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Bill Simmons on ManningCast: ‘I Swore I Would Never Talk To Eli Manning’

“If you had told me this was gonna happen 15 years ago I would have thought it was a punishment.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The Ringer founder Bill Simmons was a guest on the ManningCast on ESPN on Monday night, and both Peyton and Eli made sure Simmons didn’t forget that the New York Giants will always have the New England Patriots number in the Super Bowl.

Simmons is a Patriots super fan, and of course Eli, who helped the Giants beat New England in three Super Bowls, needed to make sure that was a primary topic of discussion.

“I always swore I would never talk to Eli,” Simmons joked. “If you had told me this was gonna happen 15 years ago I would have thought it was a punishment.”

“It’s Super Bowls my team didn’t win,” he added.

Eli said he had a fun stat for Bill that he was being fed in his ear by one of his researchers. Both Peyton and Eli were a combined 5-1 against future hall of fame quarterback Tom Brady in championship games.

“The thing is, we owned Peyton for the first half of the 2000s, and then in 06 you flipped it on us!” Simmons responded.

The helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII is one of the most iconic plays in NFL history, and the play was again one of the primary points of conversation. Simmons asked Eli what his favorite hold on that particular play was, insinuating that in the midst of Manning avoiding being sacked and heaving a deep pass to David Tyree on New York’s game-winning drive there were multiple uncalled penalties on the Giants.

“(Tyree) holding the ball on his helmet was my favorite hold,” Eli responded.

Simmons did say he thought that Brady would not be retiring at the end of this season, and that he believed there was potential Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Brady would reunite for one more season. Simmons wondered what it ultimately was, despite winning six championships together, that drove Brady out of town.

“Did Brady get tired of Belichick?” Simmons asked. “Was it just like, 20 years and he needed a break out of it?”

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Peter King: Sean McVay Wants to be a Star, ‘Not Just Some Guy on TV’

“I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

Jordan Bondurant

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L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay will remain at his post for the 2023-24 season. The team tweeted that news Friday afternoon, seeming to, at least for now, put the rumors of McVay leaving coaching for a TV job to rest.

ProFootballTalk’s Peter King wrote in Football Morning in America on Monday that McVay understands the kind of position on television he’s looking for may not necessarily be there for him.

“I don’t think that was the only thing about TV that appealed to him, but I don’t think McVay was interested in being Just a Guy on TV,” King wrote. “I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

King noted that McVay has been told to “Do what makes you happy” by folks with the Rams. He also said he believes coaching is what Makes McVay happy. Especially with a chance to shake up his coaching staff and being involved in trying to bring the team back from a 5-12 season in their follow-up campaign to winning the Super Bowl.

“He wants to be challenged, and this staff wasn’t doing it,” King said. “Offensive coordinator Liam Coen may not have been what McVay wanted in an OC—a coach who would challenge him and bring new ideas to him—and that could be why he’s going back to the University of Kentucky as a coordinator.”

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Lisa Salters Makes Monday Night Football History Completing 11th Season on Sideline

“Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Monday night’s Cowboys/Bucs wild card playoff game set a new milestone for ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

The network tweeted that Salters completed her 11th season in that role. That makes her the longest tenured reporter in Monday Night Football history.

Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.

“When I first got the call to do Monday Night Football, I would have never thought that 10 years later I would still be doing it,” Salters said last year in a video reminiscing on ten years on Monday Night Football. “I was at home and I got a phone call from my boss Vince Doria and he said, ‘Hey, I was wondering if you would be interested in being a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football‘, and I couldn’t believe what he just asked me.”

Salters is also featured on network coverage of the NBA, something she’s been doing since 2005.

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Sports TV News

No Conspiracy Behind ESPN Monday Night Playoff Game Selection

“The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN has only carried NFL playoff games on Monday night for two seasons but has been a part of wild card weekends dating back to the 2014-15 campaign.

With the exception of one season, a 4-seed versus 5-seed matchup has always been covered by the Monday Night Football broadcast team in that stretch of nine seasons. That continued with Cowboys/Bucs this year.

In 2021-22, with the NFL expanding the playoff field to seven teams, the first Monday night playoff game was played. The Rams cruised past the Cardinals 34-11.

Last week, the decision was the source of much speculation. TV executives shared a number of theories about why ESPN landed the game that had the most star power in the Super Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post wrote that no speculation was necessary. The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience. The new format, the games that have a likelihood of altering seeding for the divisional rounds have already been played.

The 4/5 games this weekend proved to be pretty entertaining. The Jaguars rallied from down 27 to beat the Chargers. Al Michaels and Tony Dungy were ripped on social media for how they called a particularly exhilarating game for NBC. So it turns out Joe Buck and Troy Aikman would’ve called either one of the weekend’s best games.

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