Videos by OutKick
The reason ESPN2’s ManningCast works is because you have Peyton and Eli Manning just shooting the breeze and being regular people.
More and more of the sport’s audience is tired of so many nauseating, over-the-top productions and glitz and glam; sometimes you just want people to be REAL. Fans enjoy when the broadcasters are reacting like a viewer at home is who is drinking some beers and watching the game would.
Case in point, during Monday Night Football’s Green Bay Packers victory over the Los Angeles Rams, the ESPN2 broadcast came back from commercial break and went to a fan dressed in the stands as Gumby.
That would be enough for anyone to be like “Ha! Gumby,” in a passing comment.
And when Gumby starts drinking? That’s even more awesome and gets a couple chuckles.
But as Gumby starts pounding a beer… through his EYE?! Well hell yeah we’re all going to talk about it. And the fact that it was Peyton and Eli reacting? I mean come on now.
Personally I found the costume drinking fascinating. I always wondered how someone wearing a costume is able to eat or drink. Figured they always had to take the costume or mask off. I was wrong. The fact that this particular Gumby enjoyed a nice cold one through his EYE? Love to ahem, see it.
THE MANNINGCAST FEATURES A VARIETY OF GUESTS
The ManningCast has helped set a new precedent regarding live broadcast options. Fans don’t always want the X’s and O’s, traditional play-by-play calling. Sometimes, you just want a more laid back approach.
The success of the ManningCast allowed ESPN2 to also launch the “KayRod Cast” featuring Alex Rodriguez and Yankees television play-by-play broadcaster Michael Kay. Pat McAfee had a number of college football alternate broadcasts on the channel as well this year.
Both of the ESPN2 “Casts” regularly have various celebrities, musicians, and athletes on to discuss the game or just to crack some jokes. Unlike Al Michaels’ Thursday Night Football hell, if the Monday Night game is boring at least Peyton and Eli can kick back and have some laughs and joke around with the likes of a McAfee, Charles Barkley or Jerry Seinfeld.
Or even a cursing Marshawn Lynch who received not one, but two FCC complaints during his ManningCast appearance. LOL.
THE MANNINGS ARE BECOMING POP CULTURE STARS
The Manning brothers are perfectly transitioning from only being NFL Hall of Famers to now pop culture stars. Peyton has already taught us about “chicken parm you taste so good,” in his Nationwide commercials. He also recently hosted the CMA Awards with Luke Bryan to positive reviews. And his younger brother Eli isn’t too far behind.
I mean hell, Eli Manning is now friends with Pete Davidson of all people. The two recently began creating a new video content series and are now hanging out. I’ve even been advocating that Eli and Pete need to star in an upcoming sequel of “Step Brothers.”
I predict we see more alternate broadcasts in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a similar pattern of how so many television shows now have the same sports debate of “1 vs 1” with a moderator in the middle. However, I’d caution doing too many of them because it will definitely get played out. Personality is everything with the alternate broadcasts. Everyone can’t do it or make it interesting. But we know how media executives are – the minute they see someone else do something they want to immediately climb on board.
So far, the alternate broadcasts work with the Manning brothers as well as KayRod Cast. Both are a really good watch.
Because who doesn’t want to tune in and hear two Hall of Fame quarterback brothers ripping on each other, sharing professional insight on what’s happening in the game, and yes even being mesmerized by a drunk Gumby in Green Bay.