The Monday Night Football ManningCast on ESPN is symbolic of the remote "work from home" trend

Former NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Archie Manning, and Eli Manning
Former NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Archie Manning, and Eli Manning
Son Trinh

The ManningCast on ESPN’s Monday Night Football has been a huge success. It combines the atmosphere of laid-back couch commentary from two of the more interesting NFL personalities (Eli and Peyton Manning) with a talk show format.

Each week, the ManningCast has a celebrity athlete on the broadcast who also appears remotely from their home. The alternate broadcast on MNF is arm-chair quarterbacking (literally) at its best.

The ManningCast gives fans a "work from home" feel

ESPN still has its main broadcast team on its flagship channel, while the ManningCast airs simultaneously on ESPN2. If the buzz and social media mentions are indicative, however, it seems that the alternate MNF ManningCast is popular and in demand.

Of course, the backup quarterback has always been the most popular player on the team, even if these particular quarterbacks were starters their entire careers.

ESPN treats the ManningCast like McDonald’s treats the McRib. They give you a taste but limit its appearance to leave you wanting more. ESPN and the Mannings agreed to a schedule where the alternate broadcast would occur 10 out of the 17 Monday Night Football games per year.

The Worldwide Leader in Sports (as ESPN is affectionately known) wanted Peyton Manning to host its MNF series ever since he retired from playing NFL football.

However, the demands of travel and having to call games featuring his younger brother, Eli Manning, were always things that kept Peyton Manning from joining the booth.

Once Eli Manning retired, and ESPN offered a more flexible remote “work from home” arrangement, the Manning brothers became a huge hit on MNF.

If this sounds familiar, it’s the reality for many people around the world as countries seek to put the pandemic behind them.

When quarantine life first set in, remote work dramatically increased since 2020. When quarantine restrictions eased up, many employers found that a majority of their employees preferred the flexibility of working from home.

The ManningCast is back tonight for the #Saints-#Seahawks game and it will feature Drew Brees.

Sure, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning have a lot more leverage than your average employee, but seeing the comfort of their chemistry on television from the comfort of their own homes is in its own way a representation of the increase in demand for remote work we are seeing worldwide.

Peyton Manning gets pit stains like any red-blooded, union card-carrying blue-collar worker.

In a span of 10 seconds, Peyton says, “I hate ball holders” and then Eli mocks his pit stains.

The ManningCast has plenty of celebrity firepower

As for the talk show style format, it’s a nice change of pace from focusing on the actual NFL football game that is airing. Week 1 of the Manningcast featured the likes of Charles Barkley, Ray Lewis, Travis Kelce, and Russell Wilson.

Week 2 had Hall-of-Fame quarterback Brett Favre and Tampa Bay tight end Rob Gronkowski. Week 3 further upped its prestige with guests like Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, and University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Last week during the New Orleans Saints versus Seattle Seahawks game, the ManningCast welcomed former Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, former Saints QB Drew Brees, still-in-the-league and playing-great-too Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady, and one of the greatest players in WNBA history Sue Bird.

The Manning brothers are certainly using their connections and influence to invite other auspicious athletes onto their show. It’s a dream job, for sure, with perks like working from the relaxing pleasure of your own home.

Who wouldn’t want to get paid to watch football and banter with your brother on national television?

Edited by LeRon Haire
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