ESPN 2’s ManningCast, featuring Manning brothers Peyton and Eli, provides an alternative broadcast to the traditional Monday Night Football team on ESPN. It has provided an insightful, offbeat and sometimes wonderfully bizarre contrast to the traditional play call this season. And Monday’s Patriots-Bills showdown offers up their unique insight, as well as some conversation and perspective form some great guests.
When would you ever think you’d have the Manning brothers and David Letterman in your living room during a Patriots game?
Letterman, long retired from his late night show, has been a fan of the Manning brothers for ages. He’s from Indianapolis, went to Ball State University and had Peyton as a guest many times (this 2014 appearance one of the more memorable). And with Letterman’s shows based in New York City for over 30 years, he had a fondness for Eli and the Giants, featuring many players form their two successful Super Bowl appearances against the Patriots.
Suffice to say we can’t imagine he’s the biggest Bill Belichick or Patriots fan, though the coach has appeared on his program before. For the record, the Mannings have had many former Patriots on their show this season and have never been excessively critical themselves.
Aqib Talib, also retired and now providing color analysis on FOX, played with both Tom Brady and Peyton during his career. Add that insight to his often colorful, unfiltered conversation and he’s sure to provide for some engaging TV.
And Joe Buck. He’s called a couple big games, Patriots or not, in his day. So all in all a solid lineup for the Manning brothers watch-along.
Though it should be noted ratings likely won’t be too high in New England, not because of any disdain for the Mannings or Letterman, but Pats fans likely will just want to watch the game -- it’s kind of a big one.
For unique Patriots appearances involving Letterman they don’t get any quirkier than this one from 2002. Got to love live TV and the chance for things to get surreal!