Any fan of football knows Cris Collinsworth. The long-time NBC Sports broadcaster is known for his outlandish phrases and his spectacular on-air analysis on Sunday Night Football.
Over the years, Collinsworth has established himself as one of the best color commentators across any sport, let alone NFL football. He’s able to bring an infectious attitude to a game that fans love while his chemistry with co-host Al Michaels is undeniable.
But the 61-year-old hasn’t been on the high-profile telecast for very long. Before joining the Sunday Night Football crew, Collinsworth lived a busy life both on the field and in the broadcast booth. He played in the NFL and has now dedicated his life to the game that he loves.
Here’s what you need to know about the life of Cris Collinsworth.
The Voice of Sunday Night Football on NBC
Collinsworth is most well-known for his role as the analyst on NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts. The long-time NFL player works alongside play-by-play man Al Michaels to bring fans one of the league’s most thorough presentations in the game.
The now 61-year-old first worked with NBC Sports from 1990-1996, but didn’t earn the role on Sunday Night Football until 2009. Most of his positions before earning the in-game gig placed him as a studio analyst, where he provided viewers with insightful coverage of the league and its personalities.
Both he and Michaels have become household names because of their Sunday broadcast. Collinsworth won the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Event Analyst in six of his first nine seasons in the Sunday Night Football booth. In 2019, the broadcast averaged over 20 million viewers, just showing the impact that the experienced broadcaster has had on network television.
Collinsworth and Michaels broadcasted multiple Super Bowls over the last few years, including 2018’s thriller between the Eagles and the Patriots. However, in front of some of the biggest audiences, the analyst had his fair share of critics.
Collinsworth is also known for some unique antics on when on the air. He often begins player descriptions by saying “Now, here’s a guy,” which often draws laughs out of his viewers. He also became well-known for his famous “slide-in” at the start of Sunday Night Football broadcasts, where he first appears on screen by scooting over to Michaels.
Now in 2020, Collinsworth is in the midst of his 12th season on the NBC telecast.
Before he opted for the broadcast booth, Collinsworth made his living on the football field.
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted the young wide receiver with the 37th pick in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft. Collinsworth was 22 and actually fairly new to the position.
At Florida, Collinsworth started as a run-first quarterback after becoming a high-school All-American in 1976. However, the Gators opted to adopt a pro-style offense in 1978, Collinsworth’s sophomore year in college. Since he wasn’t known for his arm he made the switch to wide receiver. As a senior in 1980, he became an All-American.
Once he got to the NFL, Collinsworth proved to be an adept pass-catcher and route-runner. He stood at 6-foot-5, making him a powerful deep threat. He made the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons in the league (1981, 1982, 1983).
Collinsworth racked up over 1,000 receiving yards in four of his eight seasons in the league. Unfortunately, injuries prevented him from having more longevity in the NFL. Still, Collinsworth made a gigantic impact during his time, including helping the Bengals to appearances in Super Bowls XVI and XXIII. He finished his eight-season NFL career with 417 receptions for 6,698 yards and 36 touchdowns in 107 games.
Previous Broadcast Experience and Other Ventures
After his playing career ended, Cris Collinsworth immediately tried to get involved in the broadcast booth. His first major gig came with HBO’s Inside the NFL, where he joined the studio cast just two years after his retirement.
But Collinsworth continued to climb, through jobs at NBC Sports, HBO and FOX.
In 2005, he joined the NFL on FOX broadcast booth alongside Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to form the network’s lead broadcast team. He previously joined FOX in 1998 as a color commentator on the channel’s pregame show.
Collinsworth continued a meteoric climb in broadcasting and won his first Emmy award in 1997. In total, he is the recipient of 15 Primetime Emmy Awards.
When he’s not in the broadcast booth, the former Bengal is still thinking about football. Collinsworth is majority owner of Pro Football Focus, which has grown exponentially over the last few years for rabid fans.
The football analyst has also assisted NBC with the coverage of four different Olympic Games, showing some impressive versatility.
Family and Net Worth
Collinsworth is married to his wife, Holly. The couple has four adult children and two grandchildren. His son Austin played football at Notre Dame, where he was team captain. Collinsworth also passed on the broadcast tradition to another one of his other sons. Jac Collinsworth joined NBC Sports as an on-air commentator in March 2020.
According to The Richest, Collinsworth’s net worth is estimated to be around $14 million. As of April 2019, it’s believed that his salary was about $4 million per year because of his various broadcast gigs.
It’s safe to say that playing football and talking about football has served the Collinsworth family well.
Cris Collinsworth will certainly remain a fixture in football broadcasting for some time. Alongside Al Michaels, the NBC Sports analyst will go down as one of the best broadcasters to ever do it.