Could Peyton Manning and Al Michaels Be NBC’s Monday Night Football Dream Team?

NBC hopes to overhaul the "Monday Night Football" booth

al michaels peyton manning
Pictured: Al Michaels chatting up Peyton Manning circa 2006
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Peyton Manning may have a new football home at ESPN.

According to the New York Post, the sports channel would ideally team up NBC Sports mainstay Al Michaels with the former Colts/Broncos legend to man the booth at Monday Night Football, replacing Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland (which is fine if the Booger Mobile is really gone, but we’d miss moments like this).

There’s a few wildcards here: for one, soon-to-be-ex-Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is also in the mix. Michaels, 75, still a mainstay on Sunday night games, has two years left on his NBC contract. And Manning seems to be waiting for the perfect combination, which may include his former Colts teammate Jeff Saturday.

The Manning-Michaels dream team appears to be a response to CBS’s record-breaking deal for Tony Romo, who recently re-signed with the network on a 10-year, $180 million deal. Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, has turned into the the preferred color commentator of big football fans.

While some might think paying him more than many of the players he’s talking about could set a bad precedent or have repercussions that could reach to the NFL CBA, the league needs high-level talent in the booth just like they do on the field. While Romo has shown time and time again that he understands the game like few others, there aren’t many former players of Manning’s caliber, the type who have the on-field resume that includes a pair of Super Bowl wins but also a voice and face America is familiar with, thanks to his many endorsement deals (admit it, you still sing “Chicken parm you taste so good” sometimes) and his turn as host of Saturday Night Live.

Manning, who is already considered one of the “most-loved sports media personalities,” would bring a type of star power that the broadcast could use.

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