Eli Manning is doing something very special for NFL fans on Sunday. Before Manning's former team, the New York Giants, take on the Chicago Bears, the two-time Super Bowl winner will partner with Frank's RedHot to host a "homegate," the largest virtual tailgate, in celebration of the start of the NFL season. Manning went on NBC's TODAY on Friday to share the news.
"Everything's a little bit different and that includes the traditional tailgating," Manning said. "Homegating is a great alternative, but sometimes it's not so great if you're all by yourself at home. What I'm doing is I'm teaming with Frank's RedHot, and we're going to create the largest homegating experience on Zoom where I'll get to hang out with 1,000 people and pregame a little bit before my former team takes the field this Sunday afternoon."
Manning went on to say he will tweet out the link to the Zoom on Sunday morning and the first 1,000 fans will be able to hang out with the two-time Super Bowl MVP. For fans who aren't able to join the Zoom meeting, they can live stream the event at Frank's RedHot Twitter account. Manning fans on the Zoom call will be able to interact with him as well as play games.
"The interesting thing about this is that it's just not going to be a virtual deal on the screen," Manning explained. "You'll actually get to interact with me because we're going to have a human being with a screen strapped to his head and we'll get to play some games. This tailgating, homegating, both of them are new to me. So I'm still trying to figure it out."
Along with tailgating being new to him, being a Giants fan is also something he's adjusting to. Manning, who played for the Giants for 16 years, talked about being simply a fan of the team for the first time ever as he retired from the NFL earlier this year.
"Once the Giants game came on and you see you're former teammates and not being there, it was different for me because I didn't grow up a Giants fan." Manning said, who revealed he grew up a New Orleans Saints fans as his dad played for the team. "The Giants have been my life for the last 16 years and all of a sudden, I'm rooting for them as a fan and I've never done that before."