When it comes to all-time classic game shows, it doesn’t get better than “Jeopardy!”. They say “you never want to follow a legend”. Here the show’s producers and television execs have not yet named an official replacement for the great Alex Trebek. But what would it look like if fighters hosted “Jeopardy!”? After all, there was a pro-athlete that guest hosted, and would do anything to get the gig permanently. Perhaps you have heard of him, he’s future Hall Of Fame Quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Let’s also remember that more people now know Michael Strahan for being a television host, than being a defensive end.
What Would Be the Qualifications?
Right off the bat when you think of the game show, you think intellect. And a show like this, it’s high intellect. Do any fighters actually fit in this category? More than you realize, but that’s still a tall order to ask for. Being a game show host, you need an ability to be personable, relatable, and have a bit of a “character” about them. That; fighters, for the most part, have an overabundance of.
Now, the network has had some great well-suited people behind the desk. Besides Rodgers, they’ve used former show champion Ken Jennings, actress Mayim Bialik, LeVar Burton, and even Dr. Oz, to name a few. Right now though, the betting money says it will be either Jennings or Burton getting it permanently.
What Fighters Could Fit as Host of Jeopardy!
While a good 90% of boxers and MMA fighters have one quality, they lack in another. But some have it. Before a new host is named, perhaps those in the power structure should take a gander at the world of combat sports. They might just find a diamond in the rough.
Can Fighters Host Jeopardy! Honorable Mentions
Instead of starting at the top, let’s work our way up the game board; err… mountain. Shawn Porter, Lennox Lewis, Daniel Cormier, and Chael Sonnen. All four have the “it” factor that’s needed, to host a show. And actually, Sonnen might be the best fitted for the job. Especially with his quick wit, and tongue.
Can Fighters Host Jeopardy! Here’s the List
Keep in mind, this list is in no particular order. But all qualify in the most important category, intellect. Despite how they were seen by the public while throwing hands.
John “Super D” Duplessis was more than a journeyman from the mid ’80s to mid ’90s. He even took some of Julio Cesar Chavez’s best shots and is a great storyteller. But away from the ring, he picked up a BA in Psychology, and then a Masters in Social Work. It didn’t end there. He survived Hurricane Katrina and now works with the disabled.
Terry Martin fought in both combat sports and across multiple organizations. But it didn’t start out so great for him. As a child and a gang banger, he was shot five times in a drive-by. He’s now close to getting his doctorate.
Shane Carwin, thanks to a driven mother, had a strong push from the get-go. The mountain of a man has multiple degrees in engineering and environmental technology to go along with his belts.
James “Bonecrusher” Smith might not look like your typical game show host, but he’s well-spoken like one. Smith, the gentle giant more than fits the bill. He has multiple bachelor degrees, and if contestants ever got frazzled, he’d know how to handle it better than most. Smith served in the military, was a prison guard, and is an ordained minister.
Rosi Sexton has accomplished more post-fight career than could be imagined. “The Surgeon” went toe-to-toe with some of the greats in Women’s MMA, winning some, but losing more. That didn’t stop her though. Sexton went on to become a sports therapist, is an accomplished classical musician, and has run for office in her native Britain. Like many others, she too has multiple degrees, and she’s gotten eight citations in her writings.
It might be tough to host for the next one, but it would shatter a glass ceiling. Calvin Brock had to retire from boxing after being injured by Eddie Chambers in 2007. The heavyweight never got to wear gold, but could have. After his eye surgery was botched, he had to hang up the gloves for good. Post career he’s been an inspiration and has run a couple of businesses, despite being legally blind in his right eye.
The last two are quite something. Laila Ali has boxed (with the pressure of being “The Greatest’s” daughter), hosted red-carpets, and has done just about everything one can do in life. The business degree-holding woman has acted, hosted a bunch of game shows, and has the look that Madison Avenue loves. She has a squeaky clean image and can be sassy as well.
Then there’s a fan favorite if there ever was one in Rich Franklin. The UFC Hall Of Famer spent the last years of his career alternating wins and losses. But post fighting days, he’s picked up a big win, becoming VP of ONE Championship. But he’s a lot more. He’s a former high school math teacher with a master’s degree. So he too could definitely handle contestants. And if they got out of line, he could make them stay after the show or put them in a rear naked choke.
So despite being larger than most people physically, there are some that have the “chops” for the gig. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s an unfairly untapped market because of a perception of someone who punches someone else in the face for a living.