Born into poverty in Hammond, Indiana, not much was expected from Irvin Acie Cross. But with much hard work and dedication, he put together one of the most incredible life stories imaginable.
After being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1961 out of Northwestern University, Cross went on to have a nine-year career in the NFL, appearing in two Pro Bowls. After retiring, he joined the Eagles as a coach, and remained so until 1971 when a rare opportunity came along.
Without any national TV experience, Cross was hired by CBS Sports as an analyst and commentator, becoming the first African American to work full-time as a sports analyst on national television. He then joined NFL Today in 1975 with Brent Musburger, former Miss America Phyllis George, and sports bookie Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, and the show would go on to win thirteen Emmy Awards that first year.
Throughout his life, Irv Cross has shown off his signature smile. With his strong spiritual belief, he has accomplished more than most people could ever dream of. His hard work and dedication have led him on a storied journey, and in 2009 he was awarded the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Bearing the Cross is Irv at his finest. From childhood to retirement, he shares an incredible life; the friends he’s made, the people he’s helped, and the lives he’s changed. With help from longtime journalist Clifton Brown, Bearing the Cross will not only give you an inside look into this incredible man but teach you the life lessons that have warmed his life.
Irv Cross is a former NFL player and sports broadcaster. After a career with the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams, Cross joined CBS Sports and later the Emmy Award–winning NFL Today. A storied life, he has been the chairman of the Minnesota Twins Community Fund, the Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery National Sports Initiative, the Director of Athletics at Macalester College, and the Executive Director and Chief Advancement Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award given by the Pro Football Hall of Fame for “long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.”