After his college career ended, Cris was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round (thirty-seventh pick overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft. 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. During his eight year career with the Bengals, he was named to the Pro Bowl three times, and surpassed 1,000 receiving yards four times. He also played in Super Bowl XVI. In 1985, Colllinsworth 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 o the 1988 season. During his eight year career with the Bengals, he was named to the Pro Bowl three times, and surpassed 1,000 receiving yards four times. He also played in Super Bowl XVI.
Cris Collinsworth is synonymous with the NFL like very few have ever been in American history. The television sportscaster, star pro football player, star college football player, website owner, and lawyer, has become an actual part of football, and American culture.
Collinsworth was born in Dayton on January 27, 1959. He and his family moved to Florida when he was four years old. As he grew older, he became an All-American quarterback in high school. He accepted a scholarship from the University of Florida to play for the Gators in 1977. Collinsworth’s position switched from quarterback to wide receiver his sophomore year of college, and he would become a great player, becoming a first team All-SEC selection three times, and a first team Academic All-American. Cris was named as an MVP of the ‘1980 Tangerine Bowl’. He was admitted into the ‘Student Hall of Fame’ for the ‘University of Florida’ in 1981. He graduated college that same year, with a BA degree in accounting.
Collinsworth’s post football career(s) have been as, if not, more impressive than his former one. He’s been a broadcaster for numerous television and radio shows in the past few decades. Here’s a list:
– Reporter for “Inside The NFL”, HBO/Showtime.
– Sportscaster for NBC, college and pro football.
– Broadcaster for “Fox NFL Sunday” and “NFL on Fox.”
– Broadcaster for Wimbledon, HBO.
– Color commentator for “Sunday Night Football”, NBC.
I could add more to the list. Actually, I will. Collinsworth is also the owner of the highly influential website Pro Football Focus. And, in the midst of accomplishing a ton, Cris found the time to earn a law degree.
One of the most accomplished people in the country was born on Miami Valley soil. And special soil it is.
Full disclosure: My favorite Collinsworth accomplishment is the “Collinsworth Slide.” Check it out on the clip below.