November 28, 2014

Intermittent clouds

Bernie Kosar believes he’s off TV for slurred speech


Bernie Kosar

Bernie Kosar

CLEVELAND (AP) — Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar believes he’s been unfairly sacked as a TV broadcaster.

Kosar has been removed as a color commentator for Cleveland’s preseason games by the team. The Browns said Wednesday night he was being replaced by Solomon Wilcots, who will work with play-by-play announcer Jim Donovan.

Kosar contends he’s been removed because of slurred speech he attributes to “a direct result of the many concussions I received while playing in the NFL.”

“This is very unfortunate,” he said in a statement, “as I believe my football acumen and ability to describe what is happening on the field, has been well received by Cleveland Browns fans.”

The 50-year-old Kosar estimates he has had more than a dozen documented concussions. He has been in pain for more than a decade, but said last year he found some relief through treatments at a wellness facility in Florida.

In announcing their decision, the Browns said they were in discussions with Kosar about “potential new roles” on pregame telecasts and on the team’s website.

“We want Browns fans to look forward to seeing and hearing his continued contributions and analysis,” team president Alec Scheiner said.

Kosar played for Cleveland from 1985-92 and retired in 1996. The gangly quarterback from Boardman, Ohio, led Cleveland to three AFC title games. He remains one of Cleveland’s most beloved sports figures.

“I love to put the personal touch, pride in the Browns, and pride in our Cleveland community into the broadcast,” he said. “Being able to share these preseason games with my fellow Cleveland Browns fans is truly one of the remaining joys in my life.

“I would hope that WKYC would reconsider utilizing my in-game talents and overlook my concussion-induced impairment. I want everyone to know that I still bleed Brown and Orange.”

Last summer, Kosar drew criticism for in-game comments about former St. Louis third-string quarterback Kellen Clemens, the Rams’ receivers and assistant coach Ray Sherman.

St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher said of Kosar: “I lost a lot of respect for him. It’s highly unlikely he knew anything about our football team, but felt the need to make those comments. I don’t think they were justified.”

The Browns apologized to the Rams and reprimanded Kosar.

  • RealLHS

    Please join me in boycotting Browns pre-season games.

  • Sis Delish

    Another round of “diminishing skills” for Bernie…

  • Joe Smith

    “Kosar contends he’s been removed because of slurred speech he attributes to “a direct result of the many concussions I received while playing in the NFL.”

    Yea, who in their right mind would want a person that speaks clearly to work for them as a spokesman?

    How about one legged field goal kickers next?…..sigh

  • unclewicked

    People watch football to escape the everyday f’ed up realities of life, like brain damage, AIDS and dead puppies.

    If ever we need a reminder that life isn’t fair, then we’d watch the preacher man, or Fox News. That’s why God put them there.

  • onesears

    So they hire a guy who played for the Bengals and Pittsburgh.. good job there. This new owner hasnt got a clue.

  • Mark B

    he is off because he is a complete idiot, he sucked when he was QB and he is even more of a idiot now

  • golfingirl

    Imagine that, you have to be able to speak clearly to be a television commentator.

    I liked Bernie as a player, but as a commentator, not so well. I just never saw much value in his “insight,” even if he had difficulty speaking it.

    Frankly, I thought he was very boring. Not all players can make the transition into announcing. He was given more than enough chances, due to Cleveland’s love for him, but it was time to cut the cord and move on.

    Good Luck Bernie.

  • The Thinker

    Link to Kosar’s comments referenced above.

  • Sis Delish

    Gee, I guess I’ll have to take my Signed, Autographed Cleveland Browns Football with “19″ signature down to Solomon Wilcots… NOT!

  • John Q. Taxpayer

    Maybe poor Bernie should have taken lesson from Casey Coleman and given up the boose before the telecast. All he really did was toot his own horn about how great he was.

  • Brian_Reinhardt

    When you’re drunk, both your speech and thought process are “slurred”.

    Kosar exhibited both very often.

    • golfingirl

      Kosar has a long history of alcohol problems, but he maintains that sometimes he merely appears drunk because concussions have so damaged his brain.

      He is facing a DUI charge right now, so who really knows. Driving 74mph in a 50mph construction zone with workers present at 2:30am.

      If his erratic driving was a result of his brain damage, he should be taken off the roads, forget about taking him off the air, before he kills someone!

      So, has the alcohol, or the concussions affected his mental skills?

      Likely a combination of both.

  • ekwaykway

    Why not listen to Bernie, we listened to Charlie Jones with his ill fitting dentures for years? “Shecond and sheven on the twenty sheven yard line…”

  • Jamie Smith

    We had a lot of FUN watching Bernie get that brain damage while winning Us those games. This ‘New” bunch of Browns personal are smart as bricks. I may just choose to become a Steeler’s fan. Next thing we know the Brown’s will be hiring Terry Bradshaw for that job……….

  • John Elek

    Bernie was one of Cleveland Browns best quarterbacks of my lifetime. When he was in the booth he could tell you pretty much what the defense was doing before the snap of the ball. He is a great football minded person and to replace him with a Bengal/Steeler is a horrible decision. Bernie thanks for your dedication to Cleveland and its fans.

  • doug zen

    Whats your excuse for lack of mental skills golfingirl? Hopefully you dont have children.