Peyton and Eli Manning are less than two weeks away from making their Monday Night Football broadcast debut as a part of ESPN’s new megacast. The two brothers and former NFL quarterbacks will take to the booth together with an array of guests for 10 weeks this regular season on ESPN2.
The Mannings will be without a traditional host of play-by-play person when the broadcast does air this fall. However, that was almost not the case.
According to Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated, two people auditioned for that host-like role on the Manning’s broadcast this year. Both are well-known personalities in the NFL broadcasting world: Good Morning Football’s Kyle Brandt and ESPN’s Mina Kimes.
Traina reported that Brandt and Kimes both did well in their auditions, but ESPN decided to move forward with just the two Manning brothers after a test run during the preseason.
“Both reportedly performed very well, but on Aug. 23, Peyton and Eli called the Jaguars-Saints Monday Night Football game without a host as a test,” Traina wrote on Tuesday. “The brothers apparently knocked it out of the park and convinced ESPN and Peyton’s Omaha Productions that a host wasn’t needed.”
Brandt and Kimes are both entertaining and very knowledgeable, so it would’ve been great to see them alongside Peyton and Eli. Nevertheless, the Manning brothers are still expected to put together a great supplemental product to ESPN’s more traditional broadcast.
Only two people auditioned to be host of the Peyton and El Manning “Monday Night Football” alternate telecast. https://t.co/Zv6bgwv7f0
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) August 31, 2021
The Manning brothers both know plenty about the game and should be able to bring in a different type of insight when they’re together in the booth. Fans will surely want to check out their debut in a few weeks, but the challenge for ESPN will be to keep viewers coming back for more week after week.
Peyton and Eli will conduct their first broadcast on Sept. 13 when the Raiders take on the Ravens.
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