The Manning Boys have so far been nothing but good television on ESPN's alternative "Monday Night Football" broadcast, but they ran afoul of the FCC in their third outing this season.
The fun began during an interview with former NFL defensive end Chris Long in the fourth quarter of Monday's game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Eli Manning, no stranger to the NFC East fan bases, described his past run-ins with the Eagles' infamous fans.
While Eli recounted a 9-year-old giving him the double bird on one occasion and held up his closed fists to simulate the gesture, Peyton urged his little brother to throw out both middle fingers, which Eli did, to the entertainment of a nation and likely the horror of ESPN's producers.
Eli Manning flips off America.pic.twitter.com/4An24UCdWf
— The Big Lead (@TheBigLead) September 28, 2021
Eli: "You're getting the double bird right away from a 9-year-old kid."
Peyton: "Do it, do it."
Eli: "I would give the bird — I don't know, can we do that? I'm sure you can blur that out, right?"
Unfortunately for the younger Manning, ESPN did not have enough time to blur out the gesture on live television.
One commercial break later, a chastised Eli was apologizing to the audience for flipping them off, to the entertainment of Long. Peyton also apologized for egging Eli on:
Eli Manning apologizes for the double bird while Chris Long laughs through it. pic.twitter.com/s5kLwXS6zZ
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 28, 2021
Eli: "Alright, alright, sorry. Earlier, I gave the double bird. I guess that's frowned upon, so I apologize if I offended anybody. I thought — that's a nine-year-old did to me, I thought I could do it back. Chris, I blame you for that."
Peyton: "My fault too. I encouraged you to do it, my fault. We apologize."
The whole situation had the feel of two brothers apologizing to their parents for breaking the good china while roughhousing. That Eli Manning was the former NFL player to flip off the nation on live television also has to be a massive upset.
Of course, this is all just more of the fun the Manning-cast has been in its first three weeks of airing. The Mannings have impressed with their chemistry, football knowledge and range of impressive guests, from Nick Saban to LeBron James. You get a few rough edges, a rude gesture here or there, but that's part of the charm.