Peyton Manning Peyton Manning entertains the audience during the 2021 Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. Kns Hall Of Fame

Peyton Manning is joining Mike Tirico and Kelly Clarkson to host NBC’s Paris Olympics opening ceremony this summer.

NBC made the announcement Tuesday night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. While the news was just announced, Andrew Marchand of The Athletic reports NBC and Tirico began pursuing Manning for the gig last May at the Kentucky Derby. And if you’re just now reading the news and thinking, “Peyton Manning is a weird choice to be featured in NBC’s Olympics coverage,” don’t worry, he had the same thought.

“I kind of argued with him as to why he and NBC thought I was worthy,” Manning told Marchand. “He said they were bringing in Kelly Clarkson to kind of give the perspective of a fan and wanted me to share the perspective of what these athletes are thinking about it.”

It seemed like something might be up with Manning and the upcoming Summer Games last September, when the quarterback-turned media mogul landed on a giant flying baguette in a commercial to promote NBC’s coverage of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France. Six months later, Manning’s involvement in NBC’s Olympics coverage is coming to fruition.

Manning is an odd athlete choice to pair with Tirico for the event considering he never competed in the Olympics. Clarkson similarly has not competed in the Olympics or in any sport at a high level for that matter, although the competition on American Idol can certainly be pretty tough. But Manning does bring star power to the broadcast, he can at least try to offer the athlete’s perspective, and it does seem like everything the former quarterback touches in the media turns to gold.

For Manning and Tirico, NBC is doing what Fox failed to do in 2018 when it sought both announcers for its Thursday Night Football broadcast that ultimately landed on Joe Buck and Troy Aikman pulling double duty. Six years later, Manning and Tirico will partner in the booth. Only it will be at the Olympics instead of NFL games.

[The Athletic]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to