‘Sports Jeopardy!’ Host Dan Patrick on New Show: Sports Fans Will Get Humbled

“It’s serious. It’s game on,” the longtime sports broadcaster tells TheWrap

Last Updated: September 24, 2014 @ 11:39 AM

Sports fans who spend hours watching games from their couches are in luck because there’s a new quiz show designed just for them.

Hosted by longtime sportscaster Dan Patrick, “Sports Jeopardy!” is produced by Sony Pictures Television and premieres Wednesday on Crackle and all Crackle platforms.

“I always want a question that has a meaning to it,” the radio personality and Emmy-winning host for NBC Sports told TheWrap.

New episodes of the show, which attracted more than 30,000 contestants at auditions across the U.S., will be available to stream on demand year-round every Wednesday for a total of 52 episodes each year.

TheWrap talked with Patrick about his new role, his main takeaway from “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek and more.

Also read: ‘Sports Jeopardy!’ Host Dan Patrick on NFL Scandals: The NFL Will Rebound Because We Have Games

TheWrap: Congrats on the new gig hosting “Sports Jeopardy!” But I’ve got to ask, how many jobs can one man have?
Patrick:
I guess that depends on the day, or the week, or the month, but I have to keep busy. I was in between jobs for six weeks when I left ESPN, and I never want to have that feeling again. I just sat around. I keep working, and I’m glad I have the opportunity to have these jobs.

Can you give our readers a tease as to who is part of the “great starting lineup” for the debut?
I don’t know if I’m allowed to … give a spoiler alert there. So I have to toe the company line there. But I will say, we have video clues with personalities, which is fun. The categories are great because the people who make up the clues … it’s kind of fascinating to see what they do and how they do it. These are hard questions and clues. We had 30,000 people sign up; we took 160. So it’s fun, it’s challenging … and when these people get under those bright lights on the “Jeopardy!” set, it changes everything.

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Will the show be similar to “Stump the Schwab,” the former sports trivia quiz show on ESPN?
No. In fact, I asked “Jeopardy!” people if they would hire Howie Schwab, and they were kind enough to do that. So Howie’s been a consultant on “Sports Jeopardy!” If we’re gonna do it, I wanna do it great. I want the right people in there, the right questions, and we’ve created sort of a man cave for “Sports Jeopardy!” on stage. This is “Jeopardy!”; it’s not like “Stump the Schwab,” where it’s one guy challenging Howie with Stuart Scott asking questions. This is categories, Double Jeopardy!, Final Jeopardy!, so it’s serious. It’s game on.

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For those of us who think we’re God’s gift to sports trivia, I’m sure we’ll get put in our place with this show.
(Laughter) You get humbled. I even asked Howie this, “How many do you think you know?” We thought we knew about 80 percent. Howie is the most knowledgeable sports guy I’ve ever been around. And for him to know 80 percent … you’re gonna know some, and there are gonna be some where you go, “I have no idea.” And that’s the fun part.

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Give me your top go-to sports stats — you know, some impressive barstool fodder for diehard fans out there.
I always want a question that has a meaning to it. I even say that to the “Sports Jeopardy!” clues crew: Come up with things that are fun and there’s meaning to it. I have too many (stats). If we were having a beer, I’d probably come up with 15 of them. But I don’t walk around with trivia in my head. I bring up the 1927 Yankees, and they’re the greatest lineup ever. If you can peel off the starting lineup of the ’27 Yankees, then you’ve got my attention.

With the show debuting soon, have you sufficiently picked Alex Trebek’s brain on hosting duties?
He helped. He was very kind. He gave me the type of pen that you use that doesn’t make a noise when you’re marking up the categories. He said, “Have fun.” He said the one thing he probably didn’t have enough of when he was starting was fun. And if you do, the audience will have fun with you. He even makes a cameo in one of the “Sports Jeopardy!” shows, which was awesome. So he’s all in. It’s nice that he was available and amenable to what we’re trying to do. Thirty years he’s been doing it. It’s hard to do anything for a steady period of time, and to do it for 30 years is really incredible.

In part one of TheWrap’s conversation with Patrick, the “Sports Jeopardy!” host shared his thoughts on the current state of the NFL.