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Collinsworth as broadcaster for NBC Sunday Night Football

Cris Collinsworth
Personal Information
Wide receiver, Punt/Kickoff Returner
Jersey #(s)
Born January 27 1959 (1959-01-27) (age 63)
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)Weight: 192 lb (87 kg)
Career information
Year(s) 19811988
NFL Draft 1981 / Round: 2 / Pick: 37
College Florida
Professional teams
Career stats
Receptions/Receiving YDS 107/6,698
Games Played/Starts 107/90
TD 36 TD's
Stats at
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

  • First-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 1978, 1979, and 1980
  • High School All-American (1977)
  • First-team Academic All-American, and as team captain, Florida Gators (1980)
  • 3x AFC Pro-Bowl Selection (1981, 1982, 1983)
  • 4-1,000+ receiving seasons (1981, 1983, 1985. 1988)

Anthony Cris Collinsworth (born January 27, 1959) is a color commentator, and a former Wide Receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, where he played for his entire career. A former second round draft choice by the Bengals out of the University of Florida, Cris currently broadcasts on NBC Sunday Night Football alongside veteran sports broadcaster Al Michaels.

Early life

Collinsworth was born in Dayton, Ohio[1] but then moved to Titusville, Florida with his family as a child. He attended Astronaut High School in Titusville, Florida[2] where he was high school football All-American quarterback and the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Class 3A 100-yard-dash state champion for the Astronaut War Eagles in 1976.

Collegiate career

Collinsworth's exceptional height and quickness attracted the attention of college football coaches throughout the South. He received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainsville, Florida, where he played for coach Doug Dickey and coach Charley Pell's Florida Gators teams from 1977 to 1980.[3] He was recruited as a quarterback by Doug Dickey's staff and in his first game as a Gator, Collinsworth threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Gaffney against the Rice Owls, which remains tied for the longest touchdown pass in NCAA history.[3]

He later switched to wide receiver as the Gators transitioned from a run-oriented option offense to an offensive scheme that employed more passing.[3] As a Gator wide receiver, he was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 1978, 1979, and 1980, and a first-team All-American, a first-team Academic All-American, and a team captain in 1980.[3] During his career at Florida, he caught 120 passes for 1,977 yards and fourteen touchdowns, while also scoring two rushing touchdowns and one on a kickoff return.[3]

As a senior in 1980, Collinsworth was a member of the Gators team that posted the biggest one-year turnaround in the history of NCAA Division I football[4]—from 0–10–1 in 1979[5] to an 8–4 bowl team in 1980.[6]

While he was an undergraduate, Collinsworth was also an active member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity (Florida Alpha Omega Chapter), and was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame.[7] He graduated from Florida with a BA degree in accounting in 1981, and was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall Of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 1991.[8][9]

NFL playing career

After college, Collinsworth was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round (thirty-seventh pick overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft,[10] and spent his entire eight-year NFL career with the Bengals.[11] He surpassed 1,000 yards receiving four times (in 1981, 1983, 1985, and 1986) and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1981, 1982 and 1983. At six feet, five inches in height, Collinsworth often created mismatches against much smaller cornerbacks. In addition to his height advantage, Collinsworth was a legitimate deep threat due to his speed.

In Super Bowl XVI, Collinsworth caught four passes for 107 yards, but committed a costly fumble when he was hit by San Francisco defensive back Eric Wright.

In 1985, Collinsworth signed with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the United States Football League, but the contract was voided when he failed the physical due to a bad ankle. He returned to the Bengals and played for them until the end of the 1988 season, catching three passes for forty yards in Super Bowl XXIII, the final game of his career. He finished his eight-season NFL career with 417 receptions for 6,698 yards and thirty-six touchdowns in 107 games.

Broadcasting career

After his retirement as an NFL player, Collinsworth began a broadcasting career as a sports radio talk show host on Cincinnati station WLW. Initially, he was a guest host for Bob Trumpy (also a Bengals alumnus), but took over the show full-time as Trumpy accepted more television assignments. He then became a reporter for HBO's (now Showtime's) Inside the NFL in 1989.[12]

In 1990, he became a part of the NBC network's NFL broadcasts, as well as some of the college programming. He joined the NBC pregame show in 1996.

In 1998, Collinsworth joined the NFL on Fox team after NBC lost their broadcast rights to CBS. After several years as a color commentator on the Fox NFL Sunday pregame show, Collinsworth was assigned to the network's lead game broadcasting crew (teaming with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman) in 2002. He worked on Fox's Super Bowl XXXIX telecast 3 years later. Collinsworth was also the host of the television show Guinness World Records Primetime during his stay at Fox.

In 2006, Collinsworth could be seen on 3 networks during football season. In addition to co-hosting Inside the NFL on HBO, he returned to NBC as a color commentator for that network's Sunday night NFL coverage. He also served as color commentator for NFL Network Thursday night games (and one Saturday-night game) alongside play-by-play man Al Michaels.

In the NBC broadcasts of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Collinsworth appeared alongside Al Michaels as a commentator on numerous occasions. Collinsworth and Michaels paired again during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. He also continued his work on Inside the NFL when it debuted on its new home on Showtime.

Collinsworth is also the color commentator on Madden NFL 09 and Madden NFL 10, as well as in Madden NFL 11 and Madden NFL 12 with Al Michaels.

It was announced on April 16, 2009 that Collinsworth would fill the role vacated by John Madden on NBC's Sunday Night Football.

In December of 2011, Collinsworth was voted as the worst football commentator on television in a Sports Illustrated poll of NFL players.


Collinsworth received a Sports Emmy Award in April 1998 as "Outstanding Studio Analyst" and his second in 1999. In 2001, he was inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame. He was also recognized with his third and fourth Sports Emmy Awards in 2003 and 2004 as "Outstanding Sports Personality/Studio Analyst." In May 2006, he added a fifth with an Emmy Award again in the category "Outstanding Sports Personality/Studio Analyst" for his work on HBO. Collinsworth served as a correspondent for NBC Sports coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Personal life

Collinsworth currently lives in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, with his wife Holly, and their four children. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1991.

His son, Austin Collinsworth, plays football at the University of Notre Dame.

On March 12, 2011, it was reported that Collinsworth was among eighty-three people who were rescued from Jeff Ruby's restaurant in Covington, Kentucky, when the floating restaurant tore loose from its moorings and began to drift on the Ohio River.[13]


  1., Players, Cris Collinsworth. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  2. Cris Collinsworth at, retrieved June 2, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 82, 87, 91, 96, 99, 100, 124, 127, 139, 143–145, 147–150, 158, 159, 162, 165, 173, 180 (2011). Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  4. Norm Carlson, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, pp. 95–96 (2007).
  5. College Football Data Warehouse, Florida Yearly Results 1975–1979. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  6. College Football Data Warehouse, Florida Yearly Results 1980–1984. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  7. University of Florida, Student Affairs, 1981 Hall of Famers. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  8. F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  9. "Seven to be inducted into UF Hall of Fame," The Gainesville Sun, p. 8C (April 4, 1991). Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  10. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1981 National Football League Draft. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  11. National Football League, Historical Players, Cris Collinsworth. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  12. Leonard Shapiro, "Collinsworth Finds New Life on Showtime's 'Inside the NFL'," The Washington Post (September 17, 2008). Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  13. Cris Collinsworth rescued from runaway floating restaurant," Michael McCarthy, for USA Today (March 12, 2011). Retrieved March 22, 2011.

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