Like fans around the world, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is mourning the death of another AT: Alex Trebek. He even paid tribute to the Jeopardy! host, who died on November 8 after a year-and-a-half-long battle with pancreatic cancer, with a pair of custom cleats that he wore during warm-ups before the Vikings’ Monday Night Football matchup against the Chicago Bears.
Artist Mache designed and executed the cleats and posted photos of the pair to Twitter that showcase the custom designs he added to the white and gold cleats. One is a blue rectangle with the words “WE WILL MISS YOU, ALEX” handwritten in white and a Final Jeopardy! wager of $19,000, a likely reference to Thielen’s uniform number 19.
The inside of the right cleat has the three stripes Adidas logo with “trebek” in lowercase letters replacing the name of the brand. The most impressive artwork is on the inside of the left cleat, a portrait of a smirking Trebek under a halo with “1940-2020” written off to the side.
For #MNF pregame tonight my guy @athielen19 will be honoring the legend Alex Trebek who passed last week. I feel like no matter where you were from I feel like Jeopardy was a part of all of our lives in some way. 🙏 #skol pic.twitter.com/1itrgOM4M8
— Mache- that guy who does the artwork on the shoes. (@MACHE275) November 16, 2020
Thielen caught a 17-yard pass for the game’s first touchdown and hauled in a six-yard score in the fourth quarter that would prove to be the game-winner. And while he wasn’t wearing the Trebek cleats at the time—he had switched into a standard purple and gold pair—perhaps some of the Trebek magic from his pregame warmup stayed with him.
Thielen was far from the only Jeopardy! fan in the league. NFL Films put together a short film that included audio clips of players referencing the show during games, an interview with Trebek about a notorious football category that completely befuddled the contestants, and his reflection on the NFL players who’ve come on Celebrity Jeopardy! over the years.
The sweet tribute is definitely heartwarming — and a sign that Jeopardy! had a reach that went far beyond daytime television nerds.
We are saddened by the passing of Alex Trebek, one of the absolute greats.
A true icon who will be missed beyond measure.pic.twitter.com/SZaUq9oxEc
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) November 8, 2020