The days sandwiched between the end of the NBA season and the beginning of the NFL season are the dog days of sports reporting. It’s a time when networks and publications latch on to the NBA Draft and free agency period, the MLB trade deadline, NFL camps, and really anything that can get a reporter through the day. First Take is never one to miss an opportunity to start the silly season early, and Tuesday was no exception as they discussed the topic “Will Arch Manning surpass Peyton, Eli & Archie to become the greatest Manning yet?”
If you are keeping score at home, or at a specific family reunion near New Orleans, let’s take a quick look at the credentials. Peyton Manning is a two-time Super Bowl champion and one of the top 5-10 quarterbacks to ever play the game. Eli Manning is also a two-time Super Bowl champion whose legendary playoff runs are cemented in NFL lore. Archie Manning is the patriarch who architected the familial football dynasty and was a dynamic signal-caller in his own right relegated to what was at the time considered football purgatory in the Bayou. Arch Manning, however, just wrapped up his sophomore year in high school.
“Peyton Manning was like the most excellent player who ever lived until it mattered most and then Eli was the best,” Max Kellerman lobbied while breaking down Peyton, Eli, and Archie’s attributes. “He may have all of that in him. He doesn’t have to be the best at each category, just mix it all up in there.”
It is a topic that did not go unnoticed by the sports media. Many writers and talking heads had the same conclusion: it is nuts to be talking about this right now.
For context, Arch is by all accounts an elite prospect at this point in his high school career. He’s had eyes on him since middle school due to his highly-publicized surname, with his Isadore Newman football games broadcast on the ESPN family of networks in recent years. He is the No. 4 overall player in the country by the 247Sports composite for the 2023 class, including the No. 1 quarterback in the class. While his recruitment is being played close to the chest, the options he is reportedly considering at this early stage are Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, SMU, and Texas along with his mother’s alma mater in Virginia, and his father, uncle, and grandparents’ alma mater in Ole Miss.
The recruiting machine and the content machine are two that seemingly are never-ending. Though, contemplating whether or not a kid who has yet to attend his junior prom is destined for greatness surpassing his legendary family members seems like at least one of those machines may have a loose cog in it.
Peter King: ‘Tom Brady Needs To Study Cris Collinsworth’
“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is.”
Peter King dedicated a not-insignificant portion of his “Football Morning in America” column this week to advice for Tom Brady. FOX announced last week that the Buccaneers’ quarterback will become the network’s lead NFL analyst upon his retirement.
Brady’s decision and his reported salary have been the source of much speculation and prediction amongst his soon-to-be colleagues.
King is optimistic that Tom Brady will be entertaining and informative when he makes his FOX debut. He did offer the GOAT a little bit of advice about what he should be doing in the months leading up to calling it quits on his playing days and starting his new career.
“I think what I’d do if I were Brady is study Cris Collinsworth—and honest to goodness, I don’t say that because I work for NBC,” he wrote. “I say it because Collinsworth knows how to talk X’s-and-O’s conversationally, he’s an easy listen, and he can criticize when the time comes.”
Interestingly, last week, Collinsworth says he hears from most former players that are getting ready to make the jump to broadcasting. He was surprised he never heard from Tom Brady before FOX announced their deal.
King had two other suggestions. The first was that Brady watch multiple games from start to finish so that he can hear what the give-and-take between a broadcaster and analyst sounds like. The other is that he has to commit to being interesting and not censoring himself. King has faith that Brady will be able to do that.
“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is. On that LeBron James show last year, Brady said, ‘Ninety percent of what I say is not what I’m thinking. There’s a part of me that doesn’t like conflict, so in the end I always just try to play it super-flat.’ That has to end once he’s on TV if he wants to be any good.”
Nick Wright Critical Of ABC Crew As Giannis Antetokounmpo Struggles In Game 7
“He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo started hot in Game 7 on Sunday. By the time the game ended though, the Boston Celtics were on their way to Miami for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and the defending champions were headed back to Milwaukee.
The Celtics’ defense gave the Milwaukee Bucks fits in the second half. The ABC broadcast put a special spotlight on Antetokounmpo, who got multiple drives to the basket that he could not finish.
“The best has got to show up when the best is needed, and Giannis has been disappointing,” said Mark Jackson over a package of highlights of Giannis missing shots. “As great of a player as he is, given credit to the Celtics’ defense, but he has struggled offensively time and time again.”
Nick Wright of FS1 noticed and he didn’t appreciate it. He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.
Mike Been, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy were not particularly hard on Giannis. The trio made the typical comments we hear when things aren’t going a great player’s way.
Wright did not harp on the issue beyond the single tweet. The outcome was not in doubt as the clock winded down. He gave credit to the Celtics rather than tweet about the Bucks or Giannis.
Stephanie McMahon: WWE Is A Better Advertising Investment Than Sports
“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys.”
Everyone knows that professional wrestling is scripted. The storylines, the outcomes of matches, all of it is predetermined. But in the eyes of WWE, that’s what makes their product so different, and better than traditional sports.
WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon told Deadline that when it comes to pitching advertisers, sports entertainment allows room for a range of different approaches to make something work.
“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys,” she said. “We have a leg up on sports. … You may object to what we do, but you’re never going to be bored.”
McMahon added that WWE has a much easier process in dealing with sponsors. Everything is handled in-house.
“We own all of the IP,” she said. “When brands deal with us, they just deal with us. We create something together.”
WWE is coming off a positive Q1 earnings report, which had the company up 27% in total revenue. Its two weekly primetime shows, Monday Night RAW and Friday Night SmackDown, continue to do well in ratings, and all special and pay-per-view events, in addition to its streaming platform WWE Network, are all housed on Peacock.