TV Review – “Peyton’s Places: Tom Brady” on ESPN+

Peyton Manning is one of the greatest and most famous football players of all-time. He has hosted Saturday Night Live, appeared in countless commercials and, oh yeah, won a couple of Super Bowls. Now, he’s hosting his own series on ESPN+.

Peyton’s Places follows the NFL great around the country as he explores the history of the National Football League, one piece at a time. The 25th episode is simply titled “Tom Brady,” and it features Peyton having an extended chat with his longtime rival.

The episode kicks off with Peyton and Brady breaking into the home of legendary sportscaster Jim Nantz to hit golfballs in his backyard. Ok, obviously they’re not really breaking in, but the bit is still pretty funny. The two quarterbacks try to guess the passcode for Nantz’s gate by trying some of his usual commentary gigs like the Masters and Final 4.

When they finally do get in, they crack some more jokes on Nantz (who is not present for any of this) before heading to his replica of Pebble Beach’s famed seventh hole, where the rest of the episode takes place. In another funny bit, Nantz provides voice over to describe the hole, as he would when covering the Masters.

They start off by talking about their favorite players growing up. Brady brings up Joe Montana and how he was at “The Catch” game. Peyton takes it a step further and brings out a couple of pictures of a four-year-old Tom Brady crying shortly after the famed play because he was startled by the noise of the crowd and his parents wouldn’t buy him a foam finger.

They then talk about Brady’s college career and his unlikely path to becoming a starter in the NFL. It’s well known in football circles that Brady was overlooked coming out of college, eventually getting drafted with the 199th pick by the Patriots. This segment dives much deeper into his journey though and it was a lot of fun to watch.

The conversation then gets to the infamous “Tuck Rule” game. They discuss the memorable would-be-fumble at length and Brady eventually even admits he was not trying to throw the ball. Still, his arm was moving forward so it had to be ruled an incomplete pass, giving the Patriots the opportunity to win the game en route to Brady’s first Super Bowl. Looking back at this game now is always both fun and frustrating for everyone who isn’t a Patriots fan.

Next, they go into a bit of a rapidfire segment, quickly covering topics like ‘the best players they both played against’ and ‘the best advice they’ve received in football.’ Peyton also poses a trivia question to Tom, asking who are the five players who have caught a pass from both Peyton and Brady. Can you name them all? I only would have gotten one.

The old rivals then discuss some of their favorite games against each other. As a football fan who grew up watching these two play and looking forward to the times they would face each other, this was a really cool segment. These games always felt special when I was watching them and listening to Payton and Brady remember them was definitely special too.

Finally, every episode of Peyton’s Places features some kind of blooper reel or one more gag during the credits. In this one, Peyton and Brady leave a message for Nantz as they try to bounce golf ball off his house and onto the green. The bit continues with Nantz on the phone with his security team, complaining about the two quarterbacks not being caught, all while throwing some jokes right back their way. It’s probably one of the funniest segments this show has done.

Overall, this was another great episode of Peyton’s Places. Peyton once again has great chemistry with his guest and it’s special because, rather than a close friend or relative, he’s actually talking to a longtime rival. Hearing these two, who are both considered to be two of the best quarterbacks of all-time, talk about football is certainly something special. It also helps that they have a lot of fun doing it.

The first 26 episodes of Peyton’s Places are available now on ESPN+. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."