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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

Quotes From Collinsworth’s ‘A Football Life’ 8:15 p.m. Today

Courtesy NBC Sports
"Cris Collinsworth: A Football Life" premieres 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, on the NFL Networki.

Monday, Nov. 26 update: Cris Collinsworth: A Football Life repeats at 8:15 p.m. today, Monday, Nov. 26, if you missed it last weekend. It follows NFL Total Access.

Original post Friday, Nov. 23: “Probably to this day the smartest football player that I’ve ever played with on the field.”

That’s how former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason describes his pal – and favorite target -- Cris Collinsworth in Cris Collinsworth: A Football Life premiering 8 p.m. tonight (Friday Nov. 23) on the NFL Network.

Former Bengals Esiason, Ken Anderson, Anthony Munoz and Sam Wyche – plus NBC Sunday Night Football partner Al Michaels -- are among the 12 people interviewed for the one-hour documentary.

Credit Courtesy NBC Sports
Collinsworth with NBC broadcast partner Al Michaels.

The comprehensive profile covers Collinsworth’s playing career (how his failure at quarterback at the University of Florida changed his life; how his eight-year NFL career spanned both Bengals’ Super Bowls), to his transition to broadcasting with WLW-AM, HBO Sports (Wimbledon), NBC Sports (starting with Notre Dame games), Fox Sports and back to NBC.

Here’s a sampling of quotes and full list of participants from the NFL Network:

ANTHONY MUNOZ: “Right away I learned it didn’t matter how lean, how skinny, the guy is one of the toughest guys I’d ever seen play the game.”

AL MICHAELS: “He understands the game so thoroughly and he’s done such an enormous amount of homework. He sees things that I don’t think any other analyst does.”

Credit Courtesy Pro Set
Collinsworth's 1989 Pro Set trading card.

COLLINSWORTH: “Failing at quarterback impacted my entire life. Train as a receiver, good things happen, I have a nice long career, become a broadcaster out of it – it’s amazing. Don’t be so afraid when life changes.”

BOOMER ESIASON: “He always had a nice communication way about him on the sideline that was calming. Probably to this day the smartest football player that I’ve ever played with on the field.”

COLLINSWORTH: “I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I’m not going to give you something just so the coach or the player doesn’t get mad at me. I’m going to tell you what I think, and I think that’s the job.”

DICK EBERSOL: “He outworks everybody else. He’s about the best prepared human being I have ever known.”

COLLINSWORTH: “I can’t imagine anybody has a better job than I do. You have to occasionally in life step back and go, ‘I am the luckiest guy in the world, this is the greatest job in the world.’ I do it more often than not.”

Cris Collinsworth: A Football Life also includes comments from his wife Holly; sons Jac and Austin; NBC Sports executive Fred Gaudelli; and former HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg.

Not into football? Here’smy list of holiday programs on TV todayHow The Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, the Andy Griffith Show jailhouse Christmas party, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – plus Finding Nemo, The Wizard Of Oz and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.