ESPN and Omaha Productions are attempting their first in-earnest follow-up to the Monday Night Manningcast, pairing Joe Buck and Michael Collins for four days of the PGA Championship.
They’re also ceding the first hour of coverage time tomorrow and Friday to the effort at 1 PM Eastern on ESPN before moving things over to ESPN2 at 2 PM.
As expected, the guest list is filled with A-listers likely to appeal across the spectrum; if you’re somehow reading this post on a site focused on sports media news and can’t find someone you’d be interested to see chopping it up for a bit in a relaxed format we’d be really surprised.
That’s not to say you’d be excited for everyone here, but when the list includes Peyton and Eli themselves, along with two of the most universally beloved sports broadcasters working today in Scott Van Pelt and Doris Burke, plus athletes like Ken Griffey Jr., Travis Kelce, Michael Phelps, and J.J. Watt, you’re probably going to like at least somebody on that list.
Thursday, special guests join @Buck & @ESPNCaddie for the debut of ESPN's #PGAChamp alternate telecast
? Peyton & @EliManning, @JJWatt, @tkelce
⛳️ Fred Couples
⚾️ Ken Griffey Jr.
? @notthefakesvp, @heydb pic.twitter.com/yNUxqKuM8y
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) May 18, 2022
It’s honestly refreshing that the list isn’t too golf-centric, too. That’s not what this broadcast should be about; and as we saw with the Manningcast on Monday nights, having people from other sports discussing the action was actually one of the usual highlights.
It’s hard to imagine this being something people would want to sit down and watch for entire days of coverage. Unlike football, which is more naturally segmented with breaks and timeouts, golf is much more freeform.
But as an alternative option, to swing over for a break from main coverage or even if you’re just looking to watch an hour or so of golf and also want to know what SVP thinks from the grounds at Southern Hills or hear Doris Burke talk NBA postseason with Joe Buck while Jon Rahm tries to tame Southern Hills on the same screen, it’s a good thing to have.
Most of all, it makes the PGA Championship seem like an even bigger event, something that it needed more than any other men’s golf major.