1. ESPN finally got Peyton Manning on Monday Night Football, and it paid off nicely.
The Worldwide Leader gave Monday night's Saints-Raiders game the Megacast treatment, with one feed featuring Rece Davis and Kirk Herbstreit commentating on the game while being joined by special guests.
At one point the Megacast had Peyton Manning and Charles Barkley link up with Davis and Herbstreit, which led to some solid trash-talking, such as Manning asking Barkley how much he weighed.
But Peyton's most savage comment was a subtle dig at the Patriots.
When breaking down how a coach calls a play into the quarterback's headset, the future Hall of Famer explained that the communication is supposed to get cut off with 15 seconds left on the play clock. But as Manning explained, “Now certain teams, maybe in the Northeast, they don’t cut their lines."
We're going go out on a limb and guess Peyton wasn't referring to the Jets or Bills.
The question is, would Peyton dish out zingers like this if he were the regular MNF analyst, or was he loose and comfortable because he was just doing a cameo last night? Because if he would perform like this all the time, ESPN will never stop pursuing him for a full-time gig in the booth.
2. If anyone pushes the narrative that the NFL is in trouble because ratings are down for whatever reason, just explain to them that their narrative is nonsense. Ratings can be down and business can still be very good.
3. The NFL's biggest ratings issue is that the Jets and Giants stink and people in New York don't want to watch those games. Via Sports Business Journal, Sunday's Niners-Jets game drew a 3.9 rating in New York. The Jets' Week 2 game in 2019 drew a 10.5 rating. Sunday's Giants-Bears game drew a 7.4 rating in New York. The Giants' Week 2 game in 2019 drew a 10.0 rating.
It doesn't help when two of the worst teams in the league are in the top television market.
4. Big thumbs up to the Raiders and their hand sanitizer celebration last night.
5. There is no such thing as a lock when it comes to sports betting, Part Infinity.
6. TNT wanted Kevin Harlan to call the Western Conference finals for TNT, but it couldn't happen. He explains why and discusses much more on the latest SI Media Podcast. The veteran play-by-play man also talks about why the NBA bubble has worked, reveals which sport is harder to call without fans in the stands, getting a new broadcast partner, how he takes care of his voice, whether he's ever affected by calling a lower-priority NFL game, the art of making a big call and much more
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Saw this tweet from Kurt Angle Monday ...
So I had to post the famous "Jimmy Crack Corn" video starring Angle and Stone Cold from their run as a comedy team during the Attitude era.
8. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: If it's Tuesday, it's time for the best weekly NFL segment on TV: Kyle Brandt's "Angry Runs."
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.