If you haven’t watched the Manningcast on ESPN2 for the past three weeks, here are some of the things you’ve missed out on:

-Eli Manning talking about being flipped off by small children in Philadelphia, then demonstrating by flipping the birds on live TV asking “we can blur that out, right?”
-Peyton wearing a helmet far too small for him, and Eli mocking him for it
-Travis Kelce dropping the S bomb while talking about Patrick Mahomes
-Eli doing Dak Prescott’s meme hip dance
-A fire alarm going off and Peyton immediately blaming Eli
-Peyton visibly wanting to throttle Derek Carr after Carr takes a bad sack
-Eli teaching Archie how to text
-Eli complaining about how Archie messes with the thermostat whenever Archie visits
-Peyton talking about how the Patriots bugged the locker rooms
-Russell Wilson straight up shitting on the overtime rules
-Peyton telling Matt Stafford to his face that winning the division is the most important thing, something Stafford has never done
-Eli frequently asking questions just to start drama
-Eli mocking Peyton’s armpit sweat
-Peyton and Eli constantly being caught off guard by commercial breaks
-Peyton getting stuck on random tangents that have nothing to do with anything
-Eli confessing that he hopped a fence at 17 to almost drink and play pool with Brett Favre, but his wingman chickened out
-Brett Favre being like everyone’s grandpa on his first zoom call
-Peyton and Eli both being incredibly confused by the Raiders playcalling in OT

It hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been everything I’ve dreamed it could be. Sadly, they are taking a break now till week 7 for whatever reason, so we are sadly stuck with the regular ESPN broadcast till then. If you haven’t checked out the Manningcast, I recommend it when it starts back up. I do understand the critiques from folks who can’t tolerate it for long periods, there is no crowd noise and the Mannings can be awkward, talk over each other, and they aren’t really doing play-by-play or describing the game so much as a live DVD commentary track. If you are invested in the game being played, that could be distracting. If you are just watching on a couch, it might get kinda awkward. However, I recommend watching it roughly the same way I do: as you do something else. I am always at my desk drawing/working for the primetime games, so the broadcast is on my side screen offering BG noise. If you do something else with the Manningcast on, like folding laundry, the dishes, playing games, whatever, it offers a perfect experience. In that sense, it almost becomes a live podcast commentary on the game as it happens and you can pay attention at will. I love it, and I hope it stays this good going forward and ESPN doesn’t muck it up.

Best of all, Eli is easily the most enjoyable part. I thought Eli would be the awkward one who dragged it down since Peyton’s always had more on-camera charisma, but pairing Peyton with Eli lets the little brother in him come out, and he’s a devious little shit. Eli delivers some insight into plays too. More than you might expect from him, with Eli’s dumb face and reputation seeing him accurately describe complex routes and defensive schemes reminds you that even a guy who looks and occasionally played like a dumbass didn’t reach the highest highs of his profession by sheer accident. It’s a really great companion broadcast and change of pace from the regular stuff you get for every other game.