There are many reasons why James Holzhauer is one of the greatest contestants in Jeopardy! history, and far down that list is that he knows stuff about sports. Traditionally, that’s not really the case with Jeopardy! players, which is why the sports categories are very bare bones on the show. When a sports category shows up, there’s not a whole lot of complexity beyond team names, the venues in which those teams play and some of the game’s most popular players.
There’s a reason why the topic has its own (much less lucrative) Jeopardy! show format, and part of that is because sports knowledge is, outside of big sports plays, very niche. Unless you’re a sports fan. Which is why if you are a New England Patriots fan, or even just a football fan in general, you probably got really mad at Jeopardy! on Thursday night.
A “Patriot Games” category was a bit obscure at first, which is why it’s always best to start with the top question and work your way down. What contestants quickly realized was that it’s a category about the Patriots, and Jennifer started out strong before everyone quickly avoided it at all costs.
*We write one extra clue for every category, just in case. pic.twitter.com/bLnAcv44Xy
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) December 6, 2019
Jennifer got the first question about Bill Belichick right, but the $800 question was a disaster.
“On October 11, 1963 the Red Sox weren’t playing; it was the Patriots’ first game of six seasons in this home field,” Trebek said. But the answers were all baseball stadiums in completely different cities. Kelly guessed Wrigley Field, in Chicago, while Chris offered the now-defunct Comisky Park, also in Chicago.
The contestants avoided the category for a good while after that, coming back for a $1200 question about Tom Brady that Kelly got. But they continued to avoid it again, clearly uninterested in sports trivia until necessary. It was when the rest of the board was cleared but the final two questions. It didn’t go well. A $1600 question about the Snowplow Game got a close guess but not completely correct. And the Patriots owner, the Extremely In The News Robert Kraft, was a stumper.
The worst indictment of the squad up there is probably Kraft, or maybe the question about Fenway Park considering they were in the completely wrong region of the country. But it’s a good reminder that the things most people know is not always what people on Jeopardy! know. And, well, vice versa.