briggs had a big impact and obviously Katherine and then Tia. Um, but I would say Annie was the first great woman in terms of not just performance at the games, obviously being the first back to back champion, but also showing women out there kind of what’s possible in terms of the sport of fitness and even, uh, what a, what a wo a woman’s body can look like,

Sevan Matossian (19:22):

All, all of that stuff I agree with and her stature and the sport I would agree is this, uh, um, you know, bigger than life motherly figure the same way. Rich is just sort of that bigger than life fatherly figure. But that being said, she’s no rich, phony.

Brian Friend (19:38):

I agree.

Sevan Matossian (19:40):

The women, I

Brian Friend (19:40):

Think we’re saying the same thing.

Sevan Matossian (19:41):

The women. Yeah. I know, but you soften the blow. Like I threw out the window and like you threw some pillows for her to land on.

Brian Friend (19:50):

That was nice of me.

Sevan Matossian (19:51):

I wasn’t <laugh> it was nice of you.

Brian Friend (19:57):

I guess it’s a good thing. I practice sleeping with no pillows.

Sevan Matossian (19:59):

It’s uh, do you,

Brian Friend (20:01):

I have,

Sevan Matossian (20:02):

Yeah, me too. You just like to lay flat practice lying flat.

Brian Friend (20:07):

Yeah. It’s uh, I think that’s how people slept for a long time.

Sevan Matossian (20:11):

Yeah. I think I, I, I like it cuz I stay awake longer. I don’t fall asleep as quick. It gives me time to like kind of check, check in on myself. I have a pillow I’m just out

Brian Friend (20:23):

Graphics guy upped his up, up his game this time. I think I sent him all this information. I didn’t know what he would do with it. He was, I think I was pretty pleased with what he was able to do.

Sevan Matossian (20:32):

Are there any factors that are as definitive as these ones, appearance titled podium, top 10 finishes, average finishes event wins that

Brian Friend (20:41):

Yeah. When you,

Sevan Matossian (20:43):

They used, that’s not on this list that you haven’t told us about.

Brian Friend (20:45):

Yeah. Like when you competed. Okay. You know, and, and I think that probably at this point, it’s the easiest way to define that is by location. So if a majority of your appearances or your significant, most significant appearances were in aromas, I’ll weigh that a little bit. Have, you know, less than if they were in Carson and a little bit less than if they were in Madison.

Sevan Matossian (21:07):

Why does it matter? How if is best of all terms you

Brian Friend (21:11):

Can’t. No, you can’t, you can’t do anything about the field of competitors that you’re competing against. Uh, you know, I’ve always said that like, um, it doesn’t ma it doesn’t matter who was in the field, uh, that last year Justin showed up in one and he deserves the credit for that. But you can recognize that as the sport has evolved over the last 15 years, that there have been more people that are investing more in, in trying to be elite or great at this sport,

Sevan Matossian (21:39):

Like this Frazier beat stronger fields and phoning, like does that matter?

Brian Friend (21:45):

Yeah. That’s it’s most, that’s basically what I’m saying. It’s like, if you,

Sevan Matossian (21:48):

Because you’re, so there’s no time component. You’re saying if you took all of you’re basically trying to put everyone in the same time, a timeless era

Brian Friend (21:58):

It’s in, well it’s it’s I

Sevan Matossian (22:01):

Don’t, but that’s what you’re trying to do, right? Yeah.

Brian Friend (22:04):

Yeah. But recognizing that that’s not the case as well.

Sevan Matossian (22:08):

Uh, Brandon waddle was a good comeback. Dang, Nick phoning beat everyone on the list of the top 30 Fraser

Brian Friend (22:14):

Did that. I think Graham Holberg beat him.

Sevan Matossian (22:17):

Beat who

Brian Friend (22:18):


Sevan Matossian (22:20):

Uh, but did phony ever beat Graham the next year? Did

Brian Friend (22:22):

Phoning ever beat Justin Maderas

Sevan Matossian (22:25):

Oh yeah. Brandon. Yeah.

Brian Friend (22:27):

Has he beat Sam quant or Jeff? A,

Sevan Matossian (22:31):

He, he did he beat, he definitely beat Sam quant.

Brian Friend (22:33):

He did.

Sevan Matossian (22:34):

Yeah. Remember Sam quant, whatever Sam Kant’s rookie

Brian Friend (22:37):

Year was 2016.

Sevan Matossian (22:38):


Brian Friend (22:39):

F rich was competing on the teams.

Sevan Matossian (22:42):

No, no. He was individual that year. Was he

Brian Friend (22:45):

<laugh>? No, he wasn’t. Wasn’t <laugh> so yeah,

Sevan Matossian (22:49):

Shit. I thought I had something on

Brian Friend (22:51):

You. I’ve always said this too. If someone wants to make the argument that rich is the greatest or the greatest male crosser of all time, I’m not gonna argue against them. I think that they are, you

Sevan Matossian (23:00):

Know, what, if it was on the John Young, uh, uh, uh, Brian friend show, uh, debate show, you

Brian Friend (23:04):

Could make the, I can make the argument for rich to be the greatest of all time. I just don’t think it’s as strong as the case for Matt

Sevan Matossian (23:09):

Either. Do I? How could anyone argue just based on this, if you don’t look at teams, what, what would you say to argue rich? I don’t see anything you could argue.

Brian Friend (23:17):

You could say exactly what

Sevan Matossian (23:18):

That’s. I said

Brian Friend (23:19):

Everywhere. Matt would never have been able to do what he did without rich.

Sevan Matossian (23:22):

Yeah. But that’s so, um,

Brian Friend (23:24):

I know that’s what I’m saying. It’s not as strong as an argument and it doesn’t really, I mean, I did something that for you that I thought you’d really like, okay, okay. We’re gonna take a little, uh, trip down memory lane, please. You like that idea?

Sevan Matossian (23:37):

I love that idea

Brian Friend (23:38):

Because one of the things that I, I saw people were commenting a lot about was how skewed some of the numbers for Fraser are based on the 20, 20, 20, 20, 20 CrossFit games. And the fact that he was able to rack up just an him and Tia, both an insane number of event wins that year. Right? So I did a little parallel. The four athletes that Fraser competed against in 2020 were Samuel qu, Justin Madera, no Olson. And Jeff Adler, if you take

Sevan Matossian (24:03):

Crazy fielded dudes, crazy fields, field of dudes.

Brian Friend (24:07):

So if you take their relative finishes in previous years, and I did a little, because 2019 was so strange. So in the case of Samuel quantity finished 13th and 20th in his two previous, uh, visits to the crosser games before going to aromas and taking second, I weighed the 13th, a little heavier, cuz it was more recent. So I looked at the 15th place, fi finisher from 2012 from Maderas. I looked at the best placing rookie from 2012 for Noah Olson. I combined his second and sixth place finisher from the previous two years. And I went for the fourth place finisher from 2012 and Adler was 33rd in a field of, uh, um, 145 or something in 2019, which so I just went for the 25th place finisher from, uh, 2012. So if in 2013, which we’ll say is a parallel to Matt Fraser in 2012,

Sevan Matossian (24:58):

Oh, I like what you’re doing rich

Brian Friend (25:00):

Had competed against those four placings. We would’ve had Lucas Parker, Marcus Hendron, Scott Panik and Al bear do LRU. That’s a, that’s a similar grouping of athletes that rich would’ve competed against in 2013. So we, then I looked at how did he do against those athletes in 2012 and of all the workouts that he competed against them in Scott actually beat him five times, Marcus beat him three times park, Lucas Parker beat him twice and Al Alberto beat him once. Um, but rich beat them all in seven out of the events that year and that 2012 year. And I didn’t. And I picked that year, even despite the fact that there were so many anomalies in the programming, they had the broad jump, the ball Tuss, toss, the track trip with the med ball, handstand pushup and the sprint workout, all of which were like very specialty specific workouts.

Brian Friend (25:48):

And he lo he did not win any of those workouts rich, but he did beat them all in, you know, several of the other ones, uh, that were more kind of, of the classic CrossFit, what you’d expect. And that would’ve bolstered. His event wins by five. He had two in 2012, he would’ve had seven in, in a comparable format. So I thought it was just kind of a cool study to do, to, uh, to see that. Yeah, if you, if you pair down the field to a similar grouping of athletes that Matt had to compete against in stage two of 2020 Rich’s event wins would also be inflated a little bit.

Sevan Matossian (26:23):


Brian Friend (26:25):

If I hope you enjoyed that,

Sevan Matossian (26:27):

I did, I really did like that actually. And, and, and it put for those of us who have been around then, and I knew I can remember seeing all those guys, you said compete very clearly, especially Marcus Hendron and Lucas Parker. Like I feel as you say their names, I feel like I’m standing next to ’em as they’re running by me in the events. Um, I wanna talk about Maderas

Brian Friend (26:49):


Sevan Matossian (26:50):

The only male ever to win two CrossFit games.

Brian Friend (26:57):


Sevan Matossian (26:57):

<affirmative> and, but before we talk about his, his, um, his, his ranking. So, so wait a second. So you’re saying that, uh, rich phoning showed up to five CrossFit games and won four.

Brian Friend (27:16):


Sevan Matossian (27:16):

Yeah. That, that not you’re saying that’s the stat.

Brian Friend (27:20):


Sevan Matossian (27:22):

Um, so when you have Maderas at seventh, the people you have ahead of Jason Maderas or Ben Smith, that one’s kind of hard to argue with cuz cuz he won the CrossFit games. And would you say Ben Smith won in modern times?

Brian Friend (27:35):

Uh, yes.

Sevan Matossian (27:39):

Annie beat. He had to beat Matt Fraser.

Brian Friend (27:41):


Sevan Matossian (27:45):

And, and, and would, would you, oh shit, I lost the page. And would you also say that, uh, that Jason Kali did Jason Khalifa ever compete in the games in the modern times?

Brian Friend (27:58):

Uh, 2014 was the last year he competed individually.

Sevan Matossian (28:01):

And how did he do

Brian Friend (28:03):

Great third.

Sevan Matossian (28:05):


Brian Friend (28:05):

He did Fraser. The thing about KPA

Sevan Matossian (28:08):

Behind. How would we had behind who? In Fraser

Brian Friend (28:11):


Sevan Matossian (28:12):


Brian Friend (28:13):

Pretty good company. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (28:15):


Brian Friend (28:15):

The thing. So, and to me, we’ve talked about this before.

Sevan Matossian (28:17):

So before the podium in 2014 was rich Matt and Jason,

Brian Friend (28:21):

I think it’s the best podium ever.

Sevan Matossian (28:23):

Yeah. Savage.

Brian Friend (28:24):

Wow. But we have, uh, I’m more impressed by Jason’s third place finish in 2014 than I am by him winning the games in 2008. So that’s a, is a great example of how I weigh the eras a little different, like I thought he was a much more impressive and difficult accomplishment to get third that year than it was to win in in 2008.

Sevan Matossian (28:46):

Speaking about impressive for those of you who don’t know and you can go back and watch it on the internet somewhere, go back and watch event. Number one and event number two of the 2009 CrossFit games. It has to be up there. It has to be the most impressive, uh, performances by any CrossFit athlete that I can think of male or female, Jason fainted on the fucking field of play got up finished the fucking run didn’t take last. And then in the second event, deadlifted 500 pounds. It was, it was pretty fucking bizarre

Brian Friend (29:19):

Event finishes of 72nd and then first,

Sevan Matossian (29:24):

Wow. Yeah, that’s nuts. And I mean, he was down like you could see him that we have the footage he’s running and he goes down. He just, just, just, just turns off the,

Brian Friend (29:36):

And if not for that, if not for that, he probably wins the games that year. I mean, it was a, it was a total points accumulation and he got 72 is of his 106 points on that workout alone. <laugh> workout to first, 13th, 13th, first and second. They were more, uh, hold on. Uh, so he would’ve beat Miko. And then second, second again, maybe. I mean he ends up finishing Miko had, um,

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