In two weeks, ESPN will debut a groundbreaking alternative to the primary feed of Monday Night Football. Peyton and Eli Manning will conduct a simulcast in which they basically watch the game and shoot the bull.
And it will only be Peyton and Eli. As reported by Michael McCarthy of FrontOfficeSports.com and confirmed by Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, the simulcast will have no host.
Frankly, it doesn’t need one. Unless the third party was going to be third Manning brother Cooper, the host would have been a conspicuous third wheel.
“It is kind of like you are watching the game at a bar and me and Eli show up and watch the game with you,” Peyton said earlier this month when describing the approach of the 10-games-per-year project. “[That] is kind of the theme. We are not going to be in a booth. With my forehead and my neck, I couldn’t fit in a booth. I can fit on my couch at home and Eli can be on his couch.”
That last part was a clue. Marchand reports that Peyton and Eli typically won’t be in the same place. For Week One, however, they might be together, according to Marchand.
It will be very interesting to compare the viewership numbers for the primary and secondary feeds of the game. Those are numbers that surely will be watched all season long. And it’s possible that, in time, as many or more will be watching the Manning feed as are watching the main broadcast.