Al Michaels was the star of the 49ers-Rams Manningcast of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”

Fifteen years ago, ESPN sold famous announcer Al Michaels to NBC for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a long-forgotten Mickey Mouse precursor.

Last night Michaels returned to Monday night football, although on ESPN2 as a guest of Peyton and Eli Manning on their popular alternative show. And one of the first things he did was make fun of Peyton using the iconic voice of famous sports commentator Howard Cosell.

“Peyton Williams Manning, a man whose career has been totally overshadowed by the exploits of his younger brother, one Elisha Nelson Manning. We will come back after these messages, ”Michaels said.

Soon after, Peyton got his revenge by showing clips of a frustrated and rude Michaels struggling on the golf course.

“Do I play golf?” It’s porn. You can’t show that, ”Michaels said. “It’s rated X. Come on guys, I can’t do it.

Michaels’ appearance revealed a bit of what could have been if ESPN had been successful last year, when he wanted to pair Peyton Manning and Michaels into the booth to replace Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland. NBC refused ESPN’s initial request to start talks to allow Michaels to opt out of his contract, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, leading the network to its current three-person booth consisting of Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick.

The 77-year-old broadcasting legend is in the final year of his contract with NBC, which will end with the Super Bowl call-up alongside longtime analyst Cris Collinsworth. After that, Michaels could end up heading to Amazon to call up next year’s Thursday night games for the streaming giant, with Mike Tirico replacing him in the Sunday night football stand.

Michaels’ future did not appear when he appeared on the Manningcast, although he repeatedly said he hadn’t made any decisions. But viewers heard Michaels call out his first touchdown on Monday night football in 15 years.

Other Manningcast guests were former NFL quarterback Philip Rivers, professional golfer Phil Mickelson and Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green, who was asked about his mended relationship with Sixers legend Charles Barkley.

“Charles was on TV saying he was going to punch me in the face, ‘I don’t like that guy’, all of that stuff. And then I showed up on set when he totally disarmed me, ”Green said of an appearance on Barkley’s TNT show. “I step onto the set and Charles immediately gets up from his seat saying, ‘What’s up, Draymond? How’s it going, man ? It is good to see you. We are so glad to have you here.

The Manning brothers will be back Monday night football next week for Giants-Buccaneers, the seventh of 10 games they plan to broadcast this season. Here is the complete Monday night football schedule on ESPN until the end of the season (there is no Monday game in week 18):

  • Week 11, 22 November: Giants (3-6) at Buccaneers (6-3)

  • Week 12, November 29: Seahawks (3-6) at Washington (3-6)

  • Week 13, December 6: Patriots (6-4) vs. Bills (6-3)

  • Week 14, December 13: Rams (7-3) vs. Cardinals (8-2)

  • Week 15, December 20: Vikings (4-5) vs. Bear (3-6)

  • Week 16, December 27: Dolphins (3-7) to Saints (5-4)

  • Week 17, January 3: Browns (5-5) vs. Steelers (5-3-1)

READ MORE: TNT’s Rick Tocchet on his Flyers Hall of Fame entry and jabs with Wayne Gretzkyan an hour ago

The future of regional sports networks – including NBC Sports Philadelphia – remains uncertain as viewers cut cable subscriptions and switch to streaming services.

Another nail in the company’s coffin comes from Dish Network, which has a deal with Sinclair that does not include its Bally Sports-branded regional sports networks.

Dish Network ditched sports networks in 2019, and according to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, “Sports leagues were hoping Sinclair would have used influence over the local broadcast stations it owns to force Dish Network to strike a deal for transport the regional network. sports networks.

It is not clear what the lack of agreement means for other regional sports networks, other than to support the idea that it is difficult to be in the field of broadcasting regional sports. NBC is reportedly either seeking a buyer for its eight regional sports networks, including NBC Sports Philadelphia, or streaming on Peacock. Neither NBC nor parent company Comcast wanted to talk about a possible sale.

In the meantime, NBC Sports Philadelphia is saving money where it can, including streaming Sixers and Flyers road games from their Wells Fargo Center studios. The network said the move is in large part due to continued COVID-19 restrictions, and plans to re-travel the announcers and crew for away games at some point in the future.

  • For the first time this season, no active NFL player appeared on ESPN’s Manningcast on Monday. Could it be because each of the previous six immediately lost their next game as part of a developing Manning Curse? “I think that’s one thing, and that’s why I won’t be playing next week,” golfer Phil Mickelson told the Manning Brothers.

  • Man of the Arena: Tom Brady premieres Tuesday on ESPN + at 9 p.m., a 10-part documentary series covering the quarterback’s ten Super Bowl appearances. Birds fans will want to circle November 30 and January 4 on the schedule, as these episodes will focus on both Eagles-Patriots Super Bowls (and no, you won’t see Donovan McNabb’s nonexistent vomit).

  • Following their decisive victory over their Mexican rivals on Friday, the United States’ national men’s soccer team will face Jamaica on Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET in a bid to increase their chances of securing a cup spot. of the world. But good luck finding it on TV, as the game will air exclusively on Paramount + (although the Spanish broadcast will air on Universo).

  • ESPN is finally working to remedy the poor quality of some of its Pac-12 football shows, telling Oregon Live it is providing its “E crew” production truck with new gear that should alleviate the problems. Columnist John Canzano wrote that Pac-12 fans “deserve a high quality broadcast. Players and coaches deserve enough camera angles to ensure a competent instant replay process. And the ESPN spokesperson deserves never to have to deal with this columnist again.

  • On TV Tuesday we have a Philadelphia Sports Double Show on NBC Sports Philadelphia: Flames-Flyers at 7 p.m., followed by Sixers-Jazz at 10 p.m.