By Dirk Smith, M.Sc, SDL (He/Him)
The starting quarterback of the Packer’s, reigning NFL MVP and Celebrity Jeopardy Champion, Aaron Rodgers takes his turn guest hosting Jeopardy for the second week while the show looks for a replacement for the late Alex Trebek. The initial impressions of Rodger’s first week hosting is that while he is no Trebek, his easy manner and gracefulness as a host as well as his wry sense of humor and personable interactions with the contestants are welcomed.
He even had a few stars struck contestants and a fun moment with contestant Scot Shewfelt who, not knowing the answer on Final Jeopardy, wrote, “who wanted to kick that field goal?” referencing a coaching decision from the NFC Championship game between the Packer’s and the Buccaneers. That answered prompted laughter from Rodger’s who quipped that he was hoping someone would bring that up.
In preparing for the gig, Rodger’s took the time to watch previous episodes of Jeopardy to study the show and Trebek’s interaction on the stage to pick up tips on how to be a good host and handle the different kind of situations that might arise.
“I would watch the show on mute,” said Rodgers. “That was a good way to practice. So, you watch the show on mute, and you practice reading the clues and then calling on the contestants. “I was excited about it — I was in quarantine for the early part of the [NFL] offseason and I spent that time watching episodes and writing notes and practicing and learning the best points of the show.”
The other episodes all had their own fun moments of humor, including contestant Brandon Deutsch sharing his story about being seated next to Burt Reynolds on a plan as an infant. Rodger’s responded with a “Turd Ferguson” joke, referencing the classic “Celebrity Jeopardy” skits from Saturday Night Live in which Burt Reynolds was a recurring character.
Rodgers is the fifth guest of Jeopardy since Trebek passed away as the show invites various guest hosts as they search for a permanent replacement. Rodger’s definitely wants the permanent gig and feels like he could balance his NFL career and hosting Jeopardy.
“I don’t think I’d need to give up football to do it,’’ he said. “They film 46 days a year. I worked 187 this year in Green Bay.”
There is a history of professional athletes going on to host game show such as Rolf Benirschke on “Wheel of Fortune,” Lynn Swann on “To Tell The Truth,” Ahmad Rashad ”Caesars Challenge,” Jimmy Cefalo ”Trump Card.”