Wolfpack Ninja Podcast Episode 16 – Geoff Britten PART 2

  • Geoff Britten - First ANW

Geoff and Jessica - The ANW power couple

Geoff and Jessica – The ANW power couple

Geoff Britten – Part 2 – The Wolves get emotional

Geoff Britten is a family man, first and foremost. Sure he loves American Ninja Warrior, just like the rest of us (and so does his wife the very talented and lovely Jessica Britten; also a strong Ninja competitor on the show!) But Geoff devotes relatively little time to actual hardcore ANW training. He has a little gym in his basement where he trains very very hard for about 2 hours a day; every day. Part man, part machine, this 20 year + rock climber is one of only 2 people ever to complete the American Ninja Warrior course, and THE ONLY Ninja athlete to ever have a perfect season and not get wet!

When Geoff Britten got done with the rope climb–which he did in under the required 30 seconds–he was asked what he thought about Isaac’s odds of success were. He was gracious and paid respect to his climbing brother, and then also said “but I know one thing: I’m the FIRST AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR!” This has been a point of contention among many fans and unfortunately, Geoff and Isaac grew distant after the competition. Although they both completed such an amazing accomplishment, only Isaac won $1,000,000 and the Title while Geoff literally walked away empty handed. Because of this–and perhaps America’s love of the underdog–Geoff has been seen more and more as the actual First American Ninja since he literally went first on the rope and succeeded first. Fans and pundits alike have decided Geoff’s acheivement deserves more attention and praise than he got and many agree now that he is the First ANW; a title that was as important or more important in Ninja lore than the actual money award. This fact seems to have irked Isaac and on Instagram there has been a heated dialog between fans on Isaac’s feed. Many quotes to Isaac are along the lines of “you may have won the money, but you are the 2nd ANW and Geoff Britten is the first!” This is unfortunate and is partially the reason why we feel Isaac is taking time off from ANW season 8. He did set out what he had wanted to do and he did win Total Victory. It must make Isaac very sad when so many people come to his Instagram and call him out for something he had no part of creating which is an overall confusion about the situation. Indeed, no matter the ultimate answer that time bestows on the situation, Geoff’s climb was indeed historic and unbelievable to witness. Since then, dedicated fans have raised more than $13,000 for the Britten family via a GOFUNDME which you can donate to if you feel Geoff also deserves a cash prize like Isaac got. You should click on the link and give a few dollars as well to this American Hero! Also, you may be surprised to see the First ANW poll results (vote and view below.)

Their athletic feat aside, Geoff and Isaac are climbers and were friends before the showdown. Both were friends of the Wolfpack, in fact, Isaac is one of the Wolfpack’s founding members. Isaac has since left the Wolfpack to go his own way and has decided not to participate in American Ninja Warrior season 8 nor Team Ninja Warrior. There are thoughts both ways on this: He should, he shouldn’t… In the end, it’s Isaac’s call to make and his life to live.

That night was a crazy and emotional night and we all cried cathartic tears; Ninjas had won. Some were tears of joy, some were sadness. As ninjas, we have trained so hard for so long and we all wanted to see it go down, many of us wanted to be the first and when our own dreams came up short, we all transferred that dream-hope to our fellow ninjas. It was hard to watch Geoff win and become the “First American Ninja Warrior” only to be replaced minutes later by a faster ninja who had more juice in the tank. Geoff and his family were going bananas when he accomplished his dream: which as he says in the interview was to beat the course. Geoff wanted to beat the obstacle whereas Isaac wanted to beat Geoff and was able to have a new benchmark to beat or one-up. Isaac did what any one of us would do in that situation: he tried his absolute hardest to attain Total Victory.  The much less competitive Geoff Britten, like his brother Isaac Caldiero, is an American hero. He is humble and gracious and he is a close friend to the Wolfpack. Take our POLL and see results on the community and fan’s thoughts about who the actual First American ninja Warrior is.

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 02-02-2016 11:33:22
End date 18-05-2017 13:53:47
Poll Results:
Who was the First American Ninja Warrior?

In fact, in a way, he is a Wolf: He is a long time rock climber and a close friend and strives to improve his body and mind daily. He is a positive role model and doesn’t dwell on the fact that he came “this close!” He will definitely go down in the history books and he is an inspiration and role model to kids, Ninja fans AND Ninjas everywhere. He is truly a man of integrity. A man you feel you can trust with your family, your money or your life. He is a man that values hard work and discipline and he is psyched to give it another go.

Here’s to you, Geoff Britten; The Wolfpack Ninjas salute you!

Here is Geoff becoming “The First American Ninja Warrior” – Akbar Gbajabiamila

Here is his memorable TRY HARD finish of Stage 3 at Finals to earn him a shot at the rope!

Check out Geoff’s insane strength:

It is worth going to the comments and reading through them on these YouTube videos to get a sense for the fan “confusion” about who is the “First.” Please vote in our poll to the right on who YOU think is the actual FIRST AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR!






GOFUNDME! – Geoff’s fans have made a fund to raise the $1,000,000 prize money that they feel he deserves for completing the course! Do you want to contribute? What do you think about the controversy? Who is the First American Ninja Warrior? PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS BELOW!!! WE WANT TO KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS!

20 Replies to "Wolfpack Ninja Podcast Episode 16 - Geoff Britten PART 2"

  • comment-avatar
    D White
    June 14, 2016 (4:12 am)

    This was very disappointing. My wife, two young sons, and I have watched every season of ANW and all other associated shows. We are huge baseball and football fans, I love ninja warrior competitions because it so wonderfully exemplified a very basic principle – a single person, on his/her own, versus an extremely difficult challenge. I root for all of the competitors and will continue to root for Geoff Britton when he competes, but there was nothing positive about him saying he was the first American Ninja Warrior. There are rules to the game and based on those rules, Geoff didn’t win. If all that mattered was who completed all stages consecutively, I would bet there were course testers that did it before Geoff did, so one of them was the first American Ninja Warrior, if you want to split hairs. Similarly, consider Usain Bolt. Although he is considered the worlds fastest human at 100 meters and other distances, it is likely that he or other racers have surpassed his recod setting times in practice or other unofficial runs. Yet we still consider his official record as the benchmark because it was done according to the rules of the competition which require various conditions be met that may not be applicable or verifiable during practice runs. The rules of the stage 4 showdown during ANW2015 involved time and Isaac surpassed Geoff – it’s that simple. Geoff’s comment seemed mostly harmless at the time, but it did strike me as unnecessary. When you are a great performer, you don’t have to tell the world – we’ll already know. If we don’t know, then your performance wasn’t that good. Does Peyton Manning or Tom Brady or Mike Trout spend time reminding people that they’re great? No…they don’t have to. Geoff’s ANW run during 2015 was absolutely incredible. The SECOND BEST that I have witnessed. He wasn’t successful at winning the top prize, but because of that simple comment, he was successful at alienating the only true ANW winner in history and causing him the leave the sport. Way to go! Maybe Geoff will win this year with Isaac gone.

    • comment-avatar
      Wolfpack Ninjas
      June 14, 2016 (2:27 pm)

      GREAT COMMENT @DWhite! The fact that this has even become a controversy is a sad reflection of the way that our “sport” is being created out of a TV show. They didn’t have to edit the show the way they did and have Geoff’s comment in there, but controversy brings eyeballs, and eyeballs bring dollars. Geoff was under great duress, as was Isaac, that night. Emotions were running high, and it was bizarre watching Ninja friends have to go head to head. This whole debacle has left many of us who were there wonder in bewilderment… There is no doubt that what you say is true. There is also no doubt that there are many who take the opposite stance and support Geoff Britten. Both of these guys are unbelievable rock climbers who took down an impossible course and both deserve praise and recognition for that, especially since other professional athletes cannot generally come close to completing these difficult courses. At the end of the day, Isaac Caldiero was the champ, and that is a fact. As an FYI, there are several behind-the-scenes reasons why Isaac is not competing this season that have nothing to do with Geoff Britten. Both these guys are friends of the Wolfpack Ninjas, and trust us, this has been amazing and sad to be in the middle of this mess. We are trying to get Isaac on the podcast to discuss his amazing accomplishment, but he is kind of “over it.” Can you blame him? Thanks for the great comment, D!
      -Wolfpack Ninjas

  • comment-avatar
    Cheryl H.
    June 28, 2016 (2:59 pm)

    I was directed to this podcast while searching to see why Isaac was not competing on this season’s ANW. At first, I thought that rules prohibited ANW winners (successful completion up Mt. Midoriyama) from competing in the next season, but when I saw Geoff competing in Season 8, that’s when my search began. I have been an avid watcher of ANW for about 4 seasons, so needless to say, it was very exciting seeing anyone make it to the top of Mt. M. To weigh in on the controversy of that accomplishment, I feel as though Isaac does deserve the title because he went “farthest the fastest” though I also believe that Geoff deserves some money as well as a title. In a sense, I fault the show for creating the controversy because as many ANW fans and followers there are, there should have been a monetary prize for Geoff as well; I’m sure they can afford it. I understand that controversies such as this make for “good TV” but it often comes at the expense of people’s lives/relationships. Both gentlemen did what NO ONE has accomplished in several years.

    In light of it all, I really wish both Isaac and Geoff all the best and hope that their friendship with and mutual respect for EACH OTHER (not just “friends of the Wolfpack”) is not irreparable.

    • comment-avatar
      Wolfpack Ninjas
      June 30, 2016 (1:15 pm)

      Cheryl, thanks for a well thought out comment. There is obviously a lot going on behind-the-scenes, and it is a bit sad to see that the two champions are at odds with each other. In fairness to the show, the rules were the rules and we don’t think anyone anticipated that two incredible Ninjas would accomplish what they did. It seems that they both have a right to be a little bummed by the outcome for different reasons. Although we try to remain neutral, we do have strong opinions and differing views, even within the pack. The Wolfpack obviously likes both of these great Ninja brothers and we also wish them the best and hope that they can circle back to a mature place of mutual respect and admiration. It is a detractor to see squabbling about such an amazing set of feats. Thanks again for a meaningful comment!
      – Wolfpack Ninjas

  • comment-avatar
    August 1, 2016 (1:19 am)

    I have been a fan of ninja warrior since it was on G4. I LOVE ninja warrior, I even went to the Philly finals this year. One of the reasons I love ANW is the sportsmanship between the competitors. D White, I think your wrong about Geoff. He has handled this beautifully. I have not heard him say anything negative about Isacc or NBC. As far as I know Isacc has not done anything wrong either. Geoff technically was the first ANW but Isacc was the first ANW Champion. NBC is to blame for the controversy. It may have been clear to the ninjas that the fastest time won but it wasn’t clear to the fans and audience. I think because of the situation that there should have been a second place prize. This was not done because controversy gets higher ratings. Shame on you NBC. Both of these ninjas did the impossible and even though they were competitors they cheered each other on. I hope Geoff wins the million dollars this year and we can put this whole thing to bed. With that being said I do think it would help if Isacc commented on it as Geoff has done on your podcast.

    • comment-avatar
      Wolfpack Ninjas
      August 1, 2016 (8:47 pm)

      Thanks Tory, amazing comment! We agree with all but NBC being at fault… They had no idea that there would be 2 at the rope, no one did! They had a set of rules to abide by and they couldn’t just change them. It was a tricky situation, and it would have been nice if Geoff had gotten something for his amazing feat. We also wish Geoff the best of luck this season and beyond, and he’s going to have to beat the Wolfpack Ninjas to get the prize!
      – Wolfpack Ninjas

  • comment-avatar
    August 1, 2016 (8:04 am)

    I don’t agree with previous comments. Although both are great athletes the title of first American ninja warrior goes to the first guy who finishes all stages, period. Not much more to say. Isaac is the prize winner. 1 million dollars, come on! anybody would be extremely happy with that. However he won the prize because rules stated the person who climbs faster the last stage wins it all. Not much consideraron on who hits all the buzzers all the overall time of all stages. Isaac just be happy your extremely rich. Geoff be happy because your America’s first ninja warrior.

  • comment-avatar
    August 31, 2016 (12:53 am)

    Hello Wolfpack, just want to say hello to all of you. My daughter and I enjoy watching your group fly thru the courses.

    We love you and isaac as well. Great athlete’s, great warriors and best friends. Best of luck to all of you in season 8.

    Ps writing to ANW & NBC advising them Uncool to not extend invite Noah.

  • comment-avatar
    Andy Dudley
    September 3, 2016 (5:16 am)

    I had been wondering why Isaac wasn’t on the show this year. Even more curious was how quiet the announcer were being about it. So, I finally found the time tonight to do some searching and found the Sasuke Maniac Forums where other ninjas (Geoff included, as I’m certain you know) voiced their opinions on the matter.

    As a simple viewer, I would have never guessed the personality traits of Isaac’s that have now been revealed. I can’t imagine what it was like for you guys to have such a close friend go cold. It would be great to hear your personal opinions on it, though I completely understand why you wouldn’t talk about it here. In fact, it’s very commendable that everyone has stayed professional and neutral on the subject on such a public site.

    • comment-avatar
      Wolfpack Ninjas
      September 6, 2016 (9:01 pm)

      Thank you Andy… Maybe someday. It has been a very interesting journey and we have grown because of it. Isaac is a good person and has a good heart and went through a huge life change with a lot of confusion and a lot of people telling him what to do. It’s a really tough subject for everyone involved!
      -Wolfpack Ninjas

  • comment-avatar
    September 6, 2016 (7:45 am)

    There is a not-so-subtle anti-Caldiero bias to this and related articles coupled with a retrograde deification of Geoff Brittan as a good old-fashioned “Family Man” (The “less competitive” “American hero”? Ugh. Give me a break.)

    Obviously there is something more going on behind the scenes—maybe Calidiero is a giant d***; what do I know?—but it sort of feels like this entire website is set up to passive-aggressively air immature grievances against and jealousies toward Caldiero, who, after all, was probably pretty psyched to win a million bucks and was a thrilling athlete to watch. What’s more, and at least based on the edits he gets from NBC, Brittan seems kind of like a humor-less tool (true, I have my own biases against the highly gendered, partially-media-constructed idealized notion of the Family Man). But not for nothing, in this reader’s eyes, at least, you’re paying lip service to unbiased quasi-reporting here, but your biases are coming through loud and clear: Caldiero did something to piss you off; Brittan is the Great White Hope. NBC made the rules and edited for maximum drama; Caldiero benefited; Brittan was understandably peeved but comes off as a bit of a tool when talking about it.

    • comment-avatar
      Wolfpack Ninjas
      September 6, 2016 (9:14 pm)

      GREAT insight Jill! You are not too far off! Haha, as you can imagine, it is a very complex (and even painful) subject so we cannot talk about it much. Your comment that this “entire website is set up to passive-aggressively air immature grievances against and jealousies toward Caldiero” is a bummer though and not accurate. That is certainly not our purpose. Our mission to help kids become ninjas for themselves and fight childhood obesity is our only primary focus. We felt a bit hurt and betrayed when Isaac left us and that is natural. There is obviously more to the story than just that however as you guessed. Suffice it to say, we have repeatedly invited Isaac to share his story and thoughts on the podcast and make him the hero that we make all Ninjas, but he is not interested in doing so. Isaac is a hero and a total Ninja and was (if not IS) the BEST American Ninja Warrior that has tackled the course so far. That being said, there is more to life than being the best at something. Your comment is very candid and interesting. We are not trying to be passive/aggressive in any way as Isaac and Geoff have both inspired millions and should be recognized for it. What happened, happened and it will be interesting to continue to see the story unfold… Or fade into obscurity. Thanks for the comment and strong voice!
      -Wolfpack Ninjas

  • comment-avatar
    September 17, 2016 (6:22 am)

    First off, I’m really glad I stumbled onto this site. I’ve enjoyed going through the different interviews and getting real insight into ANW. Ironically, NBC expends so much effort putting together back stories for the competitors, heightening the drama for the show, and it seems so much more drama is going on behind-the-scenes that they haven’t even acknowledged. I loved watching Isaac compete. Naturally after he won, I thought his reasoning behind not competing again was the risk of an early exit (which Geoff succumbed to this last season) and how it could potentially hurt his branding. It’s sad to hear that this controversy influenced his decision not to return. I hope for some reconciliation. I too found Geoff’s comments after accomplishing stage 4 unfortunate and unnecessary. I’m sure his finish this season was very humbling. Regardless of how I feel about him, it’s safe to say if there’s a Mount Rushmore of America Ninja Warriors, Geoff has a spot. Right behind Isaac of course ????. Interested to hear who you guys would have on your “Mount Rushmore” of ANW.

    • comment-avatar
      Wolfpack Ninjas
      September 17, 2016 (1:28 pm)

      Thanks for the comment, Dan! Our podcast is our Mount Rushmore! We are adding all the Ninjas one-by-one!
      -Wolfpack Ninjas

  • comment-avatar
    April 18, 2017 (1:54 am)

    I am a huge ANW fan and had been wondering whatever happened with Isaac. I found this website and read some of the comments and felt like I had to put my two cents in. First of all, let me just say that I have ALWAYS believed that the first ANW would be Isaac……even before Geoff was in the picture. Now I know there has been contraversy over this whole “who is really the first American Ninja Warrior”. This is my perspective on it……..Geoff only made it up first because he got to go first. Had Isaac got to go first and still went up faster, there wouldn’t be a dispute. Was it a stroke of luck that Geoff got to go first or was it by a coin toss?? Whatever the reason was really should make no difference. Suppose there were 2 ropes side by side……that is the only way this dispute would never happen. That is how I believe it should be looked at…..like 2 people side by side and whoever makes it the fastest is the first ANW……hence Isaac made it up the fastest. If you really want to split hairs and consider who the first person to ever reach the top to be the first ANW…..then it is neither Goeff or Isaac…….it is Travis Rosen with Sean McCall being the second person to make the climb. Both made it to the top the year before on Team Ninja Warrior…….where is their recognition???

    • comment-avatar
      Wolfpack Ninjas
      April 19, 2017 (7:56 pm)

      Laura, GREAT COMMENTS! Isaac Caldiero is the First Grand Champion and we agree with EVERYTHING you have eloquently stated! Most people do think of Geoff as the First American Ninja Warrior since he did the rope first after doing all the other stages. We respect everyone’s opinion and it is a bit unfortunate that it was made a bit confusing by the show, not to mention that they are calling Geoff the First. We feel this is likely due to the fact that most people feel bad for Geoff since Isaac got $1 million and Geoff got absolutely nothing. Definitely a strange and interesting part of Ninja history! As one of the original Wolfpack Ninjas, we miss Isaac and still think of him as the First American Ninja Warrior Grand Champion and by the rules the winner of the competition and the TRUE First American Ninja Warrior. Geoff is also the First American Ninja Warrior and the Ninja who was lucky enough to be chosen, or simply be in the position to climb the rope first getting the actual First Ascent for better or worse. Thanks so much for the comment! There is no question these two athletes are both amazing and world class and deserving of all of our respect and admiration.
      -Wolfpack Ninjas

    • comment-avatar
      December 26, 2017 (12:18 am)

      The thing is, Issac did have the opportunity to have it all. The title of the first ANW and the $1000000. Issac, because he had a faster time on stage 3 than Geoff, was given the choice of climbing first or giving it to Geoff. He gave it to Geoff. It was a strategy. Geoff was the very last contestant to attempt stage 3, therefore he basically had to immediately go to the rope without an opportunity to get in a break. I can’t remember if Issac was right before Geoff on stage 3 or there were others between them, but either way Issac at least got a break while Geoff was performing stage 3 if not more, and then again while Geoff climbed the rope. So if it had REALLY been important to Issac to be the first, he would/should have chosen to go first. He was already more rested than Geoff at that point as I previously mentioned. But no. He didn’t want to allow Geoff any rest, or perhaps he just felt he himself needed more. Not sure what his reasoning was exactly, whether it was to gain the maximum amount of rest for himself so he’d be sure to be the fastest and get the million, or perhaps he was hoping that without rest Geoff would fail the rope climb leaving everything back to Issac again with the added bonus of the extra rest. In my eyes he took a gamble and lost the title of being the first, but hey, being the season champ and winning the million sure as heck doesn’t suck. Would he have won had he chosen to go first? It’s possible, he still would have had more rest than Geoff because it took longer to go through stage 3 than climb the rope. How about if he and Geoff could have had exact equal opportunity at rest? Much harder to tell. But he made the choice. Heck I didn’t think Geoff was going to have the gas going back to back like that, myself. I may have made the same choice. I think that’s part of the reason I, like everyone else, went bananas when Geoff made it. I have to admit I wasn’t nearly as excited when Issac made it. I kind of expected it considering the advantage he had. So that’s my take. The title of first was Issac’s to lose. Nobody made that choice for him. And those talking about splitting hairs and others making it to the top during world competitions and what-not, come on, I think we all know how MUCH more difficult it is to make it through an entire season without making a mistake on any of the obstacles from the beginning. Being a ninja warrior is about having the focus, strength and stamina to get through the WHOLE kit and caboodle. I agree it was crazy that as long as it took to have anyone accomplish the feat in so many years, that when it finally happened there were TWO people. I can truly believe no one ever saw that coming. I wish in the future they would tally all runs of the season. The one with the fastest over-all average time should be champ. Maybe a small time penalty per buzzer if you don’t hit all buzzers. Seems more fair. Also, the first guy to finish stage 3 should climb first to have a little more equality in rest for those who make the run after.
      I also want to say I don’t think it was poor taste for Geoff to say he was the first. As was said, emotions were crazy high. I think it was poor taste that Isaac, considering he could have gone first but chose not to, and considering he’d just won a million dollars while Geoff was walking away with nothing more than pats on the back, I think Issac should have been the one to say “I had the opportunity to be the first but chose to go with strategy, but hey, I won the million dollars so I can’t complain! Congratulations on being the first to hit that platform after the most amazing, flawless season
      That being said, I still feel Geoff should have gotten some money. Also, I still love them both and wish I could still see them both competing. They were a joy to watch, and the obstacles have changed and I wish I could see them both tackle the new stuff!

      • comment-avatar
        Wolfpack Ninjas
        January 18, 2018 (2:29 pm)

        Hi Isabella!

        Actually–and we were there so we know–Isaac was not given that choice. I am not sure if that is an assumption by you or where you heard that? NBC decided who would go first because it is a reality TV show and not an actual sport. Many things happen behind the scenes that are at “producer’s discretion”. Isaac and Geoff both had ample rest and had a good break before the rope and that wasn’t a factor. The TV show did not show Stage 3 (or any other stage) in the order it was run. They change that for TV to make the best show. Thanks for the comment!

        – Wolfpack Ninjas

Got something to say?