Sometimes it requires seeing someone outside of their natural element to understand their brilliance. Such was the case with Aaron Rodgers' appearance on Celebrity Jeopardy last night. I'm not about to anoint A-Rod as a "genius" because he won a trivia contest (let's admit, the show was "dumbed down" a bit from the usual range of categories and answers from a non-celebrity episode so as not to embarrass anybody)--but Aaron did show what makes him a great NFL quarterback even in a totally different setting.
At no point in that show did you get the sense that Rodgers was not in total control of the situation. He was by far the most relaxed of the three players. There was no fumbling for answers or ludicrous guesses because he panicked and rang in even though he didn't know the answer. You could even tell in Double Jeopardy that he was trying to find the two Daily Doubles to build up an insurmountable lead.
And that is part of what separates Aaron Rodgers from the rest of us: incredible poise under pressure. Really all three of the guys on the show last night have that. I'm sure Mark Kelly had plenty of life-threatening emergencies that he had to deal with on the International Space Station and Kevin O'Leary has had billions of dollars on the line with business deals that he had to close under a tight deadline--but you could tell those guys weren't nearly as comfortable under the lights as Aaron was. In fact, O'Leary constantly gave answers that made no sense given the category--which showed that he really doesn't listen to other people very well since Alex Trebek told them that Cities in Songs involves the names of cities in the titles of songs--and NEW JERSEY IS NOT A CITY!!
And the ultra-competitive will to win was also on display by Mr Rodgers last night as well. Did you notice that when he missed the Daily Double about Steve Wozniak (IBM? Really?) Aaron mouthed a profanity like he was mad at himself for blowing it? Everybody went home with some cash for their charity last night--but you could tell Number 12 had no intention of going home with less than the 50-grand for the MACC Fund. (I'd be willing to bet that the folks at Milwaukee's own Harley-Davidson will be in contact with Aaron about some of their fine products this week as well given the layup that was the Final Jeopardy clue).
The late ESPN SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott brought the phrase "Cool as the other side of the pillow" into the popular lexicon. I think it's safe to say that Aaron Rodgers keeps his pillows in the freezer.