“Jeopardy!” attracts some of the brightest people across the nation. It’s incredible how much random, seemingly scattered trivia people can remember and recite on television.
While anything from film to history to architecture seems to go smoothly, sports questions have often led to some pretty awkwardly hefty silences on “Jeopardy!”
Alex Trebek used to joke and criticize, as nicely as possible, contestant’s lack of knowledge on the subject.
In 2018, “Jeopardy!” incorporated a football category into the gameplay. As Trebek read off the clues, it was like he was speaking a foreign language to the three contestants with blank looks opposite of him.
According to Sports Illustrated, the contestants were stumped on what option plays are, anything related to the Dallas Cowboys, and offsetting penalties. They couldn’t even formulate guesses for the questions.
A Twitter user tweeted, “Nothing makes me smile more than watching these poor Jeopardy contestants flop while trying to answer sports questions — specifically football questions for the Super Bowl #SuperBowl52.”
The contestants avoided this category on the board like it was the black plague. Eventually, they had no choice but to select the option “Talkin’ Football” and then not talk at all.
Alex Trebek seemed to get a good kick out of the funny situation. He said to them mockingly, “You guys seem to be big football fans.” The live audience can also be heard cracking up in the background, especially as Trebek fires off short, witty responses.
The best is probably, “Let’s look at the $1,000 clue, just for fun.” The entertaining clip makes us “Jeopardy!” fans miss the late iconic host of the show.
Aaron Rodgers and Sports on ‘Jeopardy!’
He talked to The Ringer about some of his strategies for hosting the show in his own personal style. A big part of it was deciding on what to talk about with contestants in the very beginning portion of the show.
The contestants provide note cards with fun facts and Rodgers said he would seek out any kind of “athletic” facts.
“But I’d try to get them talking about stuff that maybe wasn’t as nerdy. For any of the contestants who were doing athletic endeavors, I like to highlight those. One guy was training for a marathon — and like, I respect that because I don’t want to run 26.2 miles, so I got him talking about that … I’ve spent so many years watching those interviews and some of those things seem super, super nerdy — like, wow, why would you admit that, almost. So I would try to choose facts that maybe highlighted some of their personality that wasn’t as nerdy,” Rodgers said.
While contestants on the show sometimes avoid sports at all cost, Rodgers decided to push them to explore the category more.