NFL Network Profiling Cris Collinsworth, Carson Palmer

Aug 6, 2018

Update noon Tuesday, Aug. 7: Yes! A Football Life producers have found video of Cris Collinsworth racing a bay horse at Latonia Race Course in 1983, and video of Collinsworth's Wilmbledon features for HBO, his first sports broadcasting.  The NFL Network also has set the date for the Collinsworth episode.

A NFL Network publicist tells me:  "Regarding the episode on Cris Collinsworth, it will be roughly a 50/50 split with regards to his football and broadcasting career. Additionally, 1980s footage of racing a horse and Wimbledon features have been found and are included in the show, which is scheduled to air Friday, November 23 at 8 p.m. Eastern on NFL Network."

Original post 11:49 a.m. Monday Aug. 6: NFL Network's signature series A Football Life will devote an hour each to two former Bengals: receiver-turned-Emmy-winning analyst Cris Collinsworth and former quarterback Carson Palmer.

Palmer, the Heisman Trophy winner and overall first pick in the 2003 draft, will kick off the eighth season of A Football Life Friday, Sept. 14  (8 p.m., NFL Network.).

In the preview, Palmer talks about his knee injury in the January 2006 AFC playoff game against the Steelers at Paul Brown stadium. "I just felt a pop, and knew my season was over," says Palmer, 38, who retired from the Arizona Cardinals in January. Here's a link to his career stats.

Collinsworth, who has 16 Emmy Awards for game or studio commentary, says in the preview: "I'm not going to sugarcoat it. I'm going to tell you what I think."

Collinsworth begins his 10th season with Al Michaels on "Sunday Night Football" this fall.
Credit Courtesy NBC Sports

No date has been set for the Collinsworth episode.  

I've requested more details from the NFL Network. (How much of the show will be about his playing days? Do they include Cris racing a 7-year-old bay horse named Mr. Hurry at old Latonia Race Course in 1983?  Doing Wimbledon features for HBO Sports in the late 1980s? Or his 1982 ABC Superstars 100-yard dash?)

The 11 A Football Life episodes also will profile linebacker Lawrence Taylor, quarterbacks Tony Romo and Doug Williams; tight end Dwight Clark; running back Thurman Thomas; safety Brian Dawkins; Super Bowl-champion head coaches Bill Cowher and Mike Holmgren; and NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest.

Collinsworth is starting his 10th season with Al Michaels on NBC's top-rated Sunday Night Football.  Here's a link to a funny story about Michaels' encounter with Collinsworth at baseball's 1988 All-Star Game at Riverfront Stadium.

Collinsworth's 1989 NFL Pro Set football card
Credit Pro Set

The Bengals drafted Collinsworth in the second round in 1981 from the University of Florida, where he earned an accounting degree. He also received a law degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1991. He played eight seasons for the Bengals.

Collinsworth started in broadcasting hosting WLW-AM's SportsTalk in January 1990, after Bob Trumpy left to work full-time for NBC Sports. Collinsworth joined NBC that fall. He has worked for HBO, Fox Sports and NBC Sports (twice).

The Fort Thomas resident also is the majority owner of Pro Football Focus, which "utilizes an exclusive and propriety grading system to analyze the performance of every NFL and college player on each snap,"  according to his NBC bio. 

A Football Life has profiled Bengals founder Paul Brown and receiver Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson.