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Why Alex Trebek isn't a Manchester United fan

Monday 24th June 2019
Spoiler Alert: This is a parody. Even Jeopardy doesn't have the correct answers for what ails Manchester United.
Spoiler Alert: This is a parody. Even Jeopardy doesn't have the correct answers for what ails Manchester United.

Announcer: This. Isn't. Jeopardy. Tonight we have a special Manchester United edition as the club prepare for the 2019/20 campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Let’s meet our contestants. Tom is a pipefitter and United season ticket holder who lives in Burnage and never misses a match at Old Trafford.

Tom: That’s right and going to the matches mean I see things other so-called United supporters don’t and that’s why I’m going to win this.

Announcer: Deepak is an attorney who practices contract law in Mumbai.

Deepak: [rolls eyes at Tom] Nice to be here, Alex.

Announcer: Harriet is a housewife from Boston, Massachusetts who’s been married to a Liverpool supporter for 28 years.

Voice in the audience: [shouting] You’ll never walk alone, baby!

Harriet: Oh, my god. I told him not to do that.

Announcer: Good luck, everyone.

Alex: Thanks, Johnny. Alright contestants, let’s play Jeopardy. Tom, will you start?

Tom: [after a derisive glance at Harriet] Okay, Alex. I’ll take Centre-backs for $200.

Alex: United are rumoured to have offered Leicester City £40 million for Harry Maguire. [buzzer sounds] Harriet, you buzzed in first.

Harriet: [with a derisive glance back at Tom] What is ‘this should be a Daily Double because the Foxes won’t let him go for less than twice that?

Alex: That’s right! The board is yours, Harriet.

Voice in the audience: Wuhoo!

Harriet: [blushing] Pogba Rumours for $200.

Alex: If he’s so obsessed with Real Madrid, let him go. [buzzer] Harriet.

Harriet: What is ‘the midfielder told reporters in Japan he was thinking of a new challenge’?

Alex: Yes! [pausing for another outburst in the audience] Choose again.

Harriet: Pogba for $400.

Alex: Maybe, but half those goals were from the spot. [buzzer] Harriet again.

Harriet: What is ‘2018/19 was the Frenchman’s career-best season with 16 goals and 11 assists’?

Alex: [waiting]

Harriet: '…across all competitions'?

Alex: That’s what we were looking for. It’s still your turn.

Harriet: [sighs with relief] Pogba for $600.

Alex: The manager who claims Pogba plays best when he is happy. [buzzer] Wow, Harriet. You’re quick on the trigger finger.

Voice in the crowd: Don’t I know it?!

Alex: [chuckling] Go ahead.

Harriet: [blushing even more and glaring into the audience] Who is Didier Deschamps?

Alex: That’s him. Where to next?

Harriet: Let’s switch it up and go with Ed Woodward for $200. [A bell chimes]

Alex: You found the Daily Double. You have $1,200. How much do you care to wager?

Harriet: Let’s make it a true Daily Double, Alex.

Alex: That’s the spirit! [Holds up card for effect] The answer is ‘£4 million’.

Harriet: [looks lost as she tries to think of the answer]

Alex: [after waiting] Five seconds. Care to guess?

Harriet: [shrugs just as buzzer sounds]

Alex: Ooh, I’m sorry. That drops you back to zero. The question is open to the other contestants. [buzzer] Deepak?

Deepak: What is ‘Too much to pay a glorified marketing consultant to make football decisions’?

Alex: Correct! You’re on the board and have control.

Someone forgot to tell Ed you can't phone a friend on this show.
Someone forgot to tell Ed you can't phone a friend on this show.

Deepak: I’ll take right-backs for $1,000.

Alex: Looking to kill off the game rather than sit back and absorb the pressure? That’s what United fans want to see in their squad, too. The answer is ‘A defensive specialist whose limited attacking skills just make him a younger Ashley Young when United could use a Trent Alexander-Arnold or Kyle Walker. [buzzer] Harriet, there’s still lightning in your thumb.

Harriet: Who is Aaron Wan-Bissaka?

Alex: Correct again. [Another cheer from the audience] You’re back in the game. Which category would you like?

Harriet: Ed Woodward for $1,000.

Alex: Well, the competition is heating up. The answer is ‘£100 million’. [buzzer] Deepak.

Deepak: ‘What is United’s transfer budget this summer?’

Alex: Ooh, I’ll need to check with the judges on that answer. [Cocks head, puts a finger to earpiece] No, I’m sorry, that just isn’t enough. You’re back to zero.  The question is open to the other contestants. [buzzer] Tom, we finally hear from you.

Tom: Just waiting on Fergie Time, Alex. What is ‘If that’s our transfer budget how will we sign Antoine Griezmann or Matthijs De Ligt?’

Alex: Yes! You’re tied with Harriet and the board is yours.

Tom: [nods condescendingly at Deepak and Harriet] I’ll take #GlazersOut for a $1,000.

Alex: The answer is ‘Roughly £1.25 billion’. [buzzer] Tom?

Tom: Oh, please. Can’t you make it more difficult? What is the money the Glazers have siphoned out of the club?

Alex: No, no, I’m sorry Tom but it hasn’t been nearly that much. You’re back to zero again. [A different buzzer sounds]. Ah, our time is running out. Deepak, do you care to give it a shot to get you back on the board for final Jeopardy?

Deepak:  What is the opening bid for the club from the Saudi Crown prince?

Alex: Ooh, no. I’m sorry, Deepak. There hasn’t been any bid or even confirmed interest in purchasing the club from the Saudi royal family. Since you and Tom are both at zero, that means-- [buzzer] Harriet, you needn’t answer. You’re the only one with any money. If you just remain calm and don’t panic, you’ll win the game.

Harriet: [ignoring Alex] What is ‘How much the club could have spent on top stars if the Glazers were willing to open their chequebooks and back the club properly?’

Alex: [wearing gobsmacked expression] No, I’m sorry, Harriet. That’s incorrect. You’re back to zero again.

Voice in the audience: [choked cry of pain]

Alex: In reality, that is the amount the club did spend on transfers since the Glazers completed their takeover in 2004/05 even if they haven't done much with it since Fergie and David Gill retired. Oh, dear. It seems that the three contestants wasted their money and have nothing to show for their efforts either.

Voice in the audience: What did I tell you, Harriet?!

Alex: [over the sounds of a melee breaking out in the studio audience] For the sixth year running, there won’t be a Final Jeopardy on our Manchester United special. To be honest, I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever crown a champion again. I’m sorry. Good night, everyone.

Football Fixtures
Manchester United News
Martin Palazzotto

The former editor of World Football Columns, Martin contributes frequently to Stretty News and is the author of the short story collection strange bOUnce. He has appeared in several other blogs which, sadly, have ceased to exist. He is old and likes to bring out defunct. Although football is his primary passion, the geezer enjoys many sports and pop culture forms. Expect them to intrude upon his meanderings for It's Round and It's White.


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