The ManningCast remains the gift that keeps on giving. Whether they’re letting people know you shouldn’t throw the ball to the ref, dealing with fire alarms, teasing one another about play-calling miscues, or dealing with Gronk in real-time, Peyton and Eli Manning have been entertaining audiences during Monday Night Football the last two weeks.
One of the best parts of the ManningCast has been the interplay between the two former NFL quarterbacks, especially when telling stories from the playing days. One in particular about the New England Patriots during Monday’s Detroit Lions – Green Bay Packers broadcast certainly stood out.
It’s no secret that the Patriots have been accused of cheating in myriad ways over the years, but the alleged attempt that stands out the most is Spygate, in which they allegedly secretly recorded multiple opposing teams. They were even fined a whopping $1.1 million (and lost draft picks) over their illegal video recording of the Bengals, even though Bill Belichick and the team denied ever using the footage. You know when there’s a whole Wikipedia article dedicated to it, it was a big deal.
All of which is just a preamble to Eli and Peyton’s discussion on Monday night. Eli brings up that the Patriots used the Indianapolis Colts’ facilities in the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVI (which they lost to Eli’s Giants). And that’s when Peyton says that not only was he concerned but he was pretty sure his locker was bugged.
“Every time I played against New England, I used to talk to my receivers in the showers. Don't talk about a play next to my locker because I know it's bugged.”
Peyton Manning on when the Patriots used to come to Indy ?
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) September 21, 2021
Eli: “That second Super Bowl in Indianapolis, they practiced at your facility all week. Were you a little nervous going back in your facility the next year that they’d have cameras in your quarterback room.”
Peyton: “Every time I played against New England, I used to go and talk to my receivers in the showers in the far corner. I’m like, ‘Don’t talk about a play next to my locker because I know it’s bugged. I know it’s got a hot mic in there.’ We’re in the shower. Very strange to see seven guys hanging out back there in the shower but take all precautions…”
It’s a little hard to tell if Peyton is being 100% serious or just leaning a bit into the well-known jokes about the Patriots’ cheating. Given what we know about his competitiveness and desire to win (and beat the Patriots), it’s not hard to imagine Manning doing all of this even if he wasn’t sure that kind of thing had happened.
Peyton on the Packers-Lions telecast: “Eli, I feel like our conversation the other day was bugged, kinda like when we play the Patriots back in the day.” ??
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) September 21, 2021
Absolutely wild that Peyton has held court for like a few minutes on how he thinks the Patriots bugged locker rooms
— Arif Hasan, football season enjoyer ? (@ArifHasanNFL) September 21, 2021
One thing we do know for sure is that they are going to have a field day with these comments tomorrow on WEEI.