“Jeopardy!” guest-host Aaron Rodgers has been having a blast at his new job. He’s even crossing paths with contestants who share some of his football connections. Sort of.
Pasquale Palumbo, besides having an amazing name, competed on a recent episode of “Jeopardy!” The financial services professional from Hawthorne, New York couldn’t be more excited to share a stage with his cousin.
That’s right. Pasquale claims to be Aaron Rodgers’ cousin. His ‘football cousin,’ in fact. And it gets better. They’re football cousins… four times removed.
“So I both played and coached high school football at White Plains High. My head coach, Mark Santa-Donato was coached by Ralph Friedgen Sr., who was coached by Colonel Red Blaik up at West Point, who had Vince Lombardi on his coaching staff at the time,” Pasquale said. “So we’re football cousins.”
A laughing Aaron Rodgers responded, “Okay, that’s a good four degrees of separation there.”
To which Pasquale Palumbo very accurately replied, “Hey, it’s better than six.”
What a guy. Pasquale seized his opportunity and will now be able to refer to himself as football cousin to Aaron Rodgers.
‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant’s Connection To Aaron Rodgers
So Pasquale’s link traces all the way back to Vince Lombardi. For those who are unfamiliar with the legendary football figure, Lombardi is considered one of the greatest coaches of all time.
In fact, the trophy that NFL players hoist above their heads after winning the Super Bowl is named after him. And Aaron Rodgers himself has had the privilege of holding that trophy.
That’s not the only connection, though. Vince Lombardi is best known for the time he spent coaching the Green Bay Packers. The same team that Rodgers has played for throughout his entire NFL career.
As the Packers head coach from 1959-1967, Lombardi earned five NFL championships. Two of those championships were victories in Super Bowls I and II.
In conclusion, it’s true that Rodgers is connected to Lombardi through the franchise. But Pasquale’s claim is still a bit of a stretch. Because it’s not like Rodgers was ever personally coached by Lombardi himself.
On the other hand, Pasquale cared enough to do the research and find the connection. So maybe we let him have this one.