Is John Hickenlooper Really "Battle Runner"? Jeopardy Thinks So.

John Hickenlooper already told almost all in his book.
John Hickenlooper already told almost all in his book. Danielle Lirette
The name of Colorado's governor made another appearance on Jeopardy on Friday, November 23...unbeknownst to John Hickenlooper.

The first round of that night's popular game show, now in its 35th season, included the categories "Visiting Atlanta" and "Daytime Emmys," which were much more popular with the contestants than "Governors." But when they finally got around to that column, here was the $1,000 answer:

And the question? "Who is John Hickenlooper?," of course.

Both the question and that interpretation of his name came as a surprise to Hickenlooper, who points out that "Hecken" means hedge in Dutch, making Hickenlooper mean "hedge hopper," or perhaps "hedge runner."  But Forebears, the apparent source of the Jeopardy item, stands by "battle runner," or perhaps "messenger."
Hickenlooper knew he'd been highlighted on an earlier episode of Jeopardy, as the $200 slot in "Playing Politics." The answer: "Colorado's John Hickenlooper claims to be the first brewer/state governor since this Founding Father."

The question? "Who is Sam Adams?"

Those two question/answer pairs look like rocket science compared to a 2017 episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which offered four possible answers to this question: "What former geologist, brewpub owner and mayor of Denver is the current governor of Colorado?"

The four options: John Hickenlooper, John Loopenhicker, John Hoopenlicker, John Likenlooper.

Hickenlooper also had a guest-star role on Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, when that NPR quiz show filmed in Denver earlier this year. After answering queries about legalized pot, playing pool with Barack Obama and his possible presidential ambitions, Hickenlooper got to play a special round of "Somebody Has Plans for 2020."

An appropriate category for somebody whose name might mean "Battle Runner."

Hickenlooper, who's indeed exploring a run for the White House and formed a leadership PAC in September, has said he'll determine if he's an official presidential candidate sometime after he turns over the Colorado Governor's Office to Jared Polis in January. In the meantime, the guessing games will continue.
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun