It sure doesn’t seem like any network asked Peyton Manning the first question that most of us get at a job interview: Why do you want to work here?
Considering that Peyton Manning had a Hall of Fame NFL career, is famous for his obsessive nature when it comes to the details and nuances of football and has an affable, completely marketable personality, it was a natural assumption that he would want to move into the broadcast booth now that his playing days are over. That belief is why first ESPN and later Fox reportedly went out of their way to convince him to join their talent rosters. They smelled ratings at a time when viewership is trending the wrong way.
Plot twist: Peyton Manning doesn’t really seem to want to actually be an NFL announcer, which is, you know, perhaps the very first thing you might have asked him.
That’s the gist of both the New York Post report about Manning turning down Fox, following earlier stories of him also rebuffing ESPN. Both networks were very interested in his services and allegedly backing up that interest with millions of dollars.
All that effort now seems to have gone for naught, and this Awful Announcing article pretty nicely sums up why that might be.
From what has been reported, it seems that Manning hopes to one day become an owner and/or executive and didn’t see much reason for a detour in broadcasting. The guy can sing Nationwide jingles and munch on Papa John’s pizza all day long, but apparently talking about football live was of no interest.
Let that be a lesson to all. Just because you look at someone and say, “Hey, they’d be really good at doing [fill in here with what you need someone to do]!” doesn’t mean they necessarily dig the opportunity to do it. Between now and whenever Manning gets to be a GM, team president or owner, it’s pretty likely you’ll still see plenty of him on TV. It’s just going to be during commercial breaks in NFL games, not calling the action.