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Cincy Jungle Ring of Honor Candidate No. 10: Cris Collinsworth

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We round out our inaugural class of candidates for the Cincy Jungle Ring of Honor with Cris Collinsworth, one of the most recognizable voices and faces of the NFL - and a pretty good receiver as well!

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We are taking it upon ourselves to do what the Bengals' franchise has failed and refused to do during the past 46 years -- compile a true Ring of Honor for Bengals fans. Each day, we're presenting a candidate for the Ring of Honor and educating Bengals fans on the great history of the franchise for which they root, and the great players that have donned the stripes over the years. After this candidate, our 10th, is presented, you, the fans, will vote for the first five players to be inducted into the Cincy Jungle Bengals Ring of Honor's inaugural class. Let's get started with our last candidate for the year! Look out for voting to begin later this week.

Anthony Cris Collinsworth (80)

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 192

Position: WR

Bengals Career: 1981-1988

Drafted: Round 2, Pick 37

Biography

Our final candidate for the Cincy Jungle Ring of Honor inaugural class, makes the cut as much for his off-the-field contributions as his on-the-field contributions. Recruited to the University of Florida as a quarterback, Anthony Cris Collinsworth converted to be a receiver his sophomore year and was an All-SEC selection every year, including a First Team All-American as a senior in 1980. In need of weapons for Ken Anderson, the Bengals selected Collinsworth in the second round of the 1981 draft and his speed and 6'5" frame immediately created mismatches against smaller defensive backs. As a rookie, he stepped in and contributed immediately, leading the team in yards (1,009) and touchdowns (8) and ranked second on the team in receptions (67). 1981 would become the first of three consecutive Pro Bowls for Collinsworth and the first Super Bowl season in the history of the relatively young Bengals franchise.

Collinsworth would go on to lead the Bengals in receiving yards in each of his first six seasons and lead the team in receptions and touchdowns in five of his first six seasons. Unfortunately, after 1986, he went on to start just six more games in the NFL and would be forced to retire at the age of 29 due to injuries. However, during his six healthy seasons, he was one of the best and most dominant receivers in the NFL.

Collinsworth has spent the 26 years since his retirement in a broadcasting booth, 25 of which have been with the NFL. He has won five sports Emmy's for his work in the broadcast booth, has been the color commentator for multiple Madden video games, has been an Olympic commentator beside Bob Costas and in my opinion is one of the best NFL analysts in the business.

Resume For Induction

Accomplishments

  • 3-Time Pro Bowler (1981, 1982, 1983)
  • First-team All-Pro (1983)
  • 3-Time Second-Team AP All-Pro
  • 417 receptions (4th in franchise history)
  • 6,698 yards receiving (4th in franchise history)
  • 36 receiving touchdowns (6th in franchise history)
  • Lead the team in receiving yards from 1981-1986
  • 206 receiving yards in a single game (6th in franchise history)
  • 18 100-yard receiving games (4th in franchise history)
  • 16.1 yards per reception (4th in franchise history)
  • 21 postseason receptions (2nd in franchise history)
  • 354 postseason receiving yards (Franchise record)
  • Ranks No. 1 and No. 2 in receiving yards in the postseason (120 and 107)
  • Franchise record for receiving yards in a Super Bowl game (107)
  • 2nd and 3rd longest receptions in franchise postseason history (53 and 49)
  • Played in both Super Bowls in Bengals' franchise history
  • Inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame (1991)
  • Has been a part of NFL broadcasting crews since 1990 (HBO, Fox, NBC, NFL Network and Showtime)
  • Sports Emmy Award recipient for "Outstanding Studio Analyst" (1998 and 1999)
  • Sports Emmy Award recipient for "Outstanding Personality/Studio Analyst" (2003, 2004 and 2005)
  • Inducted into the Academic All-American Hall of Fame (2001)
  • Earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law (1991)

Team Records

  • 354 postseason receiving yards
  • 120 receiving yards in a postseason game
  • Franchise record for receiving yards in a Super Bowl game (107)

Blemishes on Resume:

Critics may point to his relatively low numbers, but these were the result of a career shortened by injuries. Collinsworth played a full 16 games just twice in his eight seasons and only started six games over his last two seasons.

My Opinion:

Cris Collinsworth is one of the most recognizable voices and faces of the NFL. He has been in the NFL - either playing or broadcasting - for the last 34 years and few have contributed more to the game. Though his career was shortened by injuries, when he was on the field, he was one of the best the NFL has seen - certainly one of the best the Bengals have seen. While his shortened NFL career - though impressive - will never get him elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his impressive eight year run with the Bengals is worthy of inaugural class consideration for the Cincy Jungle Ring of Honor.