Caitlin Clark has once again kept her promises.
The Iowa Hawkeyes basketball star on Monday became the first college athlete to appear on the ManningCast — and in style.
After joking with Peyton and Eli Manning during her appearance on the TV show “Monday Night Football,” she successfully predicted a touchdown pass from her beloved Kansas City Chiefs.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce late in the first half on a touchdown to give the Chiefs a 14-7 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles and give Clark a permanent spot in the Mannings prediction chart. The board is for guests who accurately predict what a team will do inside the red zone.
Clark’s appearance, which took place during the second quarter, actually ended before the touchdown.
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“We’ll get you on the board if Kelce scores, I promise,” Peyton Manning said before a commercial break at the two-minute warning and the Chiefs faced first-and-10 at the Eagles’ 11-yard line. .
Three plays later, Mahomes connected with Kelce for a 4-yard touchdown pass and the ManningCast cameras in Iowa City caught Clark smiling in celebration.
The Manning brothers praised her for predicting not only the touchdown but also the play call, Kelce breaking away from a defender.
“PUT ME ON THE PERFECT PREDICTION BOARD!!!!!!” Clark later tweeted.
Eli Manning did the honors by putting a cutout of Clark’s head on the estimated prediction board.
Similarities between the Chiefs and Hawkeyes
Thanks to Peyton Manning for his timely assistance.
Clark, the highly talented playmaker, joined the ManningCast in time to watch Mahomes and Kelce connect on their first reception of the night. Peyton then asked Clark what she thought of the Mahomes-Kelce combo.
“Oh, man. They’re one of the best duos,” Clark said. “It’s kind of similar to how we run the offense at Iowa. Good point guard, good post player. Good quarterback, great tight end up close. And they’re fun to watch. They make football exciting.
Ditto for the Iowa Hawkeyes when Caitlin Clark is on the floor.
The basketball star knows football
Clark, who led the Hawkeyes to the national title game last season, clearly enjoys his football. Yes, she made the touchdown prediction. But something equally impressive happened later during her guest appearance.
While the Manning brothers expected her to comment on recent footage of their one-on-one basketball game, Clark at least kept one eye on the action.
“Another Chris Jones sack,” she said of the Chiefs defensive tackle. “That’s my guy.”
Peyton laughed, noting that Clark had more to say about the dismissal than she had to say about the Mannings’ basketball pictures.
“I’m not a Chiefs fan,” Clark said later. “I was a Chiefs fan even when they weren’t very good.”
So how did Caitlin Clark become a Chiefs fan?
Peyton laid out the facts.
Caitlin Clark, born in Iowa. Attended high school in Iowa. Attends college in Iowa. And, hmmm, how come she’s cheering for the Chiefs now?
“I’ve been a Chiefs fan since I was a young girl,” she said. “My brother was a Chiefs fan, my dad was a Chiefs fan, I had cousins in Kansas City who were Chiefs fans.
“So there was an embarrassing photo of me in all Chiefs gear going around earlier today.”
Moments later, this photo floated onto the ManningCast screen. There was little Caitlin Clark, dressed in Chiefs gear, alongside three young boys wearing Chiefs gear.
“Oh no. Come on,” Clark said sheepishly at the sight of the photo.
Caitlin Clark’s appearance wasn’t perfect
Yes, she predicted Mahomes’ touchdown pass to Kelce late in the first half. But earlier in her appearance, she made an identical prediction — only to see a potential touchdown pass intended for Chiefs receiver Justin Watson, not Kelce, be intercepted in the end zone.
But even the Chiefs’ 21-17 loss to the Eagles couldn’t erase history. In becoming the first college athlete to join the ManningCast, the woman who won the John Wooden Award as women’s basketball’s most outstanding player last season and was sculpted in butter at the Iowa State Fair, added to his accolades.
That is to say, Caitlin Clark’s face has earned its place on the ManningCast prediction board.
Gn En sports