Fans running on the field are a guilty pleasure for football audiences. We love to see it, but the NFL and its network partners do their best not to broadcast it.
The ManningCast, however, is not your typical broadcast, nor does it partner directly with the NFL for game rights. And as the Wild West of football broadcasts, Peyton and Eli Manning decided on the fly to break protocol by airing video of an unruly fan sprinting around the field during Monday Night Football.
Insert collective gasp.
Eli: "How would you tackle a streaker? You think you'd go high or you'd go low?
Peyton: "That guy had all his clothes on. There, you just take him wherever. If he's totally naked, there are certain places you can't take him… You don't wrap up a naked guy." #ManningCast #MNF pic.twitter.com/TzIcUy4Ajm
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) October 4, 2022
“I thought we could show that,” Peyton said. “I understand the A-team couldn’t show it, but the B-team, like we should be able to show that.”
The ManningCast, which is produced by Peyton’s Omaha Productions, immediately decided to air the fan running onto the field before getting tackled by the brick wall that was Bobby Wagner.
I get why networks and the NFL have historically avoided showing fans on the field. They don’t want to encourage similar behavior, and they also don’t want to provide free advertising to a person running around with a promotional sign. But with 75,000 fans all willing to record the fan with their phone and post it on social media, where it can eventually garner millions of views, is it really necessary for broadcasts to keep censoring the audience from watching these disruptive fans?
And what’s more egregious? A fan running on the field, or a 250-pound NFL linebacker obliterating said fan? The fan shouldn’t be on the field: arrest them, ban them or whatever, but it should be on security to catch the person. If a stadium doesn’t have security who can catch the fan, then maybe increase the hiring standards for security. But after a week of outrage about concussions in the NFL, we’re now cool with an All-Pro linebacker destroying a padless, defenseless fan on the field?
If the Manning brothers are willing to broadcast a fan causing mayhem and getting rocked by an NFL star, it begs the question of what else are they willing to air on live TV? Would they allow a guest to drop an f-bomb? Would they swear themselves? Flash the middle finger? Welcome a guest who’s been accused of stealing funds from the state of Mississippi?