Despite what his assured and calming demeanor may indicate, Alex Trebek does not know all the answers when it comes to Jeopardy! Sure, he reads the questions ahead of time and gets clarifications on pronouncing difficult words, which helps him seem to be the all-knowing host he’s known for being, but he’s not a Ken Jennings-level trivia nerd.
That doesn’t mean he can’t help the show write some categories, though, and it seems he helped the writers create a football category following a disastrous showing from Jeopardy! contestants the last time they tried one. Trebek told players on Tuesday’s show that he helped out after “some difficulty” resulted in some very funny answers from some not-so-sports-inclined players.
“Last year we had some difficulty with a football category,” Trebek said. “So we thought we would try it again, but in this category with referees’ signals.”
Today's FOOTBALL category was developed by Alex! Here's a side-by-side view of his write-ups with the actual clues. pic.twitter.com/7735cRComO
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) March 11, 2020
The video shared by the Jeopardy! Twitter account actually showed the written up signals Trebek wanted included side-by-side with the actual questions on the big board, which is pretty cool. Trebek actually gave players the signals for “touchdown” and whatnot right there on stage, but the drawings he made for each of them are pretty funny, too. Here’s his version of ‘false start,’ for example.
And this time it seems the players actually did better, which was admittedly not that hard to accomplish given that players whiffed on the entire category last time. It’s really great when Jeopardy! shows these inside-baseball moments online, and the fans of the show certainly appreciate knowing just how integral to the show Trebek can be. Alex won’t always have all the answers, but this time it’s clear that he definitely knows his stuff when it comes to football.