Former New York Giants quarterback El Manning, four times a Pro Bowl selection and twice named MVP of the Super Bowl, has continued to stay in the limelight with the “ManningCast.”
The 2022 NFL campaign marked a second season for the popular broadcast, which features brothers Eli and Peyton Manning watching and commenting on the “Monday Night Football” game.
The game is shown, which is a plus for sports fans but it is almost secondary as the Manning brothers have perfectly blended football talk with humor. One moment, the Manning brothers are talking about why a hitch route wasn’t executed properly and led to an overthrown ball and interception. The next moment, Eli is reminding his older brother of something embarrassing from their childhood.
Throw in former NFL players making guest appearances, and the alternate broadcast has been very solid for ESPN.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, obviously, I felt good about the idea and just the fact that Peyton and I know we could just feed off each other. We both are not sensitive,” Eli told USA TODAY Sports Weekly.
“And so, if there’s a joke out there, we know the guys are going to come after us and take a take a shot if there’s one available. I think I like the idea that, if you make a mistake, I know he’s going call me out on it before the media has opportunity to do it the next day – like it’s coming direct. If it is coming from your brother – and I’m going to take a shot – I’d rather get it from my brother than someone else.”
Eli Manning remains as relevant as ever, even now four years removed from his retirement. In early March, he partnered with The Children’s Place, a specialty clothing store, to visit pediatric cancer patients at Children’s Cancer Institute at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital as part of Tackle Kids Cancer. That afternoon, he hosted more than 300 children and their families to a spring-themed event at Superdome Sports in Waldwick, New Jersey.
The day included everything from an Easter egg hunt to playing football with Manning, center Shaun O’Hara and other former Giants. There were custom-made T-shirts from The Children’s Place for all participants.
As for the “ManningCast,” it will definitely return for 2023. While the plans are still being formed for how many games and what games the dynamic duo will broadcast, Eli is hopeful to take things up a notch.
“Nothing really been discussed yet so we have to see what games we got, who will be playing,” Eli said.
“We always try to kind of pick our guests based on who the teams are and find someone who’s a fan of one of those teams. Last year, had great guests and more, and as more people know about it, they know what they’re getting into and hopefully we’ll continue that.”
The duality of the “ManningCast” lands somewhere between bro jokes and serious X’s and O’s. The show resonated with viewers on ESPN because of the authenticity of the Manning brothers. From their ribbing to the serious football talk, the second season of the show saw continued strong ratings on ESPN2.
For O’Hara, a three-time Pro Bowler who won a Super Bowl with Eli and the Giants, the uniqueness of the “ManningCast” has made it must-see television.
“It wasn’t ‘Hey, let’s get into studio and let’s do something that everybody else is doing,’” says O’Hara, now an analyst with the NFL Network. “What Peyton and Eli are doing is what I think everybody would love to do is be on the couch and just kind of talk about what you see. So, I believe it’s been a lot of fun. “I’ve had a chance to spend time around both Peyton and Eli and just kind of see their personalities come out and I think that’s the best part about the ‘ManningCast’ … what they did to kind of showcase their relationship, the way that they tease each other and poke fun at each other but also their knowledge of the game. And I think that’s quite what they love most about the ‘ManningCast.’
“If the game is a dog, they can have fun and talk about things bringing guests. If it’s a great game, you talked about what’s happening in the strategies that are involved with that. So I think they’ve got the best of both worlds.”
This article originally appeared in USA TODAY Sports Weekly.