Since the passing of TV legend Alex Trebek last year, several celebrity guests have stepped up to fill his role as host of “Jeopardy,” the long-running trivia game show. One of the hosts was NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and while it was delightful to see Rodgers go from the gridiron to the “Jeopardy” podium, watching him made me think of what other athletes, specifically NC State athletes, would be good hosts. Here are my picks for the NC State athletes that would make the best hosts of “Jeopardy.”
5. Jade Parchment - Volleyball
A veteran star for the NC State volleyball team, Jade Parchment would serve up some trivia as “Jeopardy” host. She has been named to both the All-ACC Team and the All-ACC Academic Team, so she definitely has the brain-power to be the host, and she has a great personality, so she would make “Jeopardy”fun for both viewers and contestants.
4. Tanner Ingle - Football
In “Jeopardy,” you have to use your head, and there’s no NC State football player who quite literally used his head more in the 2020 season than Tanner Ingle. The defensive back was called for three targeting penalties, which is when a player lowers his helmet and hits another player in the head, each time resulting in his disqualification. All jokes aside, Ingle brings a lot of energy to the football field, and if he were to bring that same kind of energy as “Jeopardy” host, viewers would be in for a treat.
3. Hayden and Trent Hidlay - Wrestling
There has never been an episode of “Jeopardy” in which two people host at the same time, but if it were to ever happen, the Hidlay brothers would be worthy candidates. Both have been named to the All-ACC Academic Team and are All-Americans, balancing school and athletics exceptionally well. Plus, they are both familiar with the TV screen as they were featured as the subjects of an episode of the ACC Network’s “All Access: The ACC Life.”
2. Manny Bates - Men’s Basketball
Towering at 6-foot-11, Manny Bates would be a sight to behold as “Jeopardy” host. The big man would surely be the tallest person to ever host “Jeopardy,” but his fun-loving personality would make him a great host. He is always cordial in postgame interviews and gives honest answers. Hopefully as “Jeopardy” host, Bates wouldn’t have to reject contestants’ incorrect answers as often as he rejects the shots of his opponents.
1. Elissa Cunane - Women’s Basketball
People call her “Big Smile” for a reason: Elissa Cunane is one of the nicest, most cheerful student-athletes that NC State has to offer, and she would be a great host of “Jeopardy.” She is known not just because of all she does on the court, but her personality off the court as well, smiling every time she’s on TV and giving great postgame interviews.
That hasn’t gone unnoticed as Cunane was recently awarded the Caulton Tudor Award, which is given to the Triangle college athlete that is most cooperative with the media. Plus, Cunane has the brain-power to be “Jeopardy” host as she has been named to the ACC All-Academic Team. That combined with her genuine on-screen personality would make “Jeopardy” quite enjoyable.