Eli Manning Shares Behind-the-Scenes Details On Penn State Video

One of the funniest NCAA Football stories of the year is undoubtedly Eli Manning’s “tryout” as a Penn State Nittany Lion, where he appeared undercover as “Chad Powers,” a long-haired walk-on:

“Powers” was an immediate success at tryouts, showing off advanced arm strength and an understanding of defenses and routes far beyond his years and experience.

Now, Manning has shared further details of how the “tryout” came to be and what reactions were like at the university.

Eli’s working with Peyton’s Omaha Productions and NFL Films on a series entitled ”Eli’s Places,” which goes in-depth on the history of college football and especially walk-ons.

He then apparently thought it would be entertaining to go through a tryout disguised as Chad Powers — and he was right.

Manning discussed the details with the New York Post, and said that only head coach James Franklin was aware of the arrangement:

“I wanted to see if the coaches would be interested in me. Head coach James Franklin was in on it, but didn’t really tell any of the other coaches.”

One of the Penn State analysts who had college quarterbacking experience was interested, but quickly realized that Chad Powers was a bit unusual compared to other quarterbacks.

Eli Manning as Chad Powers

Manning told the Post:

“By the end of it, he knew something was going on, just because of the way I looked, and how I was telling receivers what routes to run and how to run them — and I was talking some football lingo that I shouldn’t know, but knew coaches would know. I’m sure they’re not getting what ‘read’ many walk-ons are working on.”

Unscripted Comedy Gold By Eli Manning

His bit about being homeschooled and coached by his Mom was apparently an ad-lib, as he said the short had no script:

“There was no script — it was just trying to be more outrageous every time I said something.”

His incredible wig, the magnificent 1980’s inspired hairdo that cemented the “Chad Powers” persona, was secured so that it wouldn’t come flying off when running full speed. Manning explained in the Post:

“The wig was bobby-pinned pretty, pretty tight. I started sweating a bit, and it kept flying in front of my eyes, so I kept having to put my hand through it and getting it through my face. It was so tight that they told me when I revealed myself at the end that I’d probably want to take out a few of the pins first so I could get the wig off easier.”

At the ripe old age of 41, he was more concerned that the increased physical activity required during a tryout would lead to increased odds of an injury:

“I knew I could still throw — it’s like riding a bike, and you never forget how to throw a football. But it wasn’t really until that day that I was told I’d have to run a 40, do a 5-10-5, do a broad jump, triple broad jump. My No. 1 concern of that was don’t pull a hamstring. It doesn’t matter what I run, the slower the time the better really.”

It wasn’t exclusively his creation; Manning wanted to give credit to two NFL Films producers for helping with the episode:

“They put me in the frame of mind to be myself — but also see the big picture of what we want to do.”

This legitimately has been one of the highlights of the football season so far; a flawlessly executed, funny bit with impeccable acting and timing from Manning.

Who knew the Manning brothers would be some of the country’s best comedians?

With SNL turning exclusively into woke propaganda, we all need more actual comedy in our lives.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

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