September 13, 2021
Just when you thought the return of "Monday Night Football" couldn't get any better, Charles Barkley enters the picture.
Known for his antics on TNT's "Inside the NBA," there's no telling what the Sixers legend will say when he joins Peyton and Eli Manning as a guest on the brothers' alternate broadcast of the Week 1 matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders.
"Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli" begins at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN2 and ESPN+ and is expected to be a staple of the network's NFL coverage during the next three seasons.
"Peyton and Eli will bring a different approach, delving into conversation about broader, big-picture topics while also honing in on the game, much like fans do when watching with their family and friends," ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro said.
If there's anyone who can live up to the new broadcast's promise of being "casual" and "nontraditional," it's Barkley. From his brutal honesty about Ben Simmons' performance during the 2021 NBA Playoffs to calling out professional athletes who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and admitting that he hadn't worn underwear in a decade, there's very little the Philly sports hero won't say on national television.
Barkley and Peyton Manning likely could talk golf for hours and, if that happens Monday, expect Barkley to remind the legendary quarterback who has bragging rights on the links. Last year, Barkley and Phil Mickelson defeated Manning and Stephen Curry in The Match: Champions for Change, a round at Arizona's Stone Canyon Golf Club raising money for historically Black colleges.
Peyton Manning with a formal announcement of his first guest for tonight's MNF with Peyton & Eli: pic.twitter.com/6d1UkcVvsa— Omaha Productions (@OmahaProd) September 13, 2021
Barkley will be the first of four guests during the inaugural telecast of "Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli," according to Omaha Productions, Peyton Manning's entertainment company. The fourth guest will be Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, but the other two remained a mystery as of Monday afternoon.
Rest assured, Sir Charles will be a tough act for anyone to follow.