I’ve been writing something almost weekly about “Jeopardy!” so — with the Dr. Oz debacle behind us — why stop now?
It seems to me that, during this run of guest hosts, the show’s clues have been much easier. All was normal during Ken Jennings’ five-week run, but since then, the material has been way below the knowledge level of most of the contestants. While it’s nice to watch from home and be able to get so many answers correct, the decision — which I’m guessing sprang from executive producer Mike Richards, who would desperately like to take over as host, too — has cheapened a game that has always had the highest standards of any TV quiz.
As for this week’s guest host, I’ve found Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (who once won “Celebrity Jeopardy”) to be the most laid-back game show host I’ve ever seen. Rodgers has stated publicly that he’d like to have the job permanently and claims taping the episodes wouldn’t interfere with his NFL schedule (assuming he returns to play another season or two). Although he’s young enough that, if successful, he could have a decades-long run with the show, I don’t see that working out. Sure, he comes off as a nice guy who has the basic skills, but Rodgers is about as low-key as a Xanax pill in a suit. As I wrote about Katie Couric’s hosting stint, his performance is proof that the show almost runs by itself as long as the host is somewhat competent at reading clues out loud.
However, Rodgers’ cool demeanor did work well when it came to a contestant’s Final Jeopardy surprise answer Monday, a callback to a bad play choice by Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur in the NFC championship game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If you don’t remember it, the Packers were down eight points with just over two minutes to go when LaFleur sent out the field goal team instead of letting his veteran quarterback and offense try to score a touchdown from the eight yard line to tie the game. The kick was good, but Green Bay never got the ball back for another drive, and ended up losing by five.
Here’s the moment on Monday’s show that produced a smirk or two…