The ManningCast entered into wacky new territory Monday night.
There was little suspense and little star power as the Seattle Seahawks routed the New York Giants 24-3 at MetLife Stadium without Taylor Swift in the building. But on their alternate ESPN2 telecast, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning served up Will Ferrell and shouts of “meatloaf!’’
For the uninitiated, here’s what you need to know:
In the movie “Wedding Crashers,” Ferrell plays a small role but delivers a memorable scene. It involves him luxuriating in the basement of his parents’ home and bellowing, “Hey, ma! The meatloaf!’’
Fast forward to ManningCast on Sept. 27, 2021, when during the Dallas Cowboys’ 41-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, Peyton Manning read a tweet that said, “At this point, I’m like 80 percent sure that Eli currently lives at home with his parents.' "
Eli Manning replied, “Ma! Meatloaf! Meatloaf!’’
A little more than two years later, during the second quarter of the game between the Seahawks and Giants, Ferrell joined the ManningCast and was asked to evaluate Eli Manning’s impersonation from 2021.
What ensued was the famous comedian and actor instructing a Hall of Fame quarterback on how to yell “meatloaf.’’
— NFL (@NFL) October 3, 2023
“There’s some rage behind it,’’ Ferrell said, letting loose a “meatloaf!’’
After another attempt by Eli, Ferrell said, "Why’d you drag it out like that. Just bark it."
Meatloaf had hijacked the ManningCast before Eli Manning said with a grin, “My Mom’s starting to come down here. She’s freaking out. She doesn’t know what’s going on."
Why would John Madden have been proud?
Peyton Manning provided commentary that John Madden would have been proud of on the first series of the game. The Giants faced fourth-and-1 at the Seahawks 27-yard-line. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones took the snap and surged forward.
“That guard’s got to get his hand more on the butt,’’ Peyton said. “He’s got to get up in there a little more. He’s not pushing hard enough.
Said Eli: “He didn’t get a push."
"You gotta push the right butt cheek." - No Context Peyton Manning pic.twitter.com/3eo56FT4xC
— Omaha Productions (@OmahaProd) October 3, 2023
Of course the commentary devolved, with Peyton pointing out that there were three players lined behind the Giants quarterback and two should have pushed a butt cheek and the third player should have gone “down the middle.’’
But it was a moment to build on for a telecast that includes countless references to “Cover 2s,’’ “Cover 3s’’ and even “Cover 4s’’ and other excessive football terminology.
Again, Peyton had the right idea when the discussion turned to Seahawks defensive back Jamal Adams. Eli noted Adams would be in the nickel spot.
“By saying the nickel spot, he’s actually replacing a linebacker,’’ Peyton said. “He’s playing in the linebacker position as a fifth defensive back, hence the word nickel.’’
A little more detail from Peyton, and the ManningCast viewer was properly oriented.
Believe it or not?
The Mannings' second guest was Shaun O’Hara, Eli Manning’s trusted center with the Giants from 2004 to 2010. It turns out that O’Hara had an issue with perspiration, which led to an exchange between the former teammates.
“To say that you are a sweater is an understatement,’’ Eli said. “So at halftime of these football games, I’d make you change your pants at halftime. Of course your cleats are taped and spatted, so you couldn’t take off your shoes and take off your pants. So you had to lay on your back legs in the air and they’d get trainers and equipment guys to take your pants off … to get new paints on.
“It’s easy to get them off, it’s hard to get new pants on over shoes. Did you enjoy that experience?’’
Replied O’Hara, "Yeah, no, not at all. I’ll you who really didn’t enjoy it was Eddie Skiba, our assistant equipment manager. He had the poor misfortunate of having to take my sweaty pants off, take the sweaty pads out of those. … my cleats are spatted, so it’s like you got to pry them off. All so that Eli didn’t have to throw a wet ball."
Peyton & Eli remember the legendary Coach Buddy Teevens. pic.twitter.com/uljJLKhMsp
— Omaha Productions (@OmahaProd) October 3, 2023
Paying tribute to 'true role model'
In the final minutes of the ManningCast, Peyton and Eli offered a touching tribute to Buddy Teevens, the longtime Dartmouth football coach who died Sept. 19 from complications from a bicycling accident he had six months earlier.
Monday’s ManningCast was the first since the death of Teevens, who for years ran the Manning Passing Academy for high school players every summer. The Manning brothers got to know Teevens when he was coaching at Tulane in the 1990s.
“We lost one of the great people of all time,’’ Peyton Manning said, noting that Teevens eliminated tackling from practice at Dartmouth – a measure to reduce the incidence of concussions – and hired women, including two who became NFL assistant coaches.
“A true role model,’’ Eli Manning said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ManningCast: Will Ferrell yells 'meatloaf'; Buddy Teevens honored