By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — If you’re a sports fan and also a “Jeopardy!” fan, then you know that the most frustrating times to watch your favorite quiz show come whenever a sports-related category is on the board. You either have to sit and watch as the wildly bright minds competing in the game outright refuse to select any clues from the sports category, because their brains are too full with knowledge that actually has some meaning in the world. (Oh, you’ve read a book, good for you. You don’t even know Kirk Cousins’ win-loss record in prime-games. So who’s the real smart guy?!)
Or, even worse, you watch in horror as the contestants try their best at guessing correctly on the sports questions. They often fail miserably.
Such was the case on Thursday night, when “Jeopardy!” dedicated an entire category to the New England Patriots. In the Double Jeopardy! round, the category “Patriot Games” was selected pretty early. After some brutal face-plants, though, the category ended up being the final one left on the board.
The $400 clue was as simple as simple gets: “This head coach has led the New England Patriots to victory in six Super Bowls.”
Jennifer, the champion, answered correctly with “Who is Belichick?” She confidently then selected Patriots for $800.
That’s where things went very, very bad.
The clue: “On Oct. 11, 1963 the Red Sox weren’t playing; it was the Patriots’ first game of six seasons in this home field.”
Clearly, obviously, the answer was Fenway Park. That’s been the home of the Red Sox since … 1912 or so. Yet the answers? Whoa, buddy. Buckle your seat belts. This is going to be a bumpy ride.
Kelly buzzed in quickly: “What is Wrigley Field?”
You know, old ballpark, bricks, grass … not the worst answer. A worthy stab for a non-sports addict. Fair enough.
Oh, but then … but then Chris buzzed in to guess:
“What is Comiskey Park?”
Are you OK?
Fortunately, Alex Trebek was there to serve as the voice for everyone who was hooting and/or hollering in their living rooms.
“I don’t know why you guys were in Chicago instead of Boston,” Trebek said. “Fenway Park.”
As you might expect, the contestants then avoided the Patriots category for a while. That was a rough one.
When they returned for the $1200 clue, it was Chris who sought to avenge his Comiskey mistake, but it was Kelly who correctly guessed the easiest clue on the board: “In his NFL debut in 2000, this Pats QB completed one of three passes in a 34-9 loss to Detroit; he got better.”
Fortunately, that one wasn’t botched. Everybody watching in New England might have fainted.
Later, the $1600 and $2,000 clues were the only ones left on the board. Fortunately, there was enough time left in the round for both to come into play.
The $1600 clue was admittedly difficult for anyone not well-versed in Patriots lore, but there was enough context in the clue to offer wise minds a reasonable guess: “On a cold 1982 day Mark Henderson used a small John Deere to make the kicker’s job easier in what became known as the *this* machine game.”
Chris buzzed in first.
“What is lawnmower?”
Are. You. OK?????
Jennifer buzzed in with a much better guess, going with, “What is snowblower?” Much closer, but not quite right. Nobody could guess “snowplow,” the machine that even after all the real success of the franchise, hangs in the Patriots Hall of Fame.
Then came the $2000 clue: “The Patriots’ win in the 2019 AFC title game came one day shy of 25 years since this man bought the team.”
Even though Robert Kraft is a well-known person to sports fans and non-sports fans alike, nobody even mustered a guess.
Come on, people.
Alas, that is how things tend to go whenever “Jeopardy!” throws out the sports categories. These people have spent their lives reading literature, studying science, traveling the world, expanding their horizons, learning world history, translating ancient Greek texts, making trips to opera houses, reciting Shakespeare, and doing a whole host of other learned things that learned people do.
They did not, however, watch Mitchell Trubisky defeat the moribund Cowboys on Thursday Night Football. They probably didn’t even watch the Lions lose on Thanksgiving.
We all choose our courses in life.
You can view it all below, but as a warning: It’s not easy to watch.
*We write one extra clue for every category, just in case. pic.twitter.com/bLnAcv44Xy
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) December 6, 2019