When Peyton Manning retired, every sports network tried to hire the future Hall of Famer. But Manning decided not to take a weekly commentary job, and has instead landed at ESPN in a less arduous role.
ESPN announced that Manning will host and write an NFL version of Detail, the ESPN+ in-depth show produced and hosted by Kobe Bryant. On the show, Bryant breaks down and analyzes NBA players, plays, or games in extreme detail. Unlike a studio analyst or a color commentator who may be limited by time constraints, Detail gives the host a much longer platform to break down details and give more meaningful analysis that not only educates fans, but also other athletes, potentially making them better by watching and absorbing what’s being said.
Manning and Bryant shared some quotes about the expansion of Detail in an ESPN release.
“I’ve always enjoyed talking football with coaches, players and passionate fans, and that’s at the core of this show,” said Peyton Manning. “I’m honored to help expand Kobe’s Detail to a football audience.”
“The concept behind Detail is centered around helping athletes get better, so it made perfect sense to expand the show to other sports,” said Kobe Bryant, founder of Granity Studios and Executive Producer of Detail. “Peyton was my first call to be the NFL athlete due to his unrelenting preparation and study of his craft. The next generation of football players will learn first-hand how one of the greatest players of all time objectively breaks down a game. It’s the ultimate film session for anyone who wants to learn and improve.”
Bryant’s production company Granity Studios will be involved, and Manning will host and write eight episodes, the first of which debuts on October 18. In the premiere, Manning breaks down Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Rosen’s performance against the Minnesota Vikings from this past Sunday.
There will also be a second season of the NBA-focused Detail, once again hosted by Bryant, premiering at an unannounced future date. Also, ESPN announced the launch of a UFC-focused Detail, likely premiering sometime in 2019 when ESPN’s new deal with the UFC begins. Earlier this year, Bryant hinted that Detail could expand into future sports, and today, that’s happened.
Now that Manning is becoming an analyst for a network, it’s natural to speculate what the future might bring. Manning may not have wanted to become a game analyst at first, but hosting Detail could be a smoother transition, and could warm him up to the idea of becoming a game analyst – specifically on Monday Night Football. I’m sure ESPN would have no problems making room for him, especially given Jason Witten’s continued underwhelming performance on MNF with Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland.