I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that last night's Manningcast was the highest rated one to date. At least among people who don't have a deeply vested, emotional interest in how the AFC East race is shaping up. The game itself was the football equivalent of a boxing match where the two fighters clutch and grab and throw inside body blows at each other. The only touchdowns came on short drives off turnovers in enemy territory. There weren't a lot of Fantasy points to be had. The public wants to see bombs thrown, not the 1947 Army-Navy game. So I have no doubt that tens of millions chose to liven up the proceeds watching TVs two most celebrated brothers grabassing with each other. Especially now that we're down to exactly zero Cuomo brothers on the air.
Which means that a substantial portion of the football-loving public got to hear this. Peyton telling us how he reached out to Mac Jones to ask the rookie's opinion of this breakdown Manning did of his play. Only to get ghosted for two full days. Then be told by Jones that he never checks his phone during the week because, essentially, he doesn't have time for everybody's bullshit when he's got games to win.
You know, your typical 23-year-old. And just when I think I've found yet another reason to love this kid and the team he quarterbacks, the story continues:
Source - Peyton Manning has spoken to every quarterback before every game he has worked for ESPN, in the first year of the Manningcast on ESPN2. Every quarterback but one.
Peyton explained during the first quarter of last night’s Patriots-Bills game that he did not get access to Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones.
“He was very respectful, he said, ‘Peyton, I want to do it, but can you call our P.R. director Stacey [James], because he kind of has to oversee all things?’ I said, ‘No problem.’ I called Stacey, he was very professional, I said, ‘Stacey, I’m talking to Coach Belichick. Can I talk to Mac Jones?’ I gotta tell you, I appreciate how they’re handling Mac Jones. They are trying to protect him, give him as few off-the-field distractions as possible, let him concentrate on playing football.
So, yes, I did get denied. It was the first quarterback I haven’t talked to. But I appreciate it."
I love it. God help me, how I do love it so.
Manning: "Hi Stacey. I need to prepare for the Manningcast. So what do you say I talk to Mac Jones?"
James: "Hi, Peyton. Mac needs to prepare to beat the Bills. So what do you say you go fry ice?"
OK, not in so many words. I've dealt with this organization and Stacey James himself and I'm sure it was the most polite brush off you'll ever hear. But it was a brush off nevertheless.
Finally, the Exalted One gets shot down by somebody. The coolest kid on the NFL campus. America's Sweetheart. Mr. Infallible. The man who never gave a terrible playoff performance that was his fault. It was always his defense or his "idiot kicker" or the Patriots pushing his receivers around unfairly. The man who took the occasion of winning a second ring in his final game to humbly and sincerely thank his loved ones who made it all possible. Those supporters being Budweiser and Papa John, who he literally kissed first.
At long last, somebody told this universally worshipped deity to go piss up a rope because our quarterback has bigger things to worry about. Namely, he had to practice because his running backs weren't going to hand themselves the ball 46 times. And maybe all the other QBs in the league can get all doe-eyed and moist every time this godlike figure deigns to turn his mighty gaze upon them from his throne upon Mt. Olympus. But Mac Jones is all business.
So keep moving, cuz. I'm sure next week Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray will swoon at the attention from this sacred icon. There's work to do around here and no one's got time for that nonsense.