Aaron Rodgers Wants to Be the Full Time 'Jeopardy!' Host While Still Keeping His Day Job
I'm going to be perfectly honest and admit that a short time ago I wouldn't have been kind to Aaron Rodgers hosting "Jeopardy!" I probably would've treated him like an intruder in one of my most sacred cultural institutions. Treated him the way the public is treating Wyatt Russell for replacing Chris Evans as Captain America. I'm sure I would've done at least two paragraphs about how Tom Brady would do a better job. Basically I would've been snarky and insufferable and talked about Rodgers like he's Michael Rapoport.
But that would've been like 2019 Jerry. 2021 Jerry has evolved and matured. Alex Trebek is hosting a version of "Celebrity Jeopardy!" with Da Vinci, Newton and Einstein. Brady is off living his best life in Freedomland, Florida. And Rodgers is tirelessly promoting and supporting The Barstool Fund. So I'm prepared to be more accepting and welcoming. Besides, one show in and his presence has already provided us with one of the great Final answers ever.
Which brings us to this interview he gave to The Ringer, in which he said this is more than just a two week side hustle to kill time during the dead period of the offseason for NFL veterans. He seriously plans to land the job. And based on the amount of work and prep he put into it, there's no reason to doubt he could pull it off:
How specifically did you prepare for hosting? Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards told me you came in with a bunch of questions about rare scenarios.
I wanted to be really ready. In my preparation there were a few things that came up that I just wanted to make sure I had down. It’s taped, so there’s opportunity for pickups and redoing things, but I’m a perfectionist and I didn’t want to have a lot of those. I wanted to be really, really locked in. I made sure [to ask] any questions I had about specific scenarios that came up in certain games because I wanted to be as ready as I possibly could be.
What were the specific situations you were curious about?
Anything from the event of a tie at the end of a game, which, watching Jeopardy! for so many years, it’s maybe happened one time. But I wanted to get refreshed on that. …There can be technological malfunctions. I just wanted to know—if this happens or that happens, how should I respond? …
I would watch the show on mute. 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. That was a fun way of doing it, because it’s different from when you’re sitting on the couch playing to when you’re controlling everything. You’ve got to learn the form. It’s looking down to read the clue and then looking up to call on a contestant, and also understanding what the answer is in case none of the contestants get it right, and then realizing at that point that you’ve got to work on your posture and where you’re looking and know who you’re talking to when you give that response. There were so many little things that were important for Alex being so smooth that I just wanted to be sure I had down. …
So I’ve got to ask—would you ever consider giving up football to host Jeopardy!?
I don’t think I’d need to give up football to do it. They film 46 days a year. I worked 187 this year in Green Bay. That gives me, eh—[pauses]—178 days to do Jeopardy! So I feel like I could fit 46 into that 178 and make it work. It would be a dream job for sure, and I’m not shy at all about saying I want the job. That’s how I went into it. I want an opportunity to be in the mix.
Holy moly. How do you doubt the chances of a guy who puts that much into his prep? I'm guessing he didn't work that hard when he was replacing Brett Favre. I think most of us have been lulled by 30+ years of watching Trebek make it look like child's play that hosting the world's greatest TV show is easy. Just reading questions, affirming the correct answers, and bantering with introverted nerds about their awkward interests and bizarre hobbies. But Rodgers approached it like he was breaking down Dick Lebeau's blitz schemes on the 2010 Steelers.
I mean, out of the guests hosts I've seen, I'm still firmly on Team Ken Jennings. He's more than a "Jeopardy!" superfan the way ARod is. He lives the "Jeopardy!" life. His brain is perfectly wired for it, right down to the synapses and neurons. It's an integral part of every breath he takes. But Rodgers having six months a year to schedule a month and a half of shoot days, plus pull in that NFL audience might be just what America needs to fill the Trebek shaped hole in our hearts. Based on how much he's throwing himself into the job, it would be stupid to bet against Aaron Rodgers.