Peyton Manning and Eli Must Be Stopped -- a Very Real Curse Is Proven With Their Vidcast

Peyton Manning and Eli Must Be Stopped -- a Very Real Curse Is Proven With Their Vidcast

The retired Eli and Peyton Manning make for great viewing, but horrible career decisions.

ESPN has tapped into something special and inoffensive for a change, a unique result on the woke sports authority. For years, the network has insisted on shoehorning woke culture, highlighting activism in sports, all while chasing off some of the favored talent or at least fun personalities. So when they manage the rarity of providing a hit we should recognize it. On select Monday nights, while they host the usual Monday Night Football on ESPN-2, they provide a satellite program involving the Manning Brothers, and it is sheer enjoyment.

It was actually a no-brainer to team up the retired brothers but it has become a rare case of exceeding expectations. The duo has many unscripted moments where their sibling chemistry shines through, in a more than casual atmosphere where they banter and haze each other for our benefit. If you have missed their shows you have missed out. It is a pure fun way to watch the game.

As much of a pleasure as their show has been, it turns out — there is a dark side.

In the professional sports universe, there are rituals undertaken in religious fervor and other behaviors that players are supposed to steer away from, lest they negatively impact their playing time. While emotionally-driven fans believe certain activities undertaken in the home imbue their team’s fortunes, players might be even more superstitious. The term “no-hitter” cannot be spoken aloud when a pitcher is in the midst of blanking their opponent. In the NHL, some players do not touch the conference championship trophy because the real goal is to obtain the Stanley Cup

There are also a number of curses attached to sports, many of which are specific to franchises but there are a couple of generalized curses attributed to widespread misery. Sports Illustrated was long thought to deliver one if they ever featured a player or team on the cover in a way not reporting on an already accomplished feat. Teams highly touted would lose, or players glowingly featured would soon incur an injury or a career downturn. In recent years a newer one emerged in video games — any player featured on the cover of the new release of Madden NFL. Note, Odell Beckham Jr. has not been an impact player since.

Well, it turns out the Mannings have developed a curse of their own. It turns out that on all six of their broadcasts, when an active player has joined their show, they have lost the following week. It was a curiosity initially but I can report, after seeing it firsthand, there is a legitimate cause of concern. Their first broadcast featured Travis Kelce of the Chiefs. Week-2 saw Seahawks QB Russel Wilson join the bros. Teammates Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski also visited on separate weeks. Then in week eight Buffalo Bills star Josh Allen came and had fun with the duo. I took a weekend trip to the other corner of the state to watch Allen play the Jacksonville Jaguars, and I can attest he did not have as much fun. 

AP/Reuters Feed Library

It was a game of oddities, where the Bills not only lost but did so without the top-flight Quarterback even getting them to the endzone. One fan told me it was the first home victory in 2 years. They made their first field goal of the season in the U.S. (The only kicks made were against the Dolphins in London.) As for kicking, there was a sequence where the Jaguars took three consecutive field goal attempts, due to penalties on both teams, and managed to miss on all three of them.

NFL history also took place, when for the first time ever, a player got a sack tackling his own name, as the Jags saw linebacker Josh Allen take down the star QB. Josh Allen also intercepted a Josh Allen pass, and when Josh Allen fumbled it was recovered by — Josh Allen.

How do you make sense of any of that except to point to a legitimate dark curse attached to a show of pure levity?

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