Sports categories are often tricky for "Jeopardy!" contestants. That was the case during Thursday night's episode. Photo Credit: Jeopardy! (WDIV-DET) The contestants on Thursday’s “Jeopardy!” came away stumped by a sports category. Photo Credit: Jeopardy! (WDIV-DET)

Longtime viewers of Jeopardy! probably know that sports categories often trip the contestants. That happened again in the Double Jeopardy round of Thursday’s episode.

The category was “Hall of Famer by Position.” The fact that the category was not approached until the other 25 clues on the board were cleared probably should have been a sign that this would not go well.

Despite that, there was an early positive when the first clue of “Joe Namath, Joe Montana” triggered a quick “What is quarterback?” response. After that, though, it was rough sledding. The next two clues asked for the positions of “Bill Russell, Bill Walton” and “Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Bob Gibson” which drew no responses. That prompted host Ken Jennings to quip, “This might be a long category.”

Before the fourth clue, Jennings said, “OK, sports fans, I believe in you.” But that confidence was not well founded. The contestants didn’t ring in for “Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, John Stallworth” or “Gump Worsley, Shrimp Worters, Rat Westwick,” bringing the category to a merciful end.

We have seen worse categories. Knowing that Joe Montana and Joe Namath were quarterbacks puts this group ahead of the trio that couldn’t even get a single response off in a football category before the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles played in Super Bowl LIII.

Also, with the three players separated by $2000 going into the final clues before Final Jeopardy, there would have been some logic in guessing. That said, we’ve also seen a contestant guess that the world record 50-yard dash time was over four minutes long and another guess that Babe Ruth broke MLB’s color barrier. Sometimes the smarter play is just to guess nothing and this was one of those times.

Still, viewers came away puzzled as to how the contestants would be so in the dark on these clues.

[Photo Credit: Jeopardy! (WDIV-DET)]

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