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Lawyer Could-Have-Been: Cris Collinsworth

The NFL season opened this past weekend, and hope is everywhere. From Miami to Seattle to Houston to … Washington?

In honor of Week 1, here’s a Lawyer Could-Have-Been – Cris Collinsworth, the one-time Cincinnati Bengal who took over John Madden’s seat on NBC’s Sunday Night Football this season.

Collinsworth went to the University of Florida, where he played football and earned a degree in accounting in 1981. Tall (6’5”) and fast, he was drafted by the Bengals in the second round and played eight seasons, appearing in Cincy’s two Super Bowls, both of which ended in San Francisco victories. The 1989 SB, Collinsworth’s last game, was one of the more interesting title games, featuring a last-minute touchdown drive led by 49ers quarterback Joe Montana.

Collinsworth moved into broadcasting, taking a reporter’s job at HBO. But he was hedging his bets. He started law school part-time at the University of Cincinnati law school in his next-to-last season with the Bengals and earned his law degree from UC in 1991. But his TV career went well and he has yet to take a bar exam anywhere.

By the way, one of Collinsworth’s sons plays football for Notre Dame, where he is a teammate of Nate Montana, son of Joe.

(Photo by Mitchell Haaseth / © NBC Universal, Inc.)

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