“He Played ‘White Receiver*’ Then”


Ol’e Cris Collinsworth,

played “White Receiver” those days

and made a “Living.”

 

  • (National Football League television color-analyst for Sunday Night Football – after a long stint on Monday Nights on ABC – was a high school wishbone quarterback with a good arm but sparely used.  His freshman year at The University of Florida he tied a NCAA record with a 99-yard “possible” touchdown pass in his first game.  That yardage was – and is – the maximum allowable for a TD pass or run from scrimmage.  Later that year he switched to offensive wide receiver.  Those of us in North Brevard County – Titusville and Mims, Florida – began calling him a White Receiver by his junior and senior years at UF and then more commonly while playing a stellar career for the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL.  He made a living of taking the inside route, either short or long, of “squaring in” over the crowded middle and lasted long enough to become a fan favorite.  His steadily improving work as a NFL analyst and later his professional and informative work as an Olympic commentator prove his path from The Law to the Television Court of Public Appeal a standout choice.  He earned every bit of his acclaim.  When I was covering his local high school – Astronaut High – I often saw him leaving doctors’ offices after practice – be it football, basketball, track & field or his senior year baseball so he could play with his pals and his younger brother Gregg – with a bucket, mop, cleaning supplies and equipment and stuffing all that into the hatchback of his Pinto that he then drove off to Gainesville and Glory.  He then began signing his autographs not with his High School and later College Number “21” but “80” as a Bengal.  His Gator teammates had already given him the moniker “Cadillac.”  And he was that, too.)

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