Kosar is paid to analyze; let him analyze
AUG 12, 2013 5:57p ET
Apparently it is now illegal to have a little fun during an NFL preseason game.
Someone in the offseason must have passed a law making exhibition football sacrosant.
Said law must state that a guy in a booth can’t even crack a joke.
Because Browns analyst Bernie Kosar was castigated publicy by both his team and the coach of the other team for the way he analyzed a meaningless exhibition in August. Keep in mind said game was yet one more when the Browns and NFL again made fans pay full price to watch backups and guys who won’t be in the league.
Yet Kosar is the guy deemed “unprofessional” by the CEO of the Browns, Joe Banner. For making a joke about watching guys not play well, while fans sit in the seats at the cost of their child’s first bike.
Kosar knows the game. Listen to him and it’s impossible not to learn something. Formations, defensive alignments … he cuts through it all and gets to the point.
Hank Stram used to partner with Jack Buck on the radio on Monday Night Football, and he became famous for saying things like, “They’re gonna run right here Jack.”
They’d run right and Buck would gush.
Kosar goes a step further. He’ll see the offense come to the line, and he’ll flat out say: “This run to the left is going nowhere.” Then after the back is stuffed for a loss of two, he’ll explain why it went nowhere, and what the quarterback needed to recognize to avoid the bad play.
Same with pass plays. He’ll explain why a throw was a good one, or why a pass should not have been thrown, all while he breaks down coverages.
He uses the same smarts on TV that made him successful on the field. And he’s able to convey it in a way that fans can understand and appreciate.
Yet he got in trouble from the thought police for making a crack during a game and for being critical. When play-by-play man Jim Donovan said backup quarterback Kellen Clemens signed the Pope’s miter, Kosar cracked: “Bless me Father for I have sinned. I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter.”
Kosar is Catholic. He made a joke related to his religion and then he commented on Clemens. Nothing more or less. Yet he was called unprofessional in a statement by Banner (insert comment about fired Browns employees since Banner took over here).
Kosar clearly was more critical of the visiting team than he was the Browns. So what? Listen long enough, and his criticisms of the Browns come through. Often he’ll say a pass can’t be thrown into a particular coverage, or a run can’t be called into an alignment. It just might not have the barb with it. Big whoop-dee-doo.
Ever hear Hawk Harrelson call a baseball game for the Chicago White Sox? He’s the most pro-home team announcer in sports, and he’s one of the best. His emotion for a White Sox win or loss comes through loud and clear.
Indians' radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton, too, is known to get a tad excited at a game-winning hit. Should the losing team take umbrage?
Kosar went on later to say that he was impressed Clemens was nice to the Pope -- has there been a more bizarre practice game discussion -- but added, “He still can’t play quarterback.”
Then Clemens threw an interception.
If there’s one thing Kosar knows, it’s quarterbacking.
Kosar is beloved in Cleveland because he is Cleveland. He grew up nearby, he wanted to play in Cleveland and he succeeded in Cleveland.
He is the town’s NFL every man.
He’s had struggles, plenty of them, after his playing days ended. He’s not alone on that front. But in this case his “issues” (the word of St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher) have nothing to do with his commentary.
Wouldn’t Kosar have less cred if he sold Clemens to the world as a viable NFL quarterback when he’s proven for years the kind of player he is?
Jeff Fisher is a good guy.
Bernie Kosar is a good guy.
Fisher says Bernie has “issues.”
Bernie has said he’s had issues with post-concussion syndrome, to the point he had a bizarre news conference about a new treatment.
But watch Kosar and he’s honest, blunt and insightful. He’s paid to analyze, which means entertain and offer opinion.
Here’s an idea for Fisher, the Browns and all the sanctimonious types who think Kosar was so far out of line.
Get. Over. Yourself.
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