The ManningCast success story is well-documented at this point. Even if it’s not a rating juggernaut, the Monday Night Football alternative broadcast has spawned a dozen imitators (at least) since its debut last season and has become a go-to stop for celebrities and football personalities to chop it up with Peyton and Eli Manning during what is usually a pretty dull football game.
Much of the success of the broadcast has been given to the banter between the Manning brothers, with Eli emerging as a particular standout thanks to his playful banter and ability to needle big brother Peyton perfectly. However, don’t think that any of the accolades he’s received are making the younger Manning brother consider something bigger in the world of football broadcasting.
“It’s enough where I like the weeks off when I don’t have a game because you have to plan your week a little bit,” said Manning. “You have to watch film. You say I’m going to watch one game, but that’s one game of Chicago’s offense and a game of their defense and it’s a game of New England’s offense and their defense, so it’s like watching four games just to get one game watched. A lot of it is listening to some voicemails I have.
“Peyton will watch maybe a different game, so he will give his analysis and I’ll kind of listen to that. We speak the same football language. I have Kevin Gilbride, my old offensive coordinator, break down the films also and give some analysis. Having a production meeting, Peyton and Eli get on the phone a good bit. It keeps us close, but maybe also good that we don’t go every week.”
Don’t think that means Eli isn’t enjoying the broadcast, as well as the evolution of his post-playing career into other media roles, such as Eli’s Places on ESPN+.
“I’ve enjoyed it. Just doing projects that I truly enjoy and I like. Doing places where it’s about college football and the history of college football and gets to reflect on my time in college and talk to other athletes, football players, coaches that I grew up watching or seen their games or have personal relationships with,” said Manning. “Doing Monday Night Football, it keeps me in the game of football. It keeps me preparing and watching film and getting to talk with coaches and current players in the preparation for the upcoming games and also get to have some fun interviews.”
Even though he’s on your TV screen during MNF, don’t assume that Eli considers himself a broadcaster like Al Michaels or Mike Tirico. In fact, he’s very firm in the nation that he’s not and he never had any interest in becoming one.
“It was not the gameplan,” said Manning. “It was actually the total opposite. When I retired, I said I have zero interest in getting into broadcasting. I don’t want to do it. I would be horrible at it…I don’t consider myself a broadcaster. I’m just sitting on my couch, making fun of Peyton.”