Kosar sidelined from TV gig

Former Brown believes he's off broadcast for slurred speech.
Associated Press
Apr 24, 2014


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."

Brooke Spectorsky, president and general manager of WKYC, said Kosar could have a "presence with our broadcast team," possibly during the pregame show.

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.

Last October, Kosar was arrested in Solon, Ohio, on drunken driving charges. The police report said he refused to take a field sobriety test. Kosar told an officer he couldn't do so because he has had several operations on his knees and ankles.

According to the report, Kosar gave the officer two credit cards when asked to show his driver's license. Kosar had slurred speech and difficulty speaking.



Darwin's choice

Scotch also causes slurred speech Bernie...!!


can he fix heat pumps?

William Jeffers...

No matter, Bernie was a different kind of "Pro" back in the day. He often stopped by Rainbow Hospital surprising the kids with a visit and some toys. No media notified, never "look at me" he just did it because he could and it meant a lot to the kids and he did that A LOT! Had a friend who was an "insider"said Bernie was the real deal when it came to having a big heart and being a good guy,said the public knows maybe 5% of ALL the good he did because he didn't want recognition. Here's to hoping the Karma returns to you Bernie...you always paid it forward when you had it to give. Always a fan of a man who brings true joy to sick children; that's way more important than anything done on the gridiron.

2cents's picture


Bottom Line

Well said


I bet he was fired because he is WHITE and a GUY!


Love Bernie and he was not the most well spoken on TV but he sure knew his stuff. There were many times he knew the next play before they broke the huddle. I am sure bc his little driving issue along with his speech issue ch. 3 decided to part ways. However, like the other guy said he did allot of things behind the scenes we never knew about. To me his statement was something he should have kept behind the scene also. Love the man but we do not need to see this battle in public

From the Grave

They ARE getting rid of EVERY quarterback in town, after all...


Football is so totally, entirely, wholly, thoroughly, fully, utterly, absolutely, perfectly, BORING AND LAME!!!!!!!
Permanent injury is what anyone deserves for participating.

Bottom Line

What a completely stupid post. I hope you get a permanent injury today.

A Young Adult's...

Let's get this straight: This was the Browns decision and channel 3 had to go along with it.

For the life of me I will never understand why he was on television in the first place. You cannot understand him. The combination of past concussions and rampant alcoholism are truly in full force. Why do Browns fans idolize this guy? He's got his own demons to take care of (as do all of us), but he surely hasn't been someone to look up to.


I find him easier to understand than most Browns fans, and a few Register posters.

A Young Adult's...

How can you blame the Browns? Why would they want to deal with his stuff? The Kellen Clemens remarks last year, the DUI, etc.

Such an unnecessary distraction.


Did I blame the Browns?

My remark stated that Mr. Kosar is easier to understand i.e. he has better communications skills including reading comprehension, than most Browns fans and a few posters herein.

Thanks for making my case!

Bottom Line

He said NOTHING hurtful, offensive or inappropriate about Clemens. All he said, in short, was that Clemens is a lousy QB. Which he IS. How is stating the obvious truth such a terrible thing? And it wasn't even national tv for St Louis fans. It was a Cleveland area broadcast only.

A Young Adult's...

Whether you or I deem the remarks inappropriate is irrelevant. The Browns had to answer to it, thus making it an unnecessary distraction.

From the Grave

People don't want to hear the truth.

A Young Adult's...

I agree. Browns fans don't want to hear that their idol is a babbling drunk.


Wait a minute...do you have any knowledge of the effects of 12 concussions to the brain and its potential effects on speech?

How do you know with certainty that he was drunk while broadcasting and not slurring his speech due some neurological defect?


It's sad but Bernie probably is suffering from the brutality of playing in the NFL. However, as with anyone with a disability you still have to be able to do the job.
Lots of NFL players die young. IMO, the human body was not built for that type of physical abuse. Is the money worth it?


I wonder if his parents are proud.

Ralph J.

Specializing in brain injuries for 15 years, Sponaugle diagnosed Kosar with a traumatic injury to the frontal lobe, which controls speech and motor function, memory, problem-solving, social behavior and judgment.

At a news conference Thursday at the Marriott Courtyard near Browns headquarters, Kosar said he suffered more than a dozen known concussions during an NFL career that spanned 126 games in 13 years starting in 1985. That doesn’t count the countless times his head bounced off the concrete under the artificial turf at Riverfront Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium or the Houston Astrodome and the frozen grass of Cleveland Municipal Stadium. He said that was harder than any hits he absorbed from Greg Lloyd or Hardy Nickerson.

“Bernie had his head thrown through the windshield every Sunday,” Sponaugle said.


Ralph J.

Why not try it for concussions? Too afraid of the truth?


Ralph J.
Ralph J.