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  • Contributors

    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
    Dave Lapham
    Has called game for the Bengals radio network for 25 years. Analyst for Big 12 games on Fox Sports Net. Played 10 years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Turk Schonert
    NFL quarterback for 10 years with the Bengals and Falcons. Has served as quarterback coach for the Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Giants and Saints and Offensive Coordinator for the Bills.
    Phil McConkey
    Played 6 years in the NFL as a WR, punt returner and kick returner for the Giants, Packers, Cardinals and Chargers. Played college football at the Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy before joining the NFL. Best remembered for his oustanding game in Super Bowl XXI.
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    Josina "JoJo" Anderson is contributing reporter on Showtime's Inside the NFL and is a weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 Sports in Denver, Colorado. Josina produces the nightly sportscasts and covers the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
    Jerry Jones
    NFL Draft Expert, has published the acclaimed Drugstore List since 1978.
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    Researcher, writer and editor covering the NFL for over 30 years.
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    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • Happy Draft Day Everyone: Hope This Draft Day is More Fun than Mine

    At 53 years of age, you would think some things would become old hat by now, but I have to admit that I am excited once again for the first round of the draft. It brings back so many memories of my draft day. I was in my college apartment with my family, my agent, a girl that I really didn't want there, and several members of the media. My phone tapped to record "THE CALL." The day that should have been one of the greatest of my life turned into a three-ring circus.

    The Bengals had the 10th pick in the draft and I knew they were interested in me. As my pulse doubled, the Bengals submitted their pick with the name David Verser on it. Verser was a wide receiver from Kansas. My agent then announced to the room how happy he was that the Bengals DIDN'T pick me. Cincinnati was a horrible city, the team was terrible, and Mike Brown was the cheapest owner in the league.

    The draft moved at at a snail's pace as team after team passed on me. But, I wasn't worried because I knew that the Cowboys and Raiders both promised to draft me at the end of the first round. Of course that didn't happen either, so now I started to get mad. Early in the second round, I watched as the Jets fans were booing the Jets pick. The next pick was the Giants and they were asking the nuts in the crowd about who the Giants should pick, and they were all saying the Giants had to pick defense. If the Giants picked offense their was going to be a revolution. Just then my phone rang, "hello Cris? This is so-and-so from the New York Giants. We are going to draft you with our next pick. What do you think?" I said, "well, I'm excited to get drafted, but I don't think the fans are going to like it much." So after another five minutes of chit-chat the guy on the phone said, "Cris, this is Alex Hewko.....Gotcha!!!!!!" Alex was a teammate of mine at Florida and former friend. I tried to laugh it off, but I was ready to explode. Back to watching my name not being called on television.

    Finally, for the first time since the Bengals first pick I relaxed because it was the Bengals second round pick and they had already taken a receiver in the first round. No way were they going to pick another receiver. Just then the guy on TV says "with their 2nd round pick, the Cincinnati Bengals select wide receiver Cris Collinsworth from Florida." On cue, the phone rings and my mother jumps off the coach crying remembering what my agent said about how horrible Cincinnati was. So, I'm going to a bad NFL team, that not only has Isaac Curtis, but a first round receiver playing in front of me, and now my Mother is having a melt-down. Greatest day of my life? The only person happy in the room is the girl that I didn't want to be there in the first place.

    Things obviously got better from there. I won the starting job, we went to the Super Bowl, and I made the Pro Bowl my rookie year. But, Draft Day 1981 was a circus, and I was the clown.

    Comments 17 Comments
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Paul Brown was still the owner then, no?
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      and just to make you feel old, I was 3 months old when you were drafted.
    1. StonerLab's Avatar
      Funny Story Chris,

      Thanks for sharing.
    1. Turk Schonert's Avatar
      And on that day ... my drinking buddy was born. Great get by Paul Brown!!
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Great story showing the emotional roller coaster draft day can be. Especially when you have friends and family there with you to celebrate the biggest moment of your young professional life. That just adds to the excitement and pressure.
    1. Polishguy00's Avatar
      Aaron Rodgers has nothing on CC.
    1. iwatt's Avatar

      Verser had 454 yard in 23 receptions during an illustrious 5 year career. He did have 1 career start, in Cleveland were he recorded no receptions.

      They say the best revenge is living well... I think you beat him Cris. But how much motivation was it, getting passed up on?
    1. xaks's Avatar
      OK, draft day!

      Here's my question: Now that they've had to release Collins...does Green Bay trade UP and take a shot at Barron?

      I'm thinking if he's on the board still, Seattle at 12 would be a willing dance partner, they've traded with Green Bay before, and I'm hearing they'd like to trade down...

    1. FrzzerBwler's Avatar
      Thanks for the story Cris.
      Wasn't Big Blue the team you missed the pre-draft meeting with due to a travel snafu?
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      The '81 draft was the first one that was televised and someone put 40 minutes of it on youtube in 4 segments http://www.youtube.com/results?rlz=1...-8&sa=N&tab=w1

      That was a great draft. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1981_NFL_Draft . That Jets pick was Marion Barber Sr. After Cris went 37th, the Bears took Mike Singletary 38th. 2 more Hall of Famers later in the 2nd, Howie Long and Rickey Jackson, to go along with 1st round HOFers Lawrence Taylor and Ronnie Lott.
    1. Colts01's Avatar
      Also there is CC's great combine story.

    1. Cris Collinsworth's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Colts01 View Post
      Also there is CC's great combine story.

      Oh my gosh. Somebody really does keep all of that stuff. That was a fun night telling stories with my boys. Sorry about Greg Cosell....what happened? What is a miscommunication?
    1. Swami's Avatar
      Great story, but you didn't tell us what happened in the Super Bowl. Did you win?

      Quite brave of me, being a Bills fan and all ...
    1. FrzzerBwler's Avatar
      Swami the morning of XXIII it was a group of Bill fans that told us about Stanley Wilson when we walked into a bar for brunch in Ft Lauderdale. The few days we had been there, we'd seen many Bills snowbirds, who were all very nice and fun considering 2 weeks earlier. So when they first told us we figured they were joking, they finally said go inside and look at the TVs, that's when we realized it wasn't a joke. Still think that cost us a Lombardi. Took away the play action fake.
      Quote Originally Posted by Swami View Post
      Great story, but you didn't tell us what happened in the Super Bowl. Did you win?

      Quite brave of me, being a Bills fan and all ...
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Bigger Super Bowl deflating moment:

      Stanley Wilson?
      Falcon safety Eugene Robinson winning the Bart Starr award for "high moral character" then getting arrested for soliciting prostitution from an undercover cop on the night before the 1999 Super Bowl?
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Bigger Super Bowl deflating moment:

      Stanley Wilson?
      Falcon safety Eugene Robinson winning the Bart Starr award for "high moral character" then getting arrested for soliciting prostitution from an undercover cop on the night before the 1999 Super Bowl?
      Wilson simply because his team had a legit chance to win. If the Falcons had reincarnated Ronnie Lott in his prime a safety would not have helped them beat the Donkeys that day.

      I'll toss in Barret Robbins of the Raiders who went AWOL before the SB and turned up with drugs in his system. Then it was subsequently revealed that the poor dude was bipolar. Sad. He ended up going to prison a few years later.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      That's sounds sad but good Cris turned it into a good story for us to hear. That Draft Snub is what helps guys to get that edge & ball harder. Even 5 or so years later! Whatever works.