Eli Manning deftly turned a question about preparing for his television gig into a brand promotion.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP is already a master pitchman and media pro.
Manning has stayed busy since retiring from the NFL following the 2019 season. He’s part of the successful Manningcast on ESPN. The 10-game “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Manning” drew rave reviews and the package runs through 2024. Season 2 of “Eli’s Places” debuted last month on ESPN+ and “The Eli Manning Show” on YouTube is back for a second season.
So, how does Manning get ready for work now as opposed to his playing days?
“Well, I think it’s important just to stay connected and stay involved and to watch as many games. That’s really why I rely on Verizon 5G ultra wideband,” Manning said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “Whether I’m at home, I can stream the games there. When I’m on the road, doing other commitments, traveling, at some of my kids’ games or driving them places, I can pull over. … I can be in the chair. I can still watch the final two minutes of a game and see all the highlights.
“So just be able to stay connected, having a fast, reliable internet connection with Verizon 5G gives me that. I think it’s just about keeping up with everything going on in the football world, which I’m used to. That’s what I did while I was playing, keeping up with other teams. And, that’s what I love and what I’m passionate about.”
Manning wasn’t known for his personality during his 16 seasons with the New York Giants. Now that he’s behind the microphone and in front of the cameras, he’s shown to be witty, entertaining and engaging. Viewers enjoy his back-and-forth with older brother Peyton.
“I think that’s the unique thing about our show is that we’re both pretty willing to put ourselves out there to get made fun of,” Eli said. “I’m almost kind of setting myself up like, hey, I’m gonna throw the alley-oop, and you’ve got to put it away now. I think that’s what makes it fun. We’re not sensitive. We know what our weaknesses are. We know what we can get made fun of, and we’re fine with that. We are brothers. We know we love each other. But, it’s kind of that locker-room, brotherly love and appreciation where we can take jabs at each other and not get offended.”
Eli doesn’t miss opportunities to poke fun at himself. The Giants placed a plaque above his old locker and finally assigned it to another player — defensive lineman Nick Williams — this season.
“I went through there earlier in the year and my locker was actually still there, like helmet, shoulder pads, shoes,” Manning said. “I was like: ‘Y’all gotta get rid of this.’ You can’t have a guy who’s been retired going into his third year and his locker is still here. It’s just weird. The players don’t even know who I am. Some of these guys, they’re young and we gotta get rid of that. So they finally got rid of it, boxed up all this stuff and shipped to me. But having the plaque there is pretty cool.”
Manning is eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2025. Peyton was a first-ballot selection. Eli ranks 10th on the all-time list with 366 touchdown passes, ninth with 57,023 yards passing and was a four-time Pro Bowl pick. He was 117-117 in the regular season, but 8-4 in the playoffs and twice beat Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
“That’s really not something that’s on my mind,” Manning said. “I watch the ceremony, see the guys that go in every year. It’s fun now to watch it because it’s a lot of guys that you played against and you competed against and you have great respect for. I enjoy it. I appreciate all the people and recognize the importance of it and what a great honor it is for those people that are going in. But, it’s not something that I’m worried about or it’s on my mind.”