Cris Collinsworth Praises Women's Football Knowledge


ICYMI, Cris Collinsworth made a comment regarding 'being blown away' by women's knowledge of football during Wednesday afternoon's Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers telecast, an observation that received predictable pushback on social media platforms. So why the grainy screenshot of Collinsworth from his Cincinnati Bengals playing days? During a Los Angeles Raiders v. Seattle Seahawks Monday Night Football telecast in 1984 (Howard Cosell had left the MNF team and production transitioned away from the traditional 'halftime highlights'), ABC did a feature on NFL players, nightlife and dating. Collinsworth was featured prominently in the segment...

"Being a bachelor and playing football have a lot of similarities. There is not anything in the world more competitive than trying THE girl." "I like girls who are not too bright because you can trick them a little bit. High school girls love me, 14-18, I am a big star with them. As soon as they mature, after they turn 18 years old - they start figuring out there is better than that out there.."

The segment did not result in immediate criticism, it occurred in an era when high-schoolers openly romanticized star athletes. In 2009, the entire ABC segment briefly appeared on YouTube, taken down as the NFL claimed copyright. By this time Collinsworth had joined Al Michaels on the league's premier primetime production on NBC Collinsworth issued an apology, he deemed his 1984 comments as 'insulting, immature and intended as a joke. Fast-forward to November 2020, the 1984 segment appears again on YouTube, this time just the 33-second soundbite with Collinsworth. As of this writing the post remains up. Finally we come to the brief comments made during a Wednesday matinee makeup contest. Collisworth was quick to apologize on social media.

"Today I made reference to a couple of women I met in Pittsburgh who so impressed me with their football knowledge that I wanted to tell their story on the air. I know the way I phrased it insulted many. I'm so sorry. What I intended as a compliment to the fans of Pittsburgh, became an insult."

Collinsworth married in 1989 and has four children, son Jac Collinsworth appears on NBC's Notre Dame telecasts and occasionally on SNF. Moral of the story, one cannot outrun the past in the age of digital media.