Jumping on the “Support Bernie” bandwagon
The difficult decision made by WKYC to let go of Bernie Kosar as a color commentator during preseason games has been met by a great deal of resistance. I, for one, am in agreement with the critique of the television network. The franchise may have pressured the NBC affiliate to make the move, or it could have simply come from WKYC. However it happened, there are a few reasons why it’s a poor move.
Last season, during the Browns-Rams preseason contest, Kosar made some comments that were unflattering of Kellen Clemens and the wide receivers of the visiting team – all of which were playing poorly. Some, including Peter King (who later changed his mind), came out to dispute these remarks. However, the commentator was simply being honest (while not using poor language) and it was rather refreshing to hear. Hopefully this was not the reason he was let go – it gives off the appearance that announcers are being neutered by networks and/or the league.
Kosar is simply a very knowledgable analyst. The former quarterback knows the game well, especially the Xs and Os aspect. Exhibition games, while they are not as important as regular season matchups, will no long feature a guy whos is extremely smart (with no offense to Solomon Wilcots, Kosar’s replacement). Some may feel that this part of the campaign is very short so it’s not a huge deal; however that sentiment is not shared by the signal caller or many in the media.
It’s no secret that Kosar is still loved by the city where he played over twenty years ago. Despite his recent transgressions (alcohol-related issues, costly divorce, and concussion-related problems), fans still admire and respect the former Miami Hurricane. Releasing him from tv puts a wedge between a large faction of the fanbase and the team. Can this be repaired? Surely, and the team is attempting to get the former athlete a role with the team’s website. However, skeptics may see this as trying to save face and may still hold contempt towards the organization.
Conclusion: Count me in as one of the many who were upset with the “reassigning” of Bernie Kosar’s duties during the upcoming preseason games. I believe this is a negative look by WKYC and the Cleveland Browns, and yet another thing that the fans will disapprove of. I understood the letting go of preceding commentators for preseason contests (not throwing anyone under the bus), but Kosar’s approach and style did not warrant his removal. Hopefully the two sides can come to some sort of amicable agreement that all will accept (including supporters of the franchise).