Recapping Aaron Rodgers’ victory on ‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’

Tuesday night, after watching LeBron James and Derrick Rose show off in the first quarter of the Cavs-Bulls NBA playoff game, I switched over to my local CBS affiliate to watch a different athlete show off. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers traded in his jersey for a cardigan on Tuesday’s edition of Celebrity Jeopardy!, competing for the charity Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer.

Rodgers, who in his team bio lists Jeopardy! as one of his favorite TV shows, faced off against astronaut Mark Kelly and Shark Tank’s Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary. Both of Rodgers’ competitors were much older than him, and Alex Trebek even joked about the fact that he was the only contestant on last night’s program who wasn’t bald.

In Celebrity Jeopardy!, the category names usually relate to the contestants, and a few of these were right on the nose for Rodgers. (There were also categories such as “Shark Tank” and “‘N’Deavor” for the other contestants.) The first category of the opening round was “Number 12,” which was then followed up by “Bible MVPs,” nods to Rodgers’ number and his two MVP awards, respectively.

Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

The single Jeopardy! round went at a very slow pace, as seven clues were left over when the round ended. Rodgers got on the board early on, ringing in correctly about another famous number 12, John Stockton. He proceeded to nearly sweep the “Bible MVPs” category, getting three of five correct in the category. Right before the first commercial break, Rodgers nailed a clue about Liam Neeson, bringing him to $1,000, just shy of Kelly’s $1,200 but ahead of O’Leary’s -$400.

When Trebek started the bio portion of the show, I figured he’d be the chattiest with O’Leary, his fellow Canuck. I was wrong. Trebek is a sports fan who even appeared on The Dan Patrick Show last year, but he just about came across as an Aaron Rodgers fanboy, quoting multiple recent State Farm commercials (“Pump you up” and “Discount Double Check”) starring the Packers quarterback.

Instead of asking about his stellar football accomplishments, Trebek probed Rodgers about his personality and lightheartedness. Rodgers then suggested Trebek celebrate after a good show and the host responded with his best “Discount Double Check” imitation before lamenting about not wearing a cheesehead while doing it.

As the Double Jeopardy! round began, Rodgers found himself once again ensconced in the middle, with his $2,200 ahead of O’Leary’s $1,200 but behind Kelly’s $3,000. The final category of this round was a nod to Rodgers’ college days, and I’m not talking about Butte Community College. The category, titled “5 Bears” (there had been “Forebears” in the first round), was about other famous Cal Bears, which should have been easy for Rodgers. Except, it wasn’t.

The 2014 NFL MVP did well in the other categories, which included “Leaders of the Pack,” “‘N’Deavor,” and “Shark Tank,” but it is clear Rodgers needs to check his alma mater’s Wikipedia page more often. He even missed the category’s Daily Double, stating incorrectly that Steve Wozniak co-founded IBM when he really co-founded Apple.

It wasn’t a big deal, though, as Rodgers amassed $12,800 by the end of the Double Jeopardy! round, ahead of Kelly’s $8,600 and O’Leary’s embarrassing negative-$2,800. (O’Leary’s total is not actually the worst in Celebrity Jeopardy! history. That title is held by Wolf Blitzer.)

In Final Jeopardy!, Rodgers missed humorously on an answer about two businessmen, incorrectly scribbling down “Who are Ernst & Young” when the answer was Harley and Davidson. Though he answered incorrectly, so did his competitors, which allowed the quarterback to finish in first place with a total of $8,399. That total was bumped up to $50,000 for the MACC fund while Kelly and O’Leary each earned $10,000 for their charities.

In terms of athletes on Celebrity Jeopardy!, Rodgers did well, though his performance was not as memorable as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s a few years ago.

Alex Kaufman

About Alex Kaufman

Alex Kaufman is a student at Denison University. He has been published on ESPN.com, profiled by SI.com, and writes for many different outlets including Awful Announcing, The AP Party, The Denisonian, and It's Pronounced Lajaway. As a broadcaster, Alex has spent time working for 91.1 FM WDUB, the Denison Sports Network, and ABC6/FOX28.

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