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The best of Peyton Manning's ESPYs monologue

Peyton Manning has been out of the NFL for more than a year now, but it doesn't feel like he ever really left, does it?

Manning isn't on our TVs every Sunday anymore, but he remains a near-constant television presence thanks to his endless pitchman work with insurance companies, pizza chains and sports drinks. Manning continued his everywhere-all-the-time assault with a hosting gig for the 25th ESPY Awards on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

If you're like most sports fans, the actual awards aspect of the ESPYs is of little matter. It all remains a bit absurd in practice, to be honest. What there is by way of intrigue comes from the monologue, where the host gets his opportunity to take some unsolicited potshots at teams and players, many of whom are in attendance.

I really hope Durant wasn't in on it. Alas, that does not appear to be the case.

As you might expect, Manning had several NFL-related zingers written for him and he delivered them like a pro. He also said "anus" four times. Some highlights:

» "Unfortunately, my brother Eli couldn't be here tonight because that's what I told them at the door."

» "Last year's L.A. Rams are the subject of the critically acclaimed docuseries All or Nothing. Spoiler: It's nothing."

» "This year, Aaron Rodgers delivered on his promise to the fans of Green Bay that the Packers would run the table. Also this year, Terrell Owens delivered on his promise to his bosses at Golden Corral that he would mop the floor."

» "Phil Jackson's Knicks are the most embarrassing thing to happen to New York sports, and that includes the time Mark Sanchez ran full steam up his teammate's anus and fumbled a football."

» "I love that Serena Williams won the Australian Open while carrying a child. I mean that's even more impressive than two years ago, when the Denver Broncos defense won the Super Bowl while carrying me."

» "I believe in the Falcons, I believe in Matt Ryan, Dan Quinn, and I know in my heart the Falcons will be back. The Falcons will be back. (applause) And I want the Falcons to hear that from me now, at the beginning of the show, because I know they'll stop paying attention three quarters of the way in."

Here's Devonta Freeman dying on the inside following the punchline ...

Nice work, Peyton. No one will ever top Norm, though.

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