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Rodgers wraps up stint on ‘Jeopardy!’

- Kendra Meinert

All good things must come to an end — at least for now — but not before Aaron Rodgers slipped in a “Zoolander” reference and read lyrics from Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” for a clue.

What more could you ask for from the Green Bay Packers quarterbac­k on the final “Jeopardy!” of his 10-show guest hosting stint?

Rodgers, who is a big Ben Stiller fan and even thanked him in his speech for Best NFL Player at the 2017 ESPY Awards, found a way to mention the actor’s 2001 comedy while talking to contestant Dakota Lupo about being a second-generation hand model.

“My only experience with this is on the movie ‘Zoolander’ when one of the characters has a glass case around his hand, but I see your hands are free,” Rodgers joked.

Lupo explained his dad, who is a magician, did some hand modeling in commercial­s and he fell into the same work.

“Some would think I’m the Aaron Rodgers of hand modeling,” Lupo said.

It made Rodgers break into laughter and felt like the most spontaneou­s response to any contestant’s story during his time as host.

Rodgers has made it clear he would love to be drafted as the permanent host of the game show he’s loved since a kid, and he spoke about the experience when he signed off for the last time on Friday.

“I want to thank all of you for watching and to everyone here at ‘Jeopardy!,’ the crew, the producers, the writers and researcher­s, really the entire staff, thank you,” Rodgers said. “You have made me feel so welcome. This has been a surreal experience and so very special to me. So have a great weekend and, in the words of the great Alex Trebek, so long.”

There’s a whole game board of opinions out there on how the guest hosts have been doing thus far, but Rodgers undeniably did his homework (and then some) and loosened up as the shows went on. Some are going to miss him.

Rodgers shared a video on Twitter on Friday night with more thank yous and encouraged people to continue to watch “the best show on TV.” Anderson Cooper was up next in the hosting rotation.

“Jeopardy!” matched all the contestant winnings from Rodgers’ two weeks for a total donation of $236,725 to the North Valley Community Foundation in his hometown of Chico, California.

Rodgers partnered with the nonprofit to create the Aaron Rodgers Small-Business COVID-19 Fund to help small businesses in the area struggling due to the pandemic. He donated $1 million of his own money to launch the project.

The Athletic talked to 11 of the 80 businesses that have received money from the first round of funding about what Rodgers’ support has meant.

“Somebody that I’ve rooted for his entire career to come through for my business, I mean, that — sorry, I’m getting choked up a bit — meant a lot,” Ben Murray, the third generation owner of A&J Party Center, told The Athletic. “I can never thank him enough. I’ll tell you that much. … Nobody here at our store will ever forget what he’s done for us. I think more people need to realize that our sports heroes aren’t just people who do things on the field.”

 ?? GETTY IMAGES ?? Packers quarterbac­k Aaron Rodgers finished his two-week run as the guest host of “Jeopardy!”.
GETTY IMAGES Packers quarterbac­k Aaron Rodgers finished his two-week run as the guest host of “Jeopardy!”.

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