Peyton Manning Living Vicariously Through MNF QBs Is The Best Part Of The Electric Manning Bros. Broadcast

peyton manning monday night football


Other than Brett Favre, Peyton Manning was my favorite player to watch when I growing up. I found the machine-like nature of Manning’s brain, and therefore the Indianapolis Colts’ offense, to be simply mesmerizing. It was like watching a computer download and process information in real-time. Manning won his second and final ring with the Denver Broncos when I was in college, and despite being a shell of his former dominant self, it was a much deserved second ring that further validated his career as one of the all-time greats.

It’s now, somehow, already been five years since Manning’s retirement, with the former Colts and Broncos great now immortalized in Canton in the Hall of Fame. And although he has taken on an entirely new profession as a broadcaster/TV host (Peyton’s Places on ESPN+), he’s once again on his way to becoming one of the greats in the space, as the Manning Brothers’ Monday Night Football telecast — largely carried by Peyton and his unrivaled football knowledge — has been nothing short of a revelation just two weeks into its existence.

Yes, Eli Manning’s ribbing of his big brother’s giant forehead — and his general, always-underrated laidback vibe — has been hilarious every time it happens, and yes, the guests — from Gronk to Pat McAfee to the aforementioned Brett Favre — have added some spice to the show, but when it comes to the program’s greatest strength, it’s unquestionably Peyton’s investment in the success of the quarterbacks to such an extent that he appears to be living vicariously through them.

Given the immediate and massive success of the Manning Brothers simulcast, it’ll be fascinating to see how ESPN handles the pair going forward. Personally, despite how much I’ve been enjoying the commentary, I would still prefer to see them paired with a traditional broadcaster to fill dead air. Literally, that’s all he does. Asking Peyton to both commentate, keep guests engaged (*cough Gronk cough*), AND give analysis is asking a lot. With a traditional broadcast in the mix, Peyton could be free to do what he does best while someone else is tasked with getting Gronk to say more than “Yeah, totally, dude.”

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