Cam Newton became one of the most recognizable stars in the entire National Football League this past season. Being one of the most popular players in the most popular sport in the United States should generally equate to being one of the most recognizable people on the planet. But don’t tell that to Anderson Cooper, Lara Logan or Michael Steele. The three broadcast journalists did not endear themselves to sports enthusiasts, Carolina Panthers’ supporters or fans of Cam Newton on Tuesday night’s episode of Celebrity Jeopardy.
Cooper, Logan, and Steele competed as part of the 2016 Power Players edition of the hit game show, embarrassingly missing on one of the night’s easier clues. Collectively, the three contestants exposed their lack of sports knowledge despite Cam Newton catapulting himself into becoming the face of the league this past year. You can check out the video of the hilariously cringe-worthy moment below, as reported by the Daily Snark.
To their credit, Anderson, Lara, and Michael are not paid to know stats, as trying to figure out what Panther quarterback threw for over 4,000 yards in his rookie season in five seconds might not be the easiest for some. Perhaps if the answer were phrased differently, like “This NFL quarterback made dabbing en vogue, en route to his MVP season with the Carolina Panthers,” perhaps one of them could have come up with Cam Newton. But the fact is they openly admitted that “we don’t do sports” and maybe not.
Newton’s meteoric rise to super-stardom led to endorsement deals from Under Armour, Gatorade, Microsoft, and Dannon, not to mention an appearance in Super Bowl 50. Cam signed a five-year deal with Carolina in 2015 worth over $100 million, and his sponsorship deals raked him in $11 million last year, according to Fortune. Still not enough to get some love from three of the most-watched television personalities out there.
Anderson Cooper was the most experienced contestant out of the three. The CNN anchor and 60 Minutes reporter was competing on Celebrity Jeopardy! for the fourth time, winning multiple times in the past. But it was Lara Logan, also of 60 Minutes fame, (despite the lighthearted ignorance of Cam Newton and sports in general) who pulled out the victory on this night, taking home nearly $10,000 in winnings and an additional $50,000 which will be donated to her charity.
Michael Steele, who served as the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee from January 2009 until January 2011, appeared to have a lot of fun despite not knowing Cam Newton either. Logan was playing for the Committee to Protect Journalists, Cooper for Spike’s K9 Fund, while Steele represented Catholic Charities Mona Center.
The Power Players edition of Celebrity Jeopardy! features prominent figures from the political media realm all this week. On Monday, CNN’s S.E. Cupp was a runaway winner in the first episode over author Jonathan Franzen and Meet the Press host Chuck Todd. Wednesday will feature CNN’s Kate Bolduan and Jonathan Capehar, as well as comedian Louis C.K. ABC dedicated an entirely separate mini-site to the mini-event, as Sunny Hostin, Ana Navarro, and Al Franken battle on Thursday, while Matthew Weiner, Melissa Harris-Perry and David Gregory round things out on Friday. No word on whether Cam Newton will be among the topics during the remaining games.
Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers lost the Super Bowl, of course, and afterwards, the MVP made a mockery of his media availability, mostly refusing to answer questions about the game. The hope is that those 10 minutes did not tarnish an otherwise outstanding season that put him in the lexicon of most recognizable athletes. Unless, that is, you’re on Celebrity Jeopardy!
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