If this football thing doesn’t work out for Aaron Rodgers, the Packers quarterback could have a fallback. He served as a “Jeopardy!” guest host for a two-week run, and Rodgers considers his performance a victory of sorts.
The episodes were taped over two days in February, with the first episode airing in syndication Monday. Host Alex Trebek died of cancer at 80 on Nov. 8.
“I watched hours and hours and hours of episodes,” Rodgers told Rob Demovsky of ESPN on Friday. “Luckily, Netflix has a few seasons, and I went back to DVR. But I had to watch from a different perspective — from Alex’s perspective. I couldn’t watch it as a fan anymore.
“I took pages and pages and pages of notes. I wrote down every affirmative that he said to any type of clue. I wrote down how he would respond if they didn’t get it right. I wrote down beat points of the show. I wrote down all the different ways he would take it to break. I wrote down the stuff that he said coming out of break. Literally, I studied for this like no other. I wanted to absolutely just crush it.”
Rodgers, a celebrity contestant in 2015, told Demovsky that after his practice session on the first day he could tell “they weren’t ready for me.”
“I know they didn’t expect what I was about to bring, but I was just so prepared,” Rodgers said. “I was so ready. So we get into the first game, the first run-through, there’s 30 questions in a Jeopardy round, and after the first 15 questions, we go to break. They say it in your earpiece, ‘Take it to break.’ So I take it to break, and there was a pause, and I think everyone was like, ‘Whoa, OK, this guy kind of knows what he’s doing here.’
“One of the head producers said as much. She was like, ‘I’m just so appreciative of your approach.’ And my whole thing was I felt like the best way to honor Alex’s memory was to be so dialed in and so ready, and that’s the approach I took. So I was ready to rock and roll.”
Rodgers predicted a viral moment from his first episode as guest host.
The one thing Rodgers didn’t have an answer for was his future. He did not offer an update to Demovsky’s question about whether this could be Rodgers’ final season in Green Bay.
“Not really. I don’t know that I have any updates or anything,” Rodgers said.