The desire by television networks and the National Football League to make NFL football games watchable has really been ramped up over the past few years. I mean, I am so old I can remember televised football games that didn't have the "yellow line" to show you where the first down was. But now we have a line and most of us like miss it when it's not there.

Granted that innovation truly improved the enjoyment of the game for me but not all of the League's plans have worked out that way. For example, the whole pass interference situation and the whole don't touch the quarterback situation have left me scratching my head for more than a few seasons now.

NFC Championship - Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints
Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images

But one of broadcasting's biggest innovations in football coverage actually began this season. You may have watched what is often referred to as The ManningCast of Monday Night Football. The ManningCast features Peyton and Eli Manning, both of whom have considerable NFL experience, watching the game as brothers, cracking jokes, offering commentary about the game, and interviewing current and former players in the process.

It's that "appearance by former players" that might be changed should The ManningCast be picked up for broadcast next year. You might be wondering why would something that gets as much publicity and supposedly strong ratings as The Manningcast be underfire?

EA Sports, John Madden Football
EA Sports, John Madden Football

Well apparently, just like the John Madden NFL Video Game there is a curse.

The Madden Curse suggests that a player featured on the cover of the game will experience a devastating injury the following season. Trust us, it's happened enough times that many players refuse to have their likeness included.  Players like Michael Vick, Daunte Culpepper, Antonion Brown, Brett Favre, and Donovan McNabb have all been bitten by the Madden Curse.

But what about the Manning Curse?

Well, that's a little different and a lot more forgiving. First, there are no major injuries associated with the Manning Curse. However, there are a lot of lost football games.


That's right, every current NFL player who appeared on the ManningCast this season lost the following week. So if you're team is still alive in the playoffs you need to see if you can get a member of the opposite team to appear with Peyton and Eli. By the way, there will be a ManningCast for the playoffs. Peyton and Eli will wax eloquently or shoot the S**T during Monday night's Wildcard game between Los Angeles and Arizona.

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