What a brilliant idea. Lane Kiffin wants the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli, to call the Tennessee-Ole Miss game.
The Mannings provided the NFL content we didn’t know we craved during Monday Night Football. The two former star quarterbacks did a simulcast of the Las Vegas Raiders-Baltimore Ravens game. It’s one of 10 games they’ll cover this season. The simulcast, which also featured big-time guests, was exactly like it would be if you watched an NFL game sitting on the couch beside an All-Pro quarterback.
Lane Kiffin is the coach at Ole Miss. And he quote tweeted a post from Reddit’s college football account earlier Wednesday, petitioning ESPN for the Manning brothers, aka the Manningcast.
Lane Kiffin wrote: “Come on @ESPNCFB give the people what they want.”
Lane Kiffin Knows There’s a Big Rivalry Between the Manning Brothers and College Football
Peyton Manning was the quarterback for Tennessee from 1994-97. Eli quarterbacked Ole Miss from 2000-03. Both won Super Bowl titles in the NFL. No doubt, the wise-cracking brothers would have a fierce rivalry when their old schools played each other. Circle your calendar for Oct. 16.
The Manning brothers were big hits on social media Monday night. Peyton Manning got out a dry erase board and drew up plays. The brothers told so many behind-the-scenes stories. And a lot of their banter concerned predicting plays. It was like sitting in a clinic for coaches. Former linebacker Ray Lewis was a guest in the first half. In the second half, Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson joined the telecast. Archie Manning, their father, even got a message to Peyton — stop scratching your head.
Manning Simulcast Didn’t Pull Great Numbers
But although Lane Kiffin and others loved the Mannings, the viewers didn’t make the switch from the normal MNF crew. The game was shown on both ABC and ESPN and it drew an audience of 14.5 million viewers. The Manningcast, on ESPN2, had an audience of 800,000.
The TV numbers for the opening weekend of the NFL saw a big spike. According to the Hollywood Reporter, each broadcast window from Thursday through Monday averaged 17.4 million viewers. Those totals also included viewers who watched on digital platforms. That was a seven percent increase from the opening weekend of games in 2020.
In terms of total minutes watched, the Hollywood Reporter said that the NFL posted its best opening weekend in five years. Viewers watched a collective 23.2 billion minutes of NFL games. That’s up almost two billion from 2020.
So let’s get back to Lane Kiffin and his suggestion for the Manning brothers to call the college game. His Twitter followers loved the idea.
One suggested that the Manning women get involved, including Olivia Manning, the mother of Peyton and Eli. “I want a Manning Family reality show,” one fan wrote. “I want to see Olivia and her daughters-in-laws mix it up with the Manning men.”
And another changed the name of MNF. It’s now Manning Night Football.
So we agree. Good call, Lane Kiffin.