Despite a prolific NFL career and an equally as successful career in the broadcasting booth, no one could identify Cris Collinsworth on ‘Jeopardy!’ last night. Collinsworth spent 8 seasons as a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals before joining Al Michaels in the booth for NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
All in all, Collinsworth has spent the past thirty or so years in television media. However, no one on ‘Jeopardy!’ had a clue who he was.
“Another humbling moment,” Collinsworth said. “Nobody on Jeopardy had a clue.”
In fairness to those on Jeopardy, Cris Collinsworth retired from the NFL after the 1988 season. With all of the young stars taking over the league today, many NFL fans find it difficult to remember the old geysers. While Collinsworth may not still have the fame he once did, his NBC contract makes it hard for him to complain.
With that said, NBC Sports has been in talks with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. When the future Hall of Famer retires, many folks expect him to join Al Michaels in the booth for Sunday Night Football. If this were the case, Brees would replace Collinsworth as the color commentator.
Cris Collinsworth has had pretty strong job security up until this point with Brees, excluding one time early in his broadcasting career. As he recalls, Collinsworth held out of his contract in hopes of getting paid more in the early ’90s after he “had a plane ticket that was worth more” than what he was paid for the game.
Not only did NBC refuse to give him a raise, they actually fired Collinsworth. Eventually, he was able to climb back up the ranks, but that mistake nearly cost him his career.
NFL Career of Cris Collinsworth
After a four-year college career with the University of Florida, the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Cris Collinsworth in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft. He would remain with the Bengals for his entire 8-year career. He made an immediate impact on the field, breaking the franchise record for receptions by a rookie.
Collinsworth would go on to exceed 1,000 yards receiving in four of his eight seasons, including his rookie season. He was also selected for the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons. He retired with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1988 after 8 seasons.