Longtime NFL analyst Cris Collinsworth remains a key part of NBC’s Sunday Night Football this season, but one beloved aspect of his past on-air routine has disappeared along with Al Michaels, who moved to Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime.
After the change in broadcast partners, Collinsworth no longer slides into the frame moments before the start of the game. Instead, he and Mike Tirico appear together when cameras cut to the broadcast booth.
Collinsworth addressed the slide’s disappearance on a recent episode of “Up and Adams,” an NFL program on FanDuel TV. He told host Kay Adams that the change from Michaels to Tirico made the slide unnecessary.
“When Al Michaels was my partner, Al Michaels did an opening monologue. He came on by himself,” Collinsworth said, noting that he’d lean away from the camera to ensure that he wasn’t visible on camera during the speech.
Once Michaels was finished, Collinsworth slid in. “That’s how the whole thing got started,” he said, noting that, over the years, it became “a thing.”
But this year, Collinsworth continued, the slide is unneeded, since Tirico doesn’t do an opening monologue.
“What am I going to do? I’m sitting there. I could lean out (but) it would be stupid,” he said.
At Adams’ encouragement, Collinsworth agreed to consider other dramatic entrances, like dropping in from the ceiling, to entertain NFL fans.