When we first heard that Aaron Rodgers would be hosting Jeopardy! for two weeks, it wasn’t all that surprising.
Rodgers has no background hosting game shows (although he was a celebrity guest on Jeopardy!), but he’s extremely smart, very well-spoken and intensely competitive. It seemed like a great fit.
With Rodgers’ run on Jeopardy! starting Monday and continuing for two weeks, we began wondering what Eagles players – past and present – would make the best Jeopardy! hosts.
You want someone who has a broad range of knowledge so he can be comfortable with any kind of answer, someone who speaks clearly and has that same comforting presence that Alex Trebek had during his 37-year run hosting Jeopardy! and you want someone who is likeable on camera but understands that this is a high-stakes competition.
In other words, probably not Andrew Sendejo.
But what Eagles would we like to see hosting Jeopardy!? Here are 10 we came up with.
Eric Allen: Eric is one of the smartest people I’ve ever been around. Nobody ever out-prepared him, and the intelligence and smoothness he showed on the field would serve him well hosting Jeopardy! Eric always had a real thirst for knowledge and a wide range of interests and a quick wit. And he’s also got some TV experience with ESPN.
Nnamdi Asomugha: The first thing you have to do is forget Nnamdi the cornerback and consider Nnamdi the person. If he hosts Jeopardy!, he doesn’t have to go out and cover Calvin Johnson. Seriously, the dude is brilliant. Incredibly well-read guy whose ability to seamlessly transition from the NFL to award-winning actor shows the breadth of his interests and abilities. He’d succeed at anything he tried (except playing for the Eagles).
Jon Dorenbos: He’s a natural. Funny, smart, well-spoken. And Dorenbos certainly has plenty of experience behind the mic. But he’s also got a serious side – you don’t last 14 years in the NFL even as a long snapper if you don’t take your craft seriously. And nobody would be better at making the contestants feel at ease because he does that naturally.
John Harbaugh: OK, he’s not a player, but the long-time Eagles’ assistant coach, now head coach of the Ravens, is as close to a game-show host as you’ll find in the NFL. He looks like one, talks like one and he’s got this perfect game-show host smirk where you know he’s thinking something funny but he’s not going to come out and say it but everyone laughs anyway.
Chris Long: He might be a little edgy for Jeopardy, but if you’ve ever had a conversation with Chris or listened to his podcast you know he’s got a vast array of interests and would be comfortable giving answers or ad-libbing about any imaginable topic. You’d need a producer with his finger constantly on the bleep button, but I guarantee the show would never be boring.
Jordan Matthews: Having a conversation with Jordan is kind of like playing Jeopardy! anyway when it comes to the number of unrelated topics that are generally covered, so having him host wouldn’t be that much of a departure. My only fear is that he talks so fast the 30-minute show would be over in 7 minutes.
Rodney Peete: Rodney’s already got a lot of Hollywood in him. He went to USC, he’s married to a movie star and he’s just one of those guys that no matter what he says, he sounds believable and comes across like an expert. The key isn’t necessarily being an expert on everything, it’s sounding like one, and Rodney could pull that off in a heartbeat.
Jason Kelce: This one doesn’t need much of an explanation. You know Kelce would be a Jeopardy! star. Kelce is one of those guys who’s devoted his life to an unending quest for knowledge. He’s fascinated by every topic you bring up, and that makes him a perfect fit for the Jeopardy! lectern.
Evan Mathis: Mathis is similar to his former o-line pal Kelce but with one added dimension: The ability to BS like no other but to do it in a way that charms everyone around him. You need to be a little bit of a BS’er to host a game show, and Mathis has that covered.
Ike Reese: When he was a rookie in 1998, I would go up to Ike’s locker and just bring up a random topic – the government of Uruguay, the Battle of Bull Run, Hegel’s theory of dialectical materialism - and he’d instantly begin speaking like an expert. Nobody knows more stuff about more stuff than Ike, and he’d be right in his element hosting Jeopardy!
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