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Bernie Kosar radio appearance raises concerns

berniekosar AP

Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar gave a radio interview this week in Cleveland that has some of his fans expressing concerns about his well-being.

The interview with WKNR is difficult to describe, but if you listen to it, you’ll hear Kosar sounding incoherent and upset, and the hosts cut him off and say, “Why don’t we catch up next week?” Kosar protests and says he wants to keep talking, but he continues to stumble over his words and the interview is ended abruptly.

We’re not sure what was wrong with Kosar, but a number of fans who listened to the interview have expressed concerns about him. Kosar has spoken openly in retirement about problems with his finances, his taxes, his divorce and his family, and he has said he is dealing with physical pain from post-football surgeries, and that he suffered several concussions while playing football.

We’re hoping that the 49-year-old Kosar, who retired in 1996 after a 12-year NFL career, was just not feeling well or having an off day. If he needs help, we hope he gets it.

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40 Responses to “Bernie Kosar radio appearance raises concerns”
  1. AlohaMrHand says: Dec 6, 2012 11:00 AM

    He’s the next to go.Not trying to he funny but this isn’t the first time I’ve heard him sound like this.The concussion issue just keeps,getting more and more sad with every new story.

  2. joetoronto says: Dec 6, 2012 11:00 AM

    It’s a shame to hear this, I used to love watching him play.

  3. brownmud says: Dec 6, 2012 11:00 AM

    If you have watched the Cleveland stations when Bernie was on years ago, you knew he was on drugs or alcohol. He seemed to be doing a lot better the past couple years though. The man has been through a lot personally. I’ve met him a couple times and he is a standup guy. Stay strong Bernie. The fans of Cleveland support you.

  4. dprouse says: Dec 6, 2012 11:02 AM

    When Kosar was in the ESPN special on “The U”, it was clear that he was suffering from impairment in some way. Whether it was early onset dementia, substance abuse or a combination, he clearly was not firing on all cylinders. From the sounds of it, that has simply gotten worse. It’s sad to see…

  5. jsratx says: Dec 6, 2012 11:03 AM

    That’s a lonely road, and one many men travel alone. I hope he finds a support group to help get him through it, because confronting a divorce, losing your family, having your finances destroyed then dealing with taxes is way way way worse than any D lineman he ever lined up against.

  6. mburkett1980 says: Dec 6, 2012 11:04 AM

    He sounded bad on the ESPN 30 for 30 awhile back about the broke players. I couldn’t tell if he was having mental issues or if he was possibly on drugs, but there is no doubt, something isn’t quite right with him.

  7. rg3andthensome says: Dec 6, 2012 11:04 AM

    WOW…I just listened to that spot…He is in a perfect place to attend the Vikings’ game…Greenway would love to have him!

  8. crazybeardedjack says: Dec 6, 2012 11:09 AM

    Was going to mention the 30 for 30 of “The U” as well. Kosar just looked/sounded out of it in the film, and that was over a year ago. This really doesn’t surprise me at all.

  9. havoksports says: Dec 6, 2012 11:10 AM

    This is very sad… But before people start yelling from the
    Mountain tops that concussions are at it again
    Know Bernie has had substance abuse problems with
    alcohol and as a browns fan I hope Bernie can find his way back
    to a sober place. He is a good guy who was attacked by a family that
    sucked him dry. I wish you the best Bernie you still are a king in Cleveland.

  10. Steve B says: Dec 6, 2012 11:12 AM

    This is sad. I grew up seeing the Browns on TV a lot, as they were pretty darn good at the time, and I have many fond memories of Bernie and his sidearm passing.

  11. raiderlyfe510 says: Dec 6, 2012 11:12 AM

    Had Kosar relentlessly pursued a coaching career he probably would have been one of the best coaches in the league…IMHO.

    His football IQ is through the roof.

  12. eatitfanboy says: Dec 6, 2012 11:16 AM

    There is definitely something wrong him.

    I watched him on “NFL Road Tested: Cleveland Browns” on the Travel Channel last night (underrated show by the way- Hard Knocks without the cursing).

    He came out on the field at half time of the Browns/Ravens game and presented a signed picture to a family whose son was killed in Iraq, and man it was cringe inducing. Even the family seemed slightly uncomfortable.

    And like dprouse said, his interview on “The U” was tough to listen to as well.

    I don’t know enough about his situation to say what the cause is, but he is clearing having problems of one sort or the other.

  13. brownsclown says: Dec 6, 2012 11:20 AM

    Help is on the way! If Lombardi is hired as GM, he plans on offering Kosar a big contract to QB the team! Financial problem solved!

  14. riverhorsey says: Dec 6, 2012 11:21 AM

    One of the most underrated QB’s of all time. He was a real gamer.

  15. jackblackshairyback says: Dec 6, 2012 11:23 AM

    This is hard to hear. Bernie is genuinely a nice guy. I love the guy, but there’s no way he wasn’t sauced there. Hopefully he can get some help before it’s too late.

  16. awhite46 says: Dec 6, 2012 11:23 AM

    Just echoing the last two comments but I had never heard Kosar speak before watching the U. It was immediately clear something was wrong. I’m too young to judge how much he’s changed from his playing days but he seems like someone who could use someone reaching out. Hoping for the best

  17. 4evrnyt says: Dec 6, 2012 11:40 AM

    Get help Bernie there is no shame in it. Remember that you have people in your life that want you to be well.

  18. brownies24 says: Dec 6, 2012 11:40 AM

    If you ever listen to him do the color commentary for the Browns preseason games, you know he’s still sharp as a tack with X’s and O’s. He calls almost every play before it’s run and reads the defense like he did 25 years ago. It’s a pleasure to hear him call those games.

  19. 1buckeye76 says: Dec 6, 2012 11:43 AM

    ever seen Bernie call a Browns pre-season game? not a whole lot different than this radio interview, except that you can see that he’s drenched in sweat.

  20. godofwine330 says: Dec 6, 2012 11:52 AM

    Whenever I listen to Bernie he hardly sounds right, just a level of managable bad to okay. I got into football during Bernie’s second year in Cleveland (my 9th year of living), and I followed him and the Browns through ’93, and the Browns since then. He does Browns Pre-season games and he is largely incoherent. I wish him the best. Going through a divorce, having a daughter in XXX. It all must be tough for the guy. I cannot hear the interview at work, but knowing how he sounds when he is bad I don’t really have to hear it.

    Get better, Bernie. Sad when our football legends get to this point. It makes you appreciate Len Dawson playing in a much more violent era and having so many of his marbles intact for so long.

  21. blackandbluedivision says: Dec 6, 2012 11:59 AM

    Let him talk. Maybe the NFL and it’s lawyers will listen.

  22. eatitfanboy says: Dec 6, 2012 12:02 PM

    brownies24-

    If that’s true, and he’s “sharp as a tack” during broadcasts, then it’s got to be substance abuse.

    Seriously, find a recording of “The U”. Sharp as a tack is not the phrase you will use to describe his performance.

  23. myroncopesflask says: Dec 6, 2012 12:04 PM

    If I lived in Cleveland my speech would be slurred all the time also.

  24. pksullivanmph says: Dec 6, 2012 12:09 PM

    Come on you know it wasn’t an off day. Somebody needs to play the interview for him and have those that love him hep him to get the help he needs. 🏉 @footballady52

  25. rivercitydawg says: Dec 6, 2012 12:10 PM

    Everyone is going off in the concussion direction.
    I’ve been listening to him daily all year long, and he’s fine. The fact is that yesterday, wherever he was, the man exceeded his limit. Nothing wrong with that….. but two things that you don’t want to do under those circumstances is drive a motor vehicle or go on live radio. Bourbon is a wonderful tonic, but it needs to be utilized at the right time and place.

  26. CKL says: Dec 6, 2012 12:30 PM

    This is so sad. :(

    He’s always come off as a good hearted, honorable, forgiving person who did too much to help others to his own detriment. It sounds like he is the type of person to internalize his own problems and cope with alcohol. I really feel for him and hope with all my heart that he can get back on the right track.

    All those who leeched off him, ESPECIALLY HIS FAMILY should be ashamed of themselves. If they have any decency left, they should try to help him now.

  27. scjohnny says: Dec 6, 2012 12:35 PM

    He used to have a weekly radio show from his restaurant in miami about 7-8 years ago,It was disturbing that he was on the air sounding like he was,evidently worse now,He got the UM qb job not because he was more talented than Vinnie Testaverde but because he was so SHARP….very sad! He was one of my favorite players @ the U ever!

  28. thraiderskin says: Dec 6, 2012 12:48 PM

    “If he needs help, we hope he gets it.” Well atleast you did all you could to help him out.

  29. jrs45 says: Dec 6, 2012 12:49 PM

    I love Bernie Kosar and this makes sad to hear. At times, during preseason gms I have heard him slur quiet a bit.

    Just earlier this wk I watched a show on the travel ch. (NFL Road Tested) and there was a touching moment when he surprised the parents of a fallen soldier at the 50yd line with a picture of their son as a child in a Browns jersey signed by Bernie saying “To a true hero looking down.”

    I just hope Bernie can battle through this rather than let it all go to the bottom of a bottle.

    Love you man,

    DawgPoundNation!

  30. takethetopofdefence says: Dec 6, 2012 12:55 PM

    Sounds like he was out of it due to something he put in his body.

  31. eddiecrash1976 says: Dec 6, 2012 1:27 PM

    When I was a Chef at Shula’s Hotel in Miami Lakes Fl, Bernie was good friends with the executive chef and he used to go into the kitchen all the time. He was super freakin cool al the time but I wonder if it was because he was piss assed drunk all the time.? Its wad obvious then that he had a problem and that was 15yrs ago. When I saw him on “The U” I fell out of my chair! It was hilarious but very sad at the same time. It was so obvious that he looks and sounds hammered. IDK maybe it is conconssions, but his story doesn’t get told enough. Sad, I was always a big fan of his even when he played in Clevland. Hope he gets the help he needs. Good luck Bernie! The U baby! The U!

  32. dawgpoundking says: Dec 6, 2012 2:56 PM

    I was listening to this live yesterday and had to turn it off it was so bad. He clearly has a drinking and/or drug problem. I watch Browns pre-season games and some years he slurs more than others, I don’t think damage from previous concussions come and go like that.

    It’s no wonder he has never had a front office gig with the Browns.

    Hope he gets some help and can get clean, right now he’s a mess.

  33. bigdawgy54 says: Dec 6, 2012 3:22 PM

    Bernie, you have a lot of friends and fans that are very concerned about you. You’ve been our football hero for years. And, always will be. We don’t just like Bernie Kosar, we love Bernie Kosar!
    The game of life is actually more important than football. You mean a lot to a lot of people off of the football field. Not simply because you played the game but, because you’ve shown yourself to be a good man. Even good successful men run into trials in their lives.
    I truly hope that you can reach out and receive the help you need. Do it Bernie. We want you around for a long, long time.
    Think of it this way. You’re a natural leader. You could become the conduit for a lot of folks getting the help that they too, need. It’s time to huddle up and run the play of your, “life!”
    God bless, Bernie.

  34. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 6, 2012 3:47 PM

    The way he was sweating profusely on that ESPN 30 for 30 while simply talking made me wonder if he was either on coke or suffering from some sort of post-concussion or pain medication-related illness.

  35. realfootballfan says: Dec 6, 2012 4:37 PM

    Bernie always looked like he just woke up from a bender whenever he was on TV. Hitting the bottle again?

  36. seanpbeck says: Dec 6, 2012 6:10 PM

    God bless Bernie Kosar. Every fan in Cleveland has a story about meeting him (myself included) and he’s never come across as anything but a kind, generous, stand-up guy. He’s been through an awful lot: injuries, financial woes, predatory family and friends, divorce and some serious family issues. All he ever wanted to do post playing career was work for the Browns and all the Lerner regime did was use him to rehabilitate Al’s reputation and then Randy dangled a carrot to keep him just close enough to the team for the last decade so he could trade in on Bernie’s genuine, sincere and EARNED fan adoration in Cleveland. It’s a shame that the guy can personally tutor Jimmy Graham in preparation for the NFL or regularly give advice to Bill Belichick and Ozzie Newsome, but his hometown team didn’t want him as anything but a mascot before his life took a plunge in recent years. His football IQ is off the charts. I personally hope he gets himself on the right track and has one of the best 2nd acts in football history. It’s happened in Hollywood and sports before, and I sincerely hope it happens with him. Hang in there, BK. Cleveland will always have your back.

  37. miztake82 says: Dec 6, 2012 6:17 PM

    Bruce Hooley who did this interview yesterday addressed it today WKNR. He said he talked to Bernie today and Bernie told him that he was going through a rough time and was very emotional. I think its pretty obvious he was also intoxicated in some way. He told Hooley that he was doing better now. I love Bernie, and really hope he gets help if he needs it. The man is a brilliant football mind, if he could keep things together he would be a great addition to the browns coaching staff.

  38. joeinoh says: Dec 6, 2012 7:18 PM

    God bless BK, he’s got some issues. But he’s admitted to a drinking problem many times, especially on the Rizzo show. He’s also admitted that he drinks because of his nerves while doing the pre-season games. Let’s just hope this was a case of bad timing and things are not getting out of control for him. He’s spent his whole life lifting other people up, not to mention an entire city and fan-base in the late 80’s. I hope that he can reach out and get help if he needs it.

  39. tednancy says: Dec 6, 2012 7:27 PM

    Let’s hope Bernie gets help because it’s been obvious for a long time that he needs it. He hasn’t been right for over a decade. I grew up watching Bernie play and give interviews and the ironic thing is that he always seemed like the smartest, most mature player in the NFL. To see him decline to this is tough.

    Substance abuse issues don’t have to be a death sentence, however. He needs help. There is still time. Maybe this had to happen to get him to help himself.

    We miss you Bernie. Get well. It gets better if you want it to.

  40. voiceofreason6 says: Dec 7, 2012 10:26 AM

    Sounded like a substance abuse problem. The guy I listened to in that clip seemed drunk more than anything else. And yes, it’s sad.

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