|Peyton and Eli Manning have been hosting a show on ESPN2 during the broadcast of Monday Night Football on ESPN. It it, these two future fall-of-fame quarterbacks casually chat about the game while making brotherly fun of each other, and they invite a series of guests to chat and joke with them. All of it is done remotely, which adds some technical difficulties and audio hiccups. It's not traditional sports coverage, with play-by-play and in-depth analysis. It's more like watching a game with a friend you haven't seen in a few weeks. You watch the game here and there, but it's not really the focal point.
Here's my take: This is the best sports show in the modern era. This is must-see TV. It's made even better by its haphazard schedule, which wasn't weekly and seemed to follow no pattern at all. You have to look for it, or better yet, stumble upon it. The guests are varied (athlete, coach, broadcaster, comedian, musician), and the remote nature of it means we're watching people in their homes, on their couches, wearing around-the-house clothes. It's very intimate, but at the same time completely comfortable. One guest did fake broadcaster commentary (he was a real broadcaster); another guest dropped an f-bomb. I'm not sure what the censors thought of that, but I think it added to the casual nature of it all. They interview current players and show old footage of their bloopers. They bring up unflattering pictures of their guests as kids. The comedians and musicians they interview are just there for fun; they're not promoting anything. It's a breath of ridiculously fresh air.
Monday Night Football, and really any primetime sporting event, is usually pretty boring. It's an arbitrary matchup, it's late at night, it's slow-paced and full of commercials. The ManningCast is the perfect antidote to that. It's funny, it's simple, and it all happens directly alongside the traditional primetime broadcast. Just brilliant. #sports