Cris Collinsworth and his son, Jac, have been co-workers at NBC for almost a full year now. Cris handles Sunday Night Football color commentary duties while Jac works on the SNF postgame show. The two have combined to form an entertaining family duo on the NFL’s biggest stage, but Cris actually tried to stop NBC from ever hiring Jac in the first place.
Cris Collinsworth is a staple of NBC’s NFL coverage
Ever since Cris Collinsworth retired from the NFL in 1988, he’s made a name for himself in the broadcast booth. He first joined NBC in 1990, and he became a member of the NBC Pregame Show in 1996.
After spending time with Fox and HBO covering the NFL, Collinsworth returned to NBC in 2006. He eventually replaced John Madden as the color commentator for NBC’s Sunday Night Football in 2009, and he’s remained in that position ever since.
Jac Collinsworth joined his father at NBC in 2020
Ever since he was in high school, Jac Collinsworth knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and study to become a sports broadcaster. After he graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2017, he landed a job at ESPN as a Sunday NFL Countdown features reporter. He also went on to host television shows for the network such as NFL Live and The Huddle.
Last year, NBC approached Jac about joining his father with the network. Jac was ecstatic about the opportunity, but Cris didn’t exactly share his son’s excitement.
Cris Collinsworth didn’t want NBC to hire his son
Cris Collinsworth appeared on Tuesday’s episode of The Adam Schefter Podcast and spoke about the day he heard NBC was looking to hire Jac. It’s safe to say he wasn’t too into the idea of becoming co-workers with his son at first.
“I’m gonna be really, really, really honest with you here, I didn’t want him to leave ESPN,” Collinsworth told Schefter. “[NBC executive] Sam Flood came to me at the Hall of Fame Game at the beginning of the year, and he said ‘I just want you to know that I’m gonna make a run at Jac.’ And I said ‘Ugh, don’t do that.’ I go ‘He’s doing great…he’s on ESPN…he’s doing all these shows…they really like him…and it’s outside, so he’s not going to hear that I’m his dad. Don’t, don’t, don’t.’ He goes ‘I’m telling you, I’ve watched all the young talent out there right now and we need to start rebuilding our talent pool on the young side, and he’s like the best I’ve seen. I’ve got a couple other guys that I’m gonna hire too, but I want him.’ And, I really tried to talk him out of doing it. And I tried to talk Jac out of doing it.”
Collinsworth might not have been on board at first, but seeing firsthand how much Jac has excelled with NBC quickly changed his mind.
“I’ll tell you, that postgame show by yourself…where you’re critiquing what happened in the game…and you’re giving quick updates on watch this show and watch that show…and going to Michelle [Tafoya] for the interview and back…I mean, it’s just you and America. It’s like being Walter Cronkite or something. God love him, he’s kinda crushed it, so I’m happy for him.'”