Do you know who the Mannings on Mondays might be good for? Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick, who are ESPN’s main broadcast crew.
While it may be counterintuitive that Peyton and Eli’s mostly positive reaction for their ESPN2 MNF debut would be a boon for the main team, the brothers take the focus off Levy, Griese and Riddick. That may sound like an insult — it’s not — but it may help them maintain their jobs long-term.
First off, it allows the trio to grow together. Last year, under the spotlight and with the restrictions of the pandemic, they were rookies and, while not amazing, did somewhat stabilize MNF. This year, the Mannings are taking the shine, which can give them a chance to just do a game – and not try to overdo it. This has been a problem for ESPN’s main booth for years; especially when it had poor games.
Plus, while the trio is being paid well, I doubt ESPN, at least in the near term, is going to be eager to spend big for outside help on the main booth when it is getting nice buzz by paying the Mannings millions to do jazzed-up Zooms.
The MNF booth has been a revolving door for years. It is a spotlight game, even if the matchups sometimes don’t warrant it.
If you are trying to grow and establish yourselves, having the Mannings take attention away is not the worst thing if you want a long run. It might just be the best thing for Levy, Griese and Riddick.
Papa Clicker says that Leigh Montville’s “Tall Men, Short Shorts” is a combination of the stories of the 1969 NBA Finals between the Celtics and the Lakers and the author’s introduction to the world of sports writing as a young reporter at the Boston Globe. The book highlights the roles of Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, among others.
This well-written book is a worthy read earning a very strong 4.4 out of 5 clickers. If you don’t believe Papa Clicker, you can trust Mike Vaccaro, who is featured on the book jacket, recommending it.