Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Jul 2005

Collinsworth Joins NBC Sunday Night Team

For the second time, NBC has signed an analyst from another network's No. 1 team. After landing John Madden to do the color commentary on Sunday Night Football starting in 2006, the Peacock has inked Cris Collinsworth to work in the studio with Bob Costas, currently his HBO Inside the NFL partner. Collinsworth has worked for NBC in the past and could branch off into covering the Olympics as well.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 13 Jul 2005

42 comments, Last at 19 Jul 2005, 9:28am by RichC


by Johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 3:24pm

Isn't that Collinsworthless?

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:15pm

One word:


by ABW (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:30pm

Why do the same crappy commentators keep getting jobs? I don't know ONE person who actually likes listening to Cris Collinsworth(although it's almost certain that Cris Collinsworth does) yet he gets to keep his job for years, despite the fact that he totally SUCKS at it.

Is it really harder to find a decent football analyst than say, a good pass rushing defensive end? Cause right now there's a lot more of the latter than the former. Maybe it's just that the networks talent evaluators suck. Forget more Super Bowls - I want Scott Pioli to start working for NBC and evaluating analyst talent so that I don't have to put up with this crap anymore.

by C (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:45pm

Generally, commentators annoy me, but I like Collingsworth. He has fun calling the game, and he's not afraid to call out something stupid that is going on. I like him on Inside the NFL on HBO, too.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 5:09pm

I do appreciate that Collinsworth doesn't try to be any players' or coaches' buddy, although, come to think of it, wasn't Collinsworth participating in the Favre-o-rama when ol' Brett was tossing some pretty dumb interceptions against the Vikings in the playoffs?

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 5:44pm

That's not his fault though, Will. NFL Announcers are contractually obligated to pimp Favre no matter what.

by Jerry F. (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 7:00pm

I dislike Collinsworth as a personality, yet I do appreciate that he, more than any other announcer, is willing to point out bad calls. This value will be lost in the studio.

by Johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 7:41pm

I think the general thing I hate about Collinsworthless is that he spends an amazing amount of time on negative comments.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 7:59pm

I think the general thing I hate about Collinsworthless is that he spends an amazing amount of time on negative comments.
Is this some kind of pot-kettle moment here?

by David Keller (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 7:59pm

A television personality, such as Cris Collinsworth, appears on television.

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 8:05pm

I don't see any redeeming value in Collinsworth as an announcer or as a studio personality. He points out mistakes where others wouldn't, yes, but he also contributes horrible analysis both in the booth and in the studio. I have almost never agreed with his opinions and I hate the aw-shucks, daren't be smart on TV way in which he presents them (although this facet of his on-screen personality is probably what has kept him alive so long.)

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 9:02pm

Wait a minute, NBC has Madden and Costas. I know Costas is their big, overall, voice-of-NBC voice, but I'd love to see Costas, Madden, and someone more colorful in the Sunday/Monday/whenever-the-hell-it-is Night booth.

by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 9:18pm

It seems as though every "big time" announcer gets ripped pretty good. My hunch is that guys like Collinsworth and Theismann are seen/heard by a lot of people since they get the big national games, or the prime time games. I think the hatred comes from familiarity. I don't have a problem with Collinsworth, but then I haven't been exposed to him a ton. Usually if I am watching the "day time" games, I do it at a sports bar, where I can't hear what's going on.

by Johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 10:07pm

I'd like to see Dan Fouts get back in a prime time booth. I also thought Boomer Esiason has done a good job on the Monday night radio crew.

by Sean (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 11:40pm

I'm a fan of Collinsworth, and thought he worked really well in the booth with Aikman and Joe Buck (who was by far the worst of the three). Boomer, on the other hand, announces games like he's really, really bitter that his greatness went unappreciated by everyone but himself. He does the radio calls of the Monday Night games, and you would think the guy was Dan Marino by the way he goes on about himself.

by johonny (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 1:17am

I think he really works well with the rather stiff Marino on the pregame show. I thought the Monday night crew took a big hit when Marv took over the play by play. Marv never seems to get into the flow of Boomers one liners like the old play by play man.

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 1:29am

I'm a big fan of Boomer Esiason and think he's one of the more intelligent studio personalities of the last several years. I haven't really heard him call a game, so I can't call him on that, but I think he's been the best part of a generally solid CBS studio team the last several years.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 3:35am

I think Collinsworth is so much better than Theismann that there is no comparison, although I think there is a chance that Theismann would be better if he weren't in the same booth with with the single worst non-jock sportscaster I've ever encountered, Mike Patrick, and guy who has not said any non-inane utterence in about 15 years, Paul McGuire. Hal Scott could be brought back to life, and if ya' stuck him in the booth with Patrick and McGuire, ol' Hal would sound like an excitable chimp by the second quarter.

by Bill (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 10:04am

I think they should use old football players from the teams that are playing. So if its Jets vs. Raiders, they should have a Namath or Klecko in the booth, with maybe Marcus Allen or Howie Long. This might be something different, could even be interesting.

& how much longer am I going to have to sit through Dan Dierdorf using words like "chicanery", and "cacophony". He makes me nauseous, I have to turn the volume off. Is he really trying to impress us all with his vocabulary?

by S (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 10:20am

Could someone please explain to me why Cris Carter isn't getting more offers to do studio analysis? Even when he was a player and he came in a a guest analyst, I thought he was well-spoken and gave intelligent analysis. I know he can sometimes come off as a "homer" for his former teammates and coaches, but he's still much better than Collinsworth, who just comes off as schmarmy. I just can't figure out why, aside from Inside the NFL and a few columns a year for Yahoo, Carter still isn't given a shot.

by MadPenguin (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 10:31am

Sorta related, can we get Jerome Bettis to sign on with JB Terry & Howie when he retires? :-)

by CatholicSamurai (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 10:35am

I have never liked Collinsworth, but I lost all respect for the man during the whole Rush/McNabb debacle when he would bring it up for no reason whatsoever when 1) Joe Buck, a friend of Rush's, would be sitting right freaking there in the booth and 2) he tried to come off like he was Rush's acquantiance before and after the incident.

by karl (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 10:49am

Hey, it could be worse: at least it ain't Joe "you broke both my legs" Theesman or Boomer "can't hold a candle to Marino" Esaison. It's times like these that make you look back fondly on the Dennis Miller Monday Night days.

by Jerry F. (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 10:59am

I didn't know Joe Buck was a friend of Rush Limbaugh. An already low opinion lowers.

by ABW (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 1:33pm

Basilicus, "daren't be smart on TV" is the best description of Collinsworth I've heard. OTOH, I always figured this was just because he was that dumb, not out of any calculation about what would go over well.

I'll grant that Collinsworth might do better with a better play by play guy. Sometimes it seems like Buck isn't even paying attention to what's going on on the field, he's so entranced by whatever the guys in the booth with him are rambling on about. This was one of the good things about the Michaels-Madden MNF - Michaels would just interrupt Madden if there was something going on on the field.

Whatever happened to Brian Baldinger and whoever he was paired with? I thought they were pretty good the couple of games I saw with him.

by Daniel (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 4:41pm

Collinsworth: football:: McCarver: baseball.

I think both are intelligent and are actually better than the run-of-the mill "back in my day, we never dogged it!" former athlete turn announcers. The problem is they know it, so they have this insufferable know-it-all attitude that can be grating. You can sometimes see Collinsworth looking at Marino like he's an idiot, and it just pisses me off; not that Marino isn't an idiot, it's just that Collinsworth isn't THAT smart that he should be thinking anyone else is an idiot. In the end, you just want to mute him because he's like that irritating kid in class who always has to show off how smart he is.

by Glenn (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 6:11pm

Click the link at my name below to lower your opinion of Joe Buck even more.

The story has nothing to do with football, but everything to do with TV sports. It details Joe's role in a disguised product shill during the All-Star game, a shill you may not have even been aware you were subjected to. Yes, this was dreamed up by the Fox Sports honchos who told Joe to do it, but isn't there a tipping point where an announcer realizes that his credibility as a broadcaster has been sent swirling down the crapper? And this, from the pompous blowhard who told us how "disgusting" Randy Moss was. Read this story and tell me who's the disgusting one now.

by MDS (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 6:57pm

I actually think Buck calls a good game in the sense that he has a good voice and is pretty articulate at describing what's in front of him, plus he has respect for the history of the game. But he's such a shill for his employers and their sponsors that it's hard to have any respect for him. Steroids are the biggest story in baseball right now, and yet he says that if he knew a player were taking them, he wouldn't say anything about it. And then, as Glenn points out, he shamelessly panders to advertisers. He's a corporate pitchman himself, but even Madden, the king of celebrity endorsements, doesn't mislead the viewers about what they're seeing in an attempt to draw attention to an ad. Disgraceful.

by El Angelo (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 6:59pm

Collinsworth at least gets his facts right when calling a game and has some thought behind his analysis (even if it's misguided). The people that I really can't tolerate are those that make countless errors, statements that have absolutely no basis, and will generally sound lost and confused.

And yes, Dick Enberg, I'm looking at you.

by Jerry F. (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 7:14pm

"You can sometimes see Collinsworth looking at Marino like he’s an idiot, and it just pisses me off"

I don't watch pre or post-game shows, so maybe I'm out of it, but I thought Collinsworth was on Fox and Marino was on CBS. Are they both on the Costas show (which I've also not seen)?

by Johonny (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 7:56pm

Listening to Dick Enberg is like listen to womens tennis. I feel dirty afterwards.

by Richie (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 9:10pm

Collinsworth, Marino and Costas (Cris Carter and Peter King, too!) are on HBO's Inside The NFL. I think that show plays way too many game highlights that are 3+ days old. More analysis, stories and interviews please.

by Terry (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 3:37am

For Collinsworth, his hindsight is yes.


by B (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 10:41am

Collinsworth has always been "the guy I can kinda stand on the Fox team." Now that he's going to NBC, I can safely watch all fox broadcasts on mute.

by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 11:44am

BTW, I read a story that NBC is making a push for Al Michaels, but already covering their butts by saying that if he stays at ABC/ESPN, it'd be because they threw a ton of money at him. If they don't get Michaels, they're looking at Tom Hammond for play-by-play. If Michaels stays at ABC/ESPN, he'd take over for Mike Patrick (presumably with Tweedledum and Tweedeleidiot).

by MRH (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 12:02pm

The thing that annoys me most (and other posters have hit on many of his other irritating mannerisms) about Collinsworth is how he'll take a strong stance like "they're moving the ball great on the ground all day, they should run more" and five minutes later will take the opposite position "They really need to pass more to loosen things up for the run".

I'd like to see him and Joe T in the booth and let Vegas run a line on who contradicts himself first in the course of the broadcast. I say "see" because I'd turn the volume off and learn the results from the crawl.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 2:09pm

I didn't really have much of an opinion on Cris Carter, although I didn't like his voice much, but after reading this article by him I can't have any respect for his ability to analyze or articulate that analysis. This is high school level stuff here.

Not only is the writing horrible, it's one big shout out to his former teammates.

by Daniel (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 3:17pm

Growing up in Ohio I have been subjected to Collinsworth since he rose through the ranks as a Bengal's broadcaster. He's horrible. He's mean spirited. And half the time he doesn't have a clue as to what is going on down on the field. I am always amazed that year ina dn year out the guy keeps meaningful employment analyzing football games. They nheed to bring back Dan Fouts. At least he understood what was going on and could relate it in an intelligent manner.

by MDS (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 3:20pm

I'm also a Fouts fan, although I think he might be better on college games, so I have no objection to him staying where he is.

I haven't watched a lot of Notre Dame in recent years, but my general sense has always been that NBC does a pretty bad job with them in terms of production quality, camera angles, graphics, etc. So I hope they're planning on having better behind-the-scenes guys on the NFL.

by Domer (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 3:36pm


I don't watch the home (NBC) Notre Dame games live as I'm always at the stadium, but I do watch some of them on Tivo (less and less the past few years) and you are correct. The NBC production is less than stellar. I think they will devote more resources to the NFL broadcast; in fact, I'm sure there is a standard that the NFL requires as far as # of cameras, etc.

Obviously, there are no corresponding standards for broadcast talent.

I have always liked Fouts. Aikman is pretty good, as is Baldinger. They all seem level-headed and not prone to following a scripted story-line from a producer.

by Dervin (not verified) :: Sun, 07/17/2005 - 12:21am

Does anybody have a link to the video where Boomer calls Manning "this generation's Marino?"

by RichC (not verified) :: Tue, 07/19/2005 - 9:28am

Re: 41

Oh God -- I had forgotten about that.

That whole sequence has to go down as one of the classics of in-the-studio action.