EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Jay Z and 50 Cent had better watch out. The rap world has a couple of wigged-out new stars – E-Z and $17.5-Mil.
Haven’t heard of them? Well, they’re known better on the football field.
Quarterbacks and Super Bowl MVPs Eli and Peyton Manning burst onto the music scene this week with a three-minute rap videotape in which they promote “Football On Your Phone” for DirectTV.
The commercial starts out with the Mannings sitting in barber chairs, wearing wigs that mimicked hair styles of the `60s and `70s. Eli has a frizzy, curly-haired mop and Peyton wore a straight, long-hair wig worthy of any rocker.
“Peyton and I had fun doing the skit,” Eli said Wednesday before practice. “Obviously (we) got a lot of laughs together just every time we would kind of look at each other and wonder what we were doing.”
The brothers filmed the humorous commercial in one day in their native New Orleans, extolling the value of watching football games on a phone, joking at one point that someone was actually using his phone as a phone.
Of course, Eli Manning’s teammates were on him Wednesday at the Giants’ training camp.
Long-time Giants teammate Chris Snee said he had never seen Eli rap.
“I’ve never heard Eli sing period,” the offensive lineman said. “When he controls the radio it’s usually country or something nobody really wants to listen to besides him.”
Punter Steve Weatherford called the performance “awesome,” adding that players are walking in the team’s headquarters humming the lyrics.
“Everybody. Everybody,” said Weatherford, who added most people don’t realize how funny the usually dry Eli Manning can be. “It’s not getting annoying yet. I don’t assume it will for at least a week.”
The best line of the video for Weatherford was when Eli Manning jumps through a life-sized picture of telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell, and Peyton asks what would Bell think about someone watching football on their phone.
“Who cares?” Eli responds. “The dude is dead.”
Eli Manning was amazed by the popularity of the music.
“I guess the song is a little catchy. A few guys going to the cafeteria line and they don’t even know I am behind them and they are humming the song or the words,” said Eli Manning, who said he hasn’t been asked for a live performance. “If I hear, I say, `I think it’s got you.’
“That song gets stuck in your head all day. They are kind of just going around signing the song every once a while.”
Cornerback Aaron Ross had just viewed the video and thought it was funny.
“That’s classic Eli,” Ross said. “He surprises you all the time, so it’s classic Eli, Easy E.”
Ross even admitted singing the tune walking into the locker room Wednesday.
“What is it? Get down on your phone?”
Well, it had something to do with a phone.
The good news for Jay Z and 50 Cent is that Eli isn’t looking for another gig.
“No. I think I will stay with my day job and keep playing football for long as possible,” he said. “A one and done. A one-hit wonder probably.”
With the Denver Broncos scheduled to play a preseason game at San Francisco on Thursday, Peyton Manning was not available for comment on Wednesday.
Broncos executive vice president John Elway saw the video and enjoyed the Manning’s performance.
“Great video,” said Elway, who will pay Peyton Manning $17.5 million to guide Denver’s offense this season. “But I will tell him today to stick to his day job.”
– By TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer
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