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'Jeopardy!' Contestants Fumble Entire Football Category, To Coach Trebek's Dismay

When Alex Trebek is disappointed in you, he lets you know. And in a clip from Thursday's episode of Jeopardy! Trebek looked like he wanted to weep.

After clearing the rest of the board in Double Jeopardy, the lone remaining category was "Talkin' Football."

It soon became clear why the contestants — Ryan, Sara and Justin – had avoided it.

The first question, for $200: Your choice: Do or don't name this play in which the QB runs the ball & can choose to pitch it to another back.

The contestants stand still — no manic mashing of buzzers here.

"It's an option play," says Trebek after the beep, with evident concern.

There was nowhere to go but down. Ryan, laughing resignedly, orders up the next embarrassment.

"I can tell you guys are big football fans," Trebek says.

For $400: Tom Landry perfected the shotgun formation with this team.

But there was just no way. Sara and Justin grin widely. They have nothing.

Trebek suggests perhaps they just go to commercial, but the sacks continue through the next two questions.

"Let's look at the $1,000 clue just for the fun of it," Trebek then says to audience laughter.

The last is, painfully, a video clue from the Vikings' stadium in Minneapolis in advance of Sunday's Super Bowl.

"If you guys ring in and get this one," Trebek says, "I will die."

Spoiler alert: They don't.

The show's Twitter feed kept dishing the sass Thursday night and dragged poor, long-suffering Cleveland into the mess.

"Fun fact," the show tweeted. "Our contestants answered as many clues in this category as the @Browns had wins this season."

Full disclosure: This writer wouldn't have rung in, either.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Laurel Wamsley is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She reports breaking news for NPR's digital coverage, newscasts, and news magazines, as well as occasional features. She was also the lead reporter for NPR's coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.
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