First quarter update: The ManningCast is off to a great start. Marshawn Lynch appeared in the first quarter, saying he was coming on after three shots of Hennessy. And then we got a few moments of swearing that just seemed perfectly appropriate.
The NFL will close out Week 7 on Monday with a primetime affair between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks. It’s a big game for both teams, but for the neutral observer, this week’s Monday Night Football broadcast something arguably more important: the return of the ManningCast!
For those that don’t know, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning are offering an alternate broadcast of ten MNF games this year. The Manning brothers ran their alternate broadcast in Weeks 1-3 and are now returning after a three-week break. The traditional MNF broadcast airs on ESPN and the ManningCast runs on ESPN2, with both starting at the 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff.
If you’ve been watching the ManningCast, you’re likely plenty excited about its return. If you’re new to the ManningCast, you should enjoy it. The traditional broadcast isn’t bad, but it’s the same thing we get from most football coverage. The ManningCast is entirely different and original. The show features Peyton and Eli in their respective residences analyzing the game, but also offering alternatives to the normal staid broadcasts that have become the normal. They crack jokes like only siblings can, and they also bring on guests each quarter to talk football, make jokes, and generally have a good time.
The guests range from current players like Russell Wilson, Rob Gronkowski and Chris Long, to former players like Patrick Willis, Ray Lewis, and Pat McAfee. They mix in non-NFL folks as well, with people like Charles Barkley and LeBron James joining in, and even Nick Saban making an appearance.
This week, the Manning brothers will welcome Drew Brees. While Brees is clearly a smart guy, his work on the NBC pre-game show can be a bit underwhelming. The brothers have done a good job getting the best out of current and former players who might not always be the most charismatic. Russell Wilson was one of the best guests this year when he came on for the fourth quarter and overtime of a game earlier this year.
It will be interesting to see how Drew Brees comes across in his discussions with the Mannings. When the group gets into the nitty-gritty of football, it offers a much different approach to broadcast coverage than we usually see. This should be another fun one.
We’ll have a full rundown of the four quarters worth of guests once they come available.
UPDATE: Peyton Manning’s production team released the four guests for Week 7. They’ll have Marshawn Lynch in the first quarter, Tom Brady in the second quarter, Sue Bird in the third quarter, and Brees in the fourth quarter. That is quite the combination of talent and should offer some fun insight throughout Saints-Seahawks on Monday night.