Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a solid performance on the first day of his two-week stint guest hosting “Jeopardy!”, even if one of the contestants had a little fun at his expense at the end.
Two-day champion Scott Shewfeld was in a distant second place to challenger Brandon Deutsch going into Final Jeopardy. Unable to catch the leader, he went for a laugh by writing, “Who wanted to kick that field goal?” as his question.
That, of course, was a reference to the Packers’ playoff loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC championship game, in which Green Bay went for a field goal when trailing by eight points in the fourth quarter and never got the ball back.
Rodgers was taken aback for a moment but recovered quickly after the audible laughter in the studio died down. “That’s a really good question, Scott,” he said, “but it’s not the right one here.”
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That’s a rare dynamic for a host who happens to have another gig. Rodgers is hardly the first athlete to helm a game show – Michael Strahan has done a terrific job fronting ABC’s prime-time revival of “The $100,000 Pyramid,” for example – but Rodgers, coming off an MVP season, doesn’t seem like he’s quite ready to hang up the cleats just yet. He has said, however, he wouldn’t mind being the quizmaster on a more permanent basis.
Rodgers was no stranger to the “Jeopardy!” set before signing on as a guest host. He appeared as a celebrity contestant in 2015, winning his match against astronaut Mark Kelly and Shark Tank host Kevin O’Leary. Rodgers opened his first show with a heart-felt tribute to long-time host Alex Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer last November at age 80.
“I was in awe,” Rodgers said of appearing with Trebek, adding he was hoping to carry on his legacy.
So how did he do? All in all, he was quite good. He kept the game moving, showed a little personality with a well-timed “arrrr!” on a question about Long John Silver, and most of all stayed true to the game. America’s favorite quiz show would seem to be in good hands for the next couple of weeks.