Fans have clamored for Peyton Manning and his dry wit to join the booth since the future Hall of Famer retired after the 2015 season.
But Manning has resisted calls to join the MNF crew, with sources telling Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson before last season that he didn’t want to be put in the position to have to criticize his brother Eli, who was scheduled for a pair of Monday games in 2019 with the New York Giants.
Green light for Peyton?
Now that Eli’s done, can Peyton be persuaded?
That’s not yet clear. Some have called for Peyton and Eli to join forces to ham it up together in the MNF booth, an experiment that would certainly be worth watching.
Peyton attended Tennessee’s basketball loss to Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday — a game broadcast by ESPN, the purveyor of “Monday Night Football.”
Peyton talks Eli, ‘Monday Night Football’
He gave an in-game interview with Holly Rowe, who put him on the spot about the talk of a tandem booth with his brother. He didn’t sound particularly thrilled about the idea.
Gracious and hilarious. Pretty great combo! Thank you Peyton Manning. Glad you got to experience Allen Fieldhouse. pic.twitter.com/mlAzN0aM4F— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) January 25, 2020
“It’d be so hard to get a word in,” Manning said about sharing a booth with his brother (1:14 above). “We’re always arguing over who’s gonna say what. I’m not sure the two of us would fit in that booth together.
“I look forward to doing some fun things with him in the fall especially that we haven’t had a chance to do in a long time. He’s at peace, so I’m happy about that.”
Manning, who’s shown his broadcast chops in memorable stints hosting “Saturday Night Live,” is currently working with ESPN “Peyton’s Places” as he puts his spin on historical NFL moments and players. So the relationship with the network is in place.
But he remains unsurprisingly coy about what’s next for him as he faces a world of options — whether his next step is in the broadcast world, an NFL front office or simply enjoying the slower pace of retirement.
There’s little doubt that if Peyton does decide he wants to do “Monday Night Football,” ESPN would clear the decks for him in a heartbeat.
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