Poor Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers quarterback and NFL MVP was guest-hosting “Jeopardy!” recently, and he had to endure a stumped silence after a question about his own football team.
“In the 1960s, these Midwesterners earned 5 NFL championship trophies,” Rodgers read.
No response. The buzzer sounded. Rodgers threw his arms wide incredulously.
“Green Bay Packers?” he said, with a sad frown.
The subsequent question involved basketball: “They swept over the NBA, winning the title every year from 1959 to 1966.”
One of the contestants immediately knew that one. “Who are the Boston Celtics?”
“Oh, you know that one, huh?” Rodgers said, with a resigned flip of his hand.
Watch it here:
‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants Are Notoriously Bad About Football
Rodgers is not the first “Jeopardy!” host to bemoan the contestants’ lack of football knowledge. After late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek died on Nov. 8, 2020 of stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the NFL released a highlights clip of Trebek reacting to the awkward silence from contestants who had to pick questions in the “Talkin’ Football” category.
“I can tell you guys are big football fans,” Trebek observed wryly.
The contestants missed the $200, $400, $600 and $800 clues. Trebek decided to look at the $1,000 clue, “just for the fun of it.” It was given from Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium: “I’m looking at the Ring of Honor, with names from this defensive line that took the Vikings to four Super Bowls.”
“If you guys ring in and get this one, I will die,” Trebek deadpanned.
Trebek reportedly loved sports, including football.
Trebek Once Sent Handwritten Note to College Football Team
In 2019, the University of Minnesota Gophers football team sent a signed oar to Trebek after they learned of his cancer diagnosis. The oar was a symbol of their “Row the Boat” mantra, and it was intended to urge Trebek to keep fighting his cancer, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
Trebek sent them back a handwritten letter saying he’d researched the origins of their mantra and that he was now a big fan of the Gophers.
According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck developed the mantra “Row the Boat” after his youngest son died of a heart condition.
“It’s a never-give-up mantra that has to do strictly with life or adversity or handling success, never giving up, and it means a few things,” Fleck explained in 2016. “When you row a boat, you’re rowing… Your back is to the future, which is something you cannot control, nor can you see. You have to trust the person in front of you, that you’re looking at, that they’re doing their job and rowing at the same speed, same efficiency as you are… You’re rowing in the present, which is the only thing you can actually control.”
That message of living in the present seemed to really resonate with Trebek, who, as both “Jeopardy!” nerd and sports fan, both learned about the team and began rooting for them. And it clearly meant a lot to the team to get Trebek’s letter.