Cris Collinsworth

Cris Collinsworth was born on January 27, 1959 in Dayton, Ohio. He is known as an American sports broadcaster and former professional football player for the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL.

Upbringing and Education

Cris was not the only child in the family, he had a brother that he was raised with. His father was Abraham Lincoln Collinsworth who worked as a teacher before he eventually became a principal. Abraham received his name from Cris’ grandparents because he was born on Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Cris’ mother Donetta Collinsworth was also a teacher.

When Cris was four years old, his family moved to Titusville, Florida. In Titusville, he attended Astronaut High School and even from that time he was seen as different than other children. He was very tall and strong. Those two advantages combined with his passion of football led him to huge success. Cris won the 100 yard dash in the 70s with his younger brother taking bets from spectators. He made a lot of money betting on him.

While studying at school, he played for the football team and became an All-American quarterback. His tall height, speed and love of football eventually earned him an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida. As a member of Florida Gators football team, he mostly played as a quarterback. His first game on the team made him famous. He threw a 99-yard touchdown pass and the pass became the longest touchdown pass in NCAA history.

Producing great results when he switched to being a wide receiver, he earned first-team All-American and first-team Academic All-American honors. In 1980, he became a captain of the Florida Gators. For his outstanding results in football, he was inducted to the University of Florida Hall of Fame. According to The Gainesville Sun, Cris Collinsworth was #12 all-time Gator player.

Moving on to the NFL

After his graduation in 1981, he continued his football career in NFL when he made his debut for the Cincinnati Bengals.

In 1985, he joined another professional football team, Tampa Bay Bandits of the United States Football League. However, he could not continue to play for the team because of his injured ankle. His contract was voided and he returned to the NFL to play for the Bengals.

The 6 foot 5 Chris was an outstanding football receiver with 417 receptions in 107 games played in the NFL, he was a very skilled player.

He spent 8 years in the NFL, all of them with the Cincinnati Bengals. He was a quick runner, at a 4.4 second 40 yard dash speed, he was a true threat to opponents. His running skill was inherited by his daughter Ashley who won the Kentucky High School title in the 100 meters race, and ran for Harvard later where she became a team captain. The family was full of speed and quick runners.


After some time spent on the Bengals team, Cris decided to retire from football.

Broadcasting Career

After his football playing career, Cris worked as a commentator and host on the radio station WLW,

He then started working for HBO as a reporter in 1989. The next year was big for him as he became a part of NBC's family. 8 years later he joined FOX's team. 3 years later he worked on the Super Bowl.

By 2006, he was a sports superstar and well known by the public. Fans enjoyed how he broke down plays during the game. What he said always seemed to make sense and he had a gift in explaining the game to casual fans.

He even lent his broadcasting talent to video games. He appeared EA Sports’ NFL Madden 09, 10 as well as 11 and 12. Video game fans around the world can recognize his voice even if they don’t know who he is. Billions of hours of game play were played with his voice in the background calling plays while gamers controlled their virtual teams.

During his sport broadcasting career he won 15 Sports Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Sports Personality/Studio Analyst".

Dealing with Sensitive Football Figures

Cris bought a statistical website in 2016 called Pro Football Focus. At first he used to use this website to prepare for the games and makes his predictions, but as time passed, he became addicted and that resulted in the acquisition of the website.

Over 200 employees work at PFF. Employees there spend their time watching, counting and analyzing every second of the games. Numbers are produced, crunched and recorded, then they are discussed and further analyzed. It’s a clockwork organization that has much dedication and commitment as a fire station.

Players and coaches that received negative grades attacked the website and said it was useless. In an interview with The Washington Post, Cris defended his website, “Let me put it this way: We've heard that a lot. A LOT. I mean, that's like, 'Hi, how are you,' to us. It's that common. I would say [Lang's] right to some extent. Are [analysts] gonna understand everything about their game plan and exactly what's going on? No. But I'll go right back to this: Every single coach that has ever walked through our doors has come out of their with their mouth open going, 'I cannot believe what those guys know, I cannot believe how thorough and detailed and informed those guys are.’”

Personal Life

Cris is a very happy family man. He is married. His wife Holly Collinsworth is an attorney. They have four children. Some of his children also have deep interests in education and sports. His daughter received her degree in Psychology from Harvard. His son, Austin is currently the Vice President of Distribution for Pro Football Focus. Austin was also a football player and team captain for Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, his son earned an MBA in Investments. His son worked as a reporter for NBC. His daughter Katie was a Manager of Marketing and Education Projects at GolfNow.

It seems like Cris and Holly are going to live a long and happy life with the love of their children.

Last Modified: Apr 7, 2020

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