FOX’s affiliate in Green Bay, Wisconsin, will air the retired New York Giants quarterback’s favorite episode after denying him 12 years ago.
Twelve years ago, Green Bay’s FOX affiliate denied Eli Manning a viewing of Seinfeld and yada, yada, yada… he went on to win the Super Bowl.
Fox 11 (WLUK-TV) is using Manning’s recent retirement to make amends with the Giants quarterback. A press release issued earlier this week declared that the station will air Manning’s favorite episode of the iconic sitcom Seinfeld on Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. local time.
Manning is a fan of the New York City-based show that aired on NBC from 1989 through 1998. The show, which centers on a fictionalized version of comedian and titular star Jerry Seinfeld (co-created by Larry David), continues to air in syndication on local stations across the country, including WPIX in the New York metropolitan area.
The airing stems from an incident that occurred in the leadup to the 2008 NFC Championship Game. Before the local Green Bay Packers battled the Giants for a Super Bowl berth, Fox 11 canceled a scheduled showing of Seinfeld in an attempt to throw Manning off his game. In its place, the station aired God, Family, and the Green Bay Packers, a documentary centered on legendary Packers head coach Vince Lombardi.
“We decided let’s take it off the air so when he comes he’ll be kind of rattled and won’t have a good time here,” Fox 11 general manager Jay Zollar said. “It was all just in fun, it was just a big joke, but it was a lot of fun.”
Like many schemes hatched by Seinfeld‘s eccentric characters, the plan backfired. Manning threw for 251 yards en route to a 23-20 overtime victory for the Giants. Two weeks later, Manning was the master of a Super Bowl domain as the Giants topped the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Manning earned MVP honors in the historic win.
“We didn’t expect it to (work),” Zollar claimed. “It was done in fun and now it just kind of brings back memories. It’s fun.”
The release from Fox 11 didn’t name Manning’s favorite episode, but Saturday’s schedule currently has the 1993 episode “The Implant” in the 9:30 p.m. slot. In that episode, Seinfeld tries to determine whether his girlfriend (guest star Teri Hatcher) has breast implants. The episode is renowned for Hatcher’s famous line “They’re real, and they’re spectacular”.
Seinfeld airs weeknights at 11:00 p.m. ET on WPIX.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490.