San Diego Loyal coach Landon Donovan speaks to youth soccer players at "chalk talk" before the game in Jenny Craig Pavilion at the University of San Diego.
San Diego Loyal coach Landon Donovan speaks to youth soccer players at “chalk talk” before the game in Jenny Craig Pavilion at the University of San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego Loyal manager Landon Donovan will be a guest on Wednesday evening’s edition of the CBS game show “Game On!” airing at 8 p.m.

“Game On!” matches two teams of three people captained by tennis star Venus Williams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski competing in physical challenges. It is based on “A League of Their Own,” which has aired on the British pay television channel Sky One since 2010 and was originally hosted by James Corden.

Corden is among the executive producers of the American version, along with Williams, Gronkowski, host Keegan-Michael Key and Ben Winston, an executive producer of CBS’ late-night talk show “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”

“All generations of a family can sit and watch this show together and be enjoying it,” Cordon said in a conference call with reporters last month. “You don’t have to be a sports fan to love the show.”

Donovan and Ian Karmel, a co-head writer for “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” are Williams’ teammates on Team Venus. Cordon and comedian Bobby Lee are Gronkowski’s teammates on Team Gronk.

“Game On!” also includes panelists answering sports trivia questions like “Which football player cried the longest after winning a championship?” and “Which of these athletes was the largest baby when they were born?”

The challenges in Wednesday’s episode include leaping across sky-high platforms and soaring through the air while competing in a game of alley-oop. It also includes a scene in which Corden, Gronkowski, Williams and Karmel dance with the Laker Girls at halftime of a game at Staples Center.

“What was amazing was watching these two people (Gronkowski and Williams) who have performed at the absolute pinnacle of their sports completely terrified at the prospect of messing up a dance routine,” Corden said.

Williams said she “got really nervous” participating in some of the challenges, but “it was fun to get outside of your box and then if you did do well you could laugh about it because the show is about laughter, it’s about the personalities, it’s about us getting outside of our comfort zones.”

Gronkowski said the competition dubbed “Danger Sit-Ups,” which will be part of a future episode, was scary and “made my stomach turn.”

“You were hoisted up on a bungee cord to the ceiling and on top of it you were flipped upside down and then you have to do sit-ups and touch your toes,” Gronkowski said. “It was scary.”

Williams said she watched videos of the British version, which included “Danger Sit-Ups,” thought the event would be used in the American version and “started training on a slant board with a medicine ball.”

Williams called the event frightening and said she never opened her eyes.

“It’s a wicked sense of humor that James has,” Williams said.

Gronkowksi described “Game On!” as unpredictable, fun and hilarious.

“We never took ourselves too seriously,” Gronkowski said. “It wasn’t like an all-out competition. It was more of a fun, joy type of atmosphere around the competitions. That’s why I signed up for it. I love competing, but at the same time I love to have a laugh. That’s what this show brings.”

–City News Service