Sports | December 31, 2021 11:20 am

Roger Goodell Set to Appear on ESPN’s Next “Manning Cast”

Everyone's least favorite commissioner will likely stick to script

Roger Goodell wearing a face mask.
The $63 million man.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

According to a tweet yesterday from Omaha Productions, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will make an appearance on the next edition of “Monday Night Football with Peyton & Eli,” this upcoming January 3rd.

A surprise hit this year for ESPN, “Manning Cast” has hosted the likes of LeBron James, Dave Letterman and Condoleezza Rice for in-game chat and commentary. The Manning brothers were yet to bring their sport’s commissioner on the air, though — this will be Goodell’s first official appearance.

How will it go? That’s unclear. Consistently throughout this season, guests have sounded off (sincerely or humorously) on perceived shortcomings in the modern game. While the Mannings themselves aren’t particularly controversial — their personal rapport boils down to brotherly jibes and tactical jargon — they’ve been more than willing to give a platform to take culture.

Goodell will likely offer a less scintillating interview than what the new ESPN2 diehards have come accustomed to. And the NFL’s first family will likely lob up a few softballs to keep things civil. Notice the game Goodell chose: Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. He avoided the markets that hate him the most (New England, New York, Los Angeles) for various reasons (his $63 million annual salary, his handling of social justice protests, his Tom Brady vendetta) and probably dodged the Week 18 debate, too, by showing up a week early. (For those who’ve forgotten, we’ve got an extra week of football this year. The players are not happy about it.)

At the end of the day, though, the appearance is worth whatever prep or stress goes into it for Goodell. The NFL doesn’t have much to celebrate about as we head in 2022, but the Mannings and Monday Night Football have never let the game down.

And neither did the late John Madden. Expect a lengthy tribute from Goodell — as non-controversial as it gets — on what the beloved coach and broadcaster meant to the NFL.