No, Eli Manning was not delivering his nephew Archie on his recent visit to Notre Dame last spring. The youngest adult Manning was after what the other thousands of visitors to the campus each year are looking for: a little bit of Notre Dame history.
Eli’s Places, produced by Omaha Productions, is a rolling football show aired on ESPN+ featuring Eli and his brother Peyton, making stops at various college football locations, highlighting some of the tradition and pageantry of the sport, and as Eli comments to his host, Notre Dame legend quarterback Brady Quinn, he had to take a stop in South Bend.
Quinn takes Eli into the House that Rockne Built, Notre Dame Stadium, as they share its origins with fun anecdotes, quips about Touchdown Jesus, why there is no track surrounding the stadium, and how Rockne played hardball to get the stadium built in the first place. Ever heard the story of Knute Rockne using the University of Colombia as leverage?
Quinn then takes Eli and Peyton for a ride to Knute Rockne’s home in South Bend, in an old 1932 Rockne Studebaker. And in a fun twist, the car is being driven by new head coach Marcus Freeman. There they discuss the spirit and innovation of Knute Rockne, bring out his old sweater, and his gold whistle. Freeman even sneaks in a “challenge everything” reference, a call to his motto in his first season as the Notre Dame head man.
Feeling the spirit of Rockne, the four men head out to the front yard where they are joined by some members of the Notre Dame football team to run one of Rockne’s signature plays. Eli ends up taking the snap in a QB run, ending up on the neighbors porch. The show culminates with a team selfie and some fun outtakes.
You can check Episode 2 out on Wednesday, Aug. 17th on ESPN+. Manning will also visit BYU, Florida, Penn State and USC in Season 2 of Eli’s Places.