There are plenty of questions football fans might want to ask NBC’s Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth. He played in two Super Bowls and called five. He worked with Al Michaels and Joe Buck. But according to Collinsworth, the number one question he gets asked is, “Why do you hate my team?”

“From everybody in every single city including Cincinnati,” Collinsworth said Tuesday on The Pat McAfee Show. “I just had a lady today, came up to me in the airport and said ‘why do you hate Joe Burrow…I heard in the Super Bowl, you criticized him one time.’ Heaven forbid I criticize a guy who made one bad throw in the Super Bowl!”

Collinsworth is from Dayton, he played his entire career with the Bengals and continues to live in Cincinnati more than three decades after retiring from the NFL. If there’s one fanbase you would expect to excuse Collinsworth from the “why do you hate my team” question, it would be the Bengals.

But getting blamed for nepotism comes with the territory of being a national sports announcer. It’s trendy for fans to hate on network broadcasters, complaining that voices such as Joe Buck, Tony Romo, Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Collinsworth, and countless others bring bias to the microphone.

And there might be some truth to that, on occasion. It’s impossible for national announcers to be one hundred percent neutral, one hundred percent of the time. But realistically, fanbases just get overly sensitive when national announcers talk about their team.

Local announcers move with the ebbs and flows of a game and season. They echo the fanbase in rooting for the team to do well and they share disappointment when the team does poorly. Their job is better when the team they work for does well. There’s more anticipation for the game, more excitement in the stadium, and more people watching at home.

National announcers attempt to remain neutral. But in doing so, they tick off every fanbase because it means they’ll inevitably get excited about big plays for both teams during a game.

A Bengals fan watching the Super Bowl might not notice when Collinsworth gets excited for a play that positively impacted their team because they’re busy celebrating simultaneously. But they’ll notice when he gets excited for a big play from the Rams.

Similarly, a Rams fan hears when Collinsworth gets excited for the Bengals and almost certainly responds with angst over having to watch a Super Bowl called by an analyst who played their entire career for the opposition.

So that’s the science behind it. But just because there’s logic to the false narrative and just because national announcers insist they don’t have biases, doesn’t mean it’s going to stop fans from asking the question: “Why do you hate my team?”

[The Pat McAfee Show]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to