GREEN BAY, Wis. – If Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers decides to retire rather than return to the team he’s piloted for the past 13 seasons, the ace up his sleeve is “Jeopardy!”
Rodgers served as guest host for 10 episodes that aired from April 5 through April 16. It was a dream come true for the superfan and former “Celebrity Jeopardy!” champion.
“I’m not shy at all about saying I want the job,” Rodgers recently told The Ringer. “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.
“I feel like I bring something different to the stage – I’m the youngest of any of the guest hosts, I’d be the youngest host of just about any major game show, I bring an audience from the NFL, and I feel like I appeal to nerdy people, too, because I was a nerd in high school and got caught in that weird phase of wanting to be a jock and an athlete and also really caring about getting good grades. And at the same time, there’s not many bigger fans of the show than me. I’ve been watching it for years and years and years. I respect the show and appreciate the history of it, and also there’s my background of stepping in for a legend and their footsteps. I feel like all that combined makes me a pretty good candidate.”
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Ratings will play a big part in Rodgers’ bid. He did well, but perhaps not so well to rise above his football-playing niche. According to ratings provided by Nielsen, “Jeopardy!” was the highest-rated show in syndication during both of his weeks. In Week 1, the show averaged a 5.6 rating. It was down a bit to 5.5 in Week 2. The week before his arrival, when Dr. Oz was the host, the show was second in the syndication ratings with a 4.9.
Rodgers’ mark, however, lagged behind “Jeopardy!” legend Ken Jennings, who averaged a 6.0 during his six-week run as the first guest host following the death of longtime host Alex Trebek. Daytime TV producer Mike Richards followed Jennings and averaged a 5.9. Rodgers was slightly ahead of Katie Couric (5.5) and well ahead of Dr. Oz (4.9). Up next is primetime journalist Anderson Cooper. FOX Sports broadcaster Joe Buck will be a host, as well.
Producers of the show are expected to have a full-time host for the fall.