The ManningCast (or Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli, as ESPN calls it) alternate broadcasts on ESPN2 have become known for their guests from within and outside the NFL world, including David Letterman, LeBron James, Al Michaels, Tom Brady, Marshawn Lynch, and more. Tonight, on their final broadcast of the 2021-22 regular season, they’re continuing that tradition, inviting everyone from Aaron Rodgers (seen above during Sunday’s win over the Vikings) to Snoop Dogg:
Back Monday on ESPN2 – at EXACTLY 8:13pm ET. pic.twitter.com/X7c6aVpVze
— Omaha Productions (@OmahaProd) January 1, 2022
This one could be interesting on several levels. On the media front, Cowher’s known for his NFL on CBS analysis (since 2007), but he still carries plenty of connections to the Steelers, who he coached from 1992-2006. With them playing in this game (and also with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger potentially set to retire after this season), his thoughts should be interesting. Goodell also says some interesting things from time to time, and it will be notable to see him in a conversational format like this. Snoop Dogg always has some humor to bring to broadcasts (although it’s unclear if he can ever top his 2006 Hockey Night In Canada interview), and it will be notable to see Rodgers in an environment outside The Pat McAfee Show, which has been an excellent place for him to air his views without much questioning. (Rodgers’ appearance also may lead to further discussions of if there is a ManningCast curse, depending on his subsequent performance.)
In its first season, the ManningCast has been a significant success for ESPN. Yes, it’s not at a point where it’s even remotely challenging the main MNF broadcast’s numbers, but it’s brought in remarkable numbers for an alternate broadcast. It’s also managed to take away a lot of the highly-active Twitter audience that might otherwise be criticizing the main broadcast. So it’s notable that there’s uncertainty over its future, whether that involves an Amazon play or Peyton taking an ownership stake in the Denver Broncos. While there are certainly plenty of ways this show could return next year, this is the last regular-season ManningCast we’re assured of. And it’s likely to be an interesting watch, especially with these guests.
[Omaha Productions on Twitter; photo from Dan Powers/The Appleton Post-Crescent, via USA Today Sports]