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Whom Do You Choose? Eli or Peyton?

Manning Night Football (“Manning Cast” on ‘Monday Night Football’)

For those interested in professional football broadcasts, Peyton and Eli Manning provide real-time commentary and analysis this past on Monday Night Football on ESPN. The game certainly provided exciting overtime as the Raiders from Las Vegas defeated the Ravens of Baltimore. It appears the objective of this new format is for two former NFL quarterbacks to provide a terrific insight into what occurs on the field either before the play or after it happens. Said differently, this broadcast gives the appeal of a few buddies at the bar discussing the football game in real-time, except that the Manning brothers are speaking to you.

Both brothers were good and entertaining, although there were a few productions gaffes but nothing a little more rehearsing couldn't fix. Peyton has a Type A personality so he loves to provide so much insight throughout the game. Eli is more laid back and picks his spots; he can be sassy and snarky but does so with a smile -- a very warm appeal. The dialogue between them was engaging although several guests they brought into the broadcast seem to stifle the natural chemistry between the two brothers. Regardless, either former player has no issue with wearing the self-depreciating hat -- that approach where they laugh at parts of their past game gaffes or peculiar things about their looks or personality. They are so relatable and this segment is among my favorites of this broadcast.

I don't know if it's official, but the Manning-Manning commentary for 10 weeks this '21 season should be called 'Manning Night Football'. This year, the broadcasts only occur on ESPN Monday Night Football. Will this venue evolve? Who knows, will they extend to other days of prime time NFL? And, will other former players follow their lead? Anyway, with that generic sounding title, that provides them flexibility in case they want to expand to other days and with more possible broadcast partners.

Watching several clips from the game during their commentary, my curious mind wonders who I would choose if I had that choice -- Eli or Peyton? This decision may be based on net income, football accomplishments, age, personality and physical appearance.

If you look at championships, both Eli and Peyton each have 2 titles. However, Peyton played in 4 Super Bowls and Eli was 2 for 2 regarding his two appearances.

Peyton has many of the all-time football records, something that Eli didn't get close to. Peyton was also more often in the spotlight as one of the all-time greats. I believe Peyton had more overall success with the Broncos and Colts, where Eli, despite the 2 titles, had many up and down seasons while with the New York Giants who ended up with the same amount of losses as wins (116 versus 116). (One other interesting note about Eli's career, he never tied as a quarterback for the Giants.)

If you look at the hair, it's a slam dunk for Eli. They don't look alike, Peyton resembles Archie Manning and Eli resembles his mother, Olivia Manning. Despite the unfamiliar looks, eventually Eli will join Peyton with a bust in Canton later this decade. If a man could judge another man's looks, I'd vote Eli over Peyton all but one day a week -- perhaps on Sunday. Besides their appearance, both brothers are football nerdy, but with Peyton’s expressions and mannerisms, would be king in that department.

On the challenging side of the broadcast, both Manning's missed an obvious 4th quarter out of bounds play that was called in bounds and in overtime, assumed the Raiders had scored a touchdown without spending a second or two on the actual replay which showed otherwise. I don't expect them to always have "eagle eyes" but it appears at times they were not completely focused on a given play. A little more focus on the actual action might help.

Regarding Peyton and Eli, many are charmed and entertained by Peyton's personality and sense of humor but let’s not forget about what Eli brings to the table – he may end up surprising people with his understated cute perspective. He too has a bright future in this business and appears he’s been groomed to accept the challenge. Besides, Eli can be laid back during the broadcast and pick his spots to provide commentary. Also, if you look at their age, Eli is 5 years Peyton’s junior so that’s another advantage. And one other positive, Eli has all his hair!

I'll record their broadcasts from now on. It's not something you have to view live, you can learn just as much later on just listening to their unique perspective. This is a new paradigm -- former quarterbacks talking through a game from their unique view and the ability to bring the interested fan more into what actually is being said and done in real-time on the NFL gridiron.

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