Iowa Hawkeye’s basketball sensation Caitlin Clark made history on a recent episode of ManningCast as the first college athlete to appear on the show. She joined Peyton and Eli during a recent Chiefs vs Eagles game.
ManningCast is produced by ESPN and Omaha Productions (a sports media company founded by Peyton Manning and media exec Jamie Horowitz). The Mannings are known for putting celebrity guests in the hot seat during live Monday Night Football games. Past guests include Will Ferrell, Barack Obama, and Tom Brady.
If any NCAA athlete deserved to go head-to-head(-to head) with Peyton and Eli, it was Caitlin Clark.
Clark is being hailed as the GOAT in NCAA basketball, having broken too many records to count. On November 12th, she became Iowa’s all-time leading scorer. She’s won every major Player of the Year award, and her senior season has just begun (not to mention, she’s eligible for a fifth year).
Viewers soon learned that Clark’s sports knowledge wasn’t restricted to basketball. A lifelong Chiefs fan, she transitioned from court to commentator with ease, winning praise from the QB brothers for her playcalling.
Between plays, she spoke about her love for the Chiefs, Hawkeye basketball, and a recent sculpture made in her honor…entirely out of butter.
As the all-time leader in assists in the Big Ten women’s tournament, Clark also assisted Peyton & Eli in their usual practical jokes.
We’ve got all the highlights from Caitlin Clark’s ManningCast appearance below.
Caitlin Clark’s KC Chiefs Obsession
Caitlin Clark may be a Hawkeye six days a week, but her Sundays are dedicated to the Kansas City Chiefs. She shared her Chiefs obsession with Peyton and Eli and explained that she’s not a fair-weather fan—she’s been a Chiefs fan for life.
“How does someone who was born in Iowa, went to high school in Iowa [and] college in Iowa become a Chiefs fan?” Peyton asked the Hawkeye guard.
“I’ve been a Chiefs fan since I was a young girl,’’ Clark said. “My brother was a Chiefs fan, my dad was a Chiefs fan, I had cousins in Kansas City who were Chiefs fans.”
Clark spoke about her family’s dedication to the Chiefs and even mentioned a Chiefs vending machine in the basement of her childhood home. “Honestly, it’s just all I knew,” she said.
Peyton and Eli had the photo evidence to back up her claims—to Clark’s dismay.
“Oh, no. Come on!” She chuckled as the brothers showed photos of a young Caitlin Clark decked out in Chiefs gear.
Clark’s love for the Chiefs hasn’t gone unreciprocated. She and Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes have become fast friends on X (formerly Twitter), and Mahomes has said that he hopes to see Clark play live.
Clark Calls Plays Like a Pro
Caitlin Clark stepped into the sportscaster role like she’d been at it for years, and Peyton and Eli were clearly impressed with her skills.
Right off the bat, Peyton asked for her thoughts on the Mahomes/Kelce combination, and she replied without missing a beat.
“They’re one of the best duos,’’ she said. “It’s kind of similar to how we run the offense at Iowa. Good point guard, good post player. Good quarterback, great tight end. And they’re fun to watch. They make football exciting.’’
Later, Eli asked Clark a question with the intention of roasting his brother Peyton. “What’s it like to have an older brother who supports you and encourages you?” he asked with a grin.
While Clark played along, she didn’t take her eyes off the game and called a major play even before Peyton and Eli got the chance.
“Another sack there by Chris Jones,’’ she said as the Chiefs’ defensive tackle took down Jalen Hurts. “He’s my guy.’’
Peyton was quick to give her props. “Nice call,” he said.
Before she left, Clark flawlessly predicted a touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce that landed her a spot on the ManningCast “Perfect Prediction Panel.”
The “Perfect Prediction Panel” is new to season 3 of the Emmy-winning ManningCast. If a guest can predict a scoring play in the red zone, Eli Manning pins a FatHead with their likeness to the board as virtual confetti rains down. The FatHeads remain on the board all season, a sort of hall-of-fame of perfect play predictions.
Clark left the program before her play prediction came true, but she wasn’t about to let Peyton and Eli forget her call.
“PUT ME ON THE PERFECT PREDICTION BOARD!!!!!!” she tweeted soon after.
Eli Manning obliged, fixing a cutout of her head to the Perfect Prediction Panel alongside past guests like John McEnroe, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and her pal, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
In Iowa, There’s No Honor Better than Butter
Caitlin Clark has won just about every NCAA basketball award that she’s eligible for, but a recent high-cholesterol commendation marked a high point in her career.
She was carved into a butter sculpture at the Iowa State Fair, a unique honor only Iowans truly appreciate.
Eli Manning commented, “The Iowa State Fair had a butter sculpture of you made. Where does being sculpted in butter rank among all your honors?”
“It’s up there with the best of them,” she replied. “If you’re from Iowa, you know being sculpted out of butter is one of the top things.”
While her butter sculpture didn’t survive Iowa’s hot summer, Clark was nonetheless immortalized in Iowa history.
Eli followed up with a few butter sculptures of his own. He’d asked the Omaha Productions team to create AI-generated images of his brother Peyton sculpted from butter. He presented two images for Clark’s approval.
“In one, he’s got three arms and he’s melting,” Eli said. “And the other has haunted me in my sleep. Which one do you like more?”
Before she could respond, Peyton chimed in with his assessment.
“Neither,” he laughed.
Caitlin Clark’s Appearance Wasn’t The Only Major Milestone For ManningCast
Omaha Productions’ award-winning ManningCast has had its fair share of history-making moments in its three seasons. But the show’s popularity reached new heights during the Chiefs vs Eagles game last week. Nearly 2 million viewers tuned in to watch the game with Peyton and Eli, making this one of the most-watched episodes in the show’s history.
The ManningCast is continuing to grow in popularity among all major demographics. Notably, the average ManningCast viewer is 6 years younger than the average Monday Night Football viewer. Peyton and Eli are attracting the next generation of fans with their personality-driven sportscasting and high-profile guests.
ManningCast is produced by Omaha Productions, a sports media company founded by Peyton Manning and Jamie Horowitz. The company is also behind some of the most popular sports programs of recent years, including Netflix’s Quarterback and.Eli’s Places on ESPN+
Peyton Manning is passionate about Omaha Productions, appearing in many of the company’s shows and ads. And co-founder Jamie Horowitz is the creative force behind Omaha’s innovative content.
Jamie Horowitz is a former VP at ESPN and President of Fox Sports. Throughout his 20+ years in sports entertainment, he’s produced iconic daily talk programs like SportsNation, First Take, Numbers Never Lie, and Undisputed. Horowitz also played a pivotal role in the rise of several of today’s biggest sports media figures, such as Colin Cowherd, Shannon Sharpe, and Stephen A Smith.
Together, Jamie Horowitz and Peyton Manning are at the forefront of a new era in sports broadcasting with their innovative work at Omaha Productions.
The Chiefs vs Eagles game marked a huge milestone in the ongoing success of ManningCast and Omaha Productions, and Caitlin Clark deserves her share of the credit.