Miles Austin gets Bernie Kosar’s blessing to wear 19


Miles Austin hasn’t been in Cleveland for long, but he knows how to ingratiate himself on the locals.

According to Mark Munch Bishop of ESPN Cleveland, the new Browns wide receiver asked former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar for permission to wear his old 19, which Kosar granted.

The number isn’t retired by the Browns, but former wideout Frisman Jackson wore it for one season (2004), and was given 88 the following year without explanation. No one else has worn it since Kosar hung it up following the 1993 season

Kosar said he was impressed by the graciousness of Austin’s request, writing on Twitter: “His Respect& Appreciation of The Game IS AWESOME!”

That will give Browns fans a chance to dust off those old 19 jerseys, which might be the second-most popular in the stadium next year.

36 responses to “Miles Austin gets Bernie Kosar’s blessing to wear 19

  1. Austin had better be a game changer. If not, he’ll be wearing #88 next year…for the Jags.

  2. what exactly did Kosar do, i’m 45 and i just kinda remember him as sucking and hanging around along time… many superbowls did he win again???

  3. More class than in Denver where John Elway “asks” an 84 year old Frank Tripucka with Alzheimer’s if he can un-retire “18”

  4. Did he get Kosar’s permission to lose his family and all his money?!?

  5. I guess I don’t understand Browns nation. What did Kosar do to deserve no one wearing his number. Last time I heard their trophy case is still empty.

  6. But you see, Kosar was/is the one who got us the closest to getting to a superbowl so he is the one who is the player that us Browns fans hold up as a great player and someone we regard as the Man here if Cleveland. Plus he was just a lot of fun to watch and to root for. Matter of fact he still is.

  7. Miles Austin gave Bernie a bottle of whiskey so that he could wear number 19.

  8. Miles is a nice pick up for the Browns. If he can stay healthy he could have a great year.

  9. for those who aren’t from Cleveland, here’s why Bernie is so loved by many Browns fans.

    The University of Miami quarterback, who helped lead the Hurricanes to a national championship in 1982, made no secret of his desire to play for the hometown Cleveland Browns. The Browns, in turn, badly needed a quarterback.

    The Buffalo Bills held the first pick in both drafts that year. However, the Bills had no need for a quarterback, as they held the rights to Jim Kelly, who was playing in the soon-to-be defunct USFL.

    So, Kosar and the Browns devised a plan.

    First, the Browns acquired the first pick in the supplemental draft from Buffalo. Then, Kosar intentionally didn’t submit the paperwork that would make him eligible for the regular draft, stalling and then declaring for the supplemental draft.

    The New York Giants, who had interest in Kosar, and Minnesota Vikings, who traded up to second in the regular draft in an effort to land Kosar, were outraged. The Houston Oilers, whom the Vikings traded with, threatened to sue the NFL if Kosar was allowed to circumvent the system in this manner.

    Commissioner Pete Rozelle conducted a hearing, but there was effectively nothing he could do. No rules had been broken, just bent into a pretzel that landed Kosar in Northern Ohio.

    Kosar then went on to QB the team and if not for Denver and John Elway’s 98 yard drive, would have led to them to their first Superbowl.

  10. Every franchise has it’s own favorites or legends. I’m sure every favorite player from the NFL’s past will never reach the HOF or ever won or played in a SB/championship,but those guys are still loved for whatever reason. Despite Kosar’s problems,he created a lot of fond memories for the fans. Maybe a lot of you football “fans” didn’t pay much attention to the league in the late 80’s but shockingly the Browns played in three AFC Championship games. So Austin may have an inkling of how the locals view the players on the team. Not a bad way to become a favorite by asking an all-time favorite to wear his number.

  11. The fact that he asked for permission shows that he respects our history. It has nothing to do with a player being the ‘best’. Mr. Kosar is a Cleveland fixture and Austin is showing everyone (not just Browns fans/players) that he has respect for those that came before him.

    Go Browns!

  12. What a great act by Kosar. Now, all those fans in Cleveland who didn’t get the chance to burn ol’ 19 in effigy back in the day will soon have the opportunity to join in the fun again.
    Nice one, Bernie.

  13. Retiring numbers is ridiculous anyway. I dislike it.

    And it’s laughable that Seattle “gives” their fans jersey #12. Do people really buy into that crap?

  14. It’s not going to matter… He’ll only probably play about 2 games anyway in between his various hamstring injuries.

  15. Dear haters:

    For the record, the Brown’s trophy case isn’t empty. Just dusty. They have EIGHT League Championships… FYI – that is the most of any team. The trophies are just old and dusty and happened before the term “Superbowl” was coined.

    Out of 64 years in existence, the Browns made the playoffs 28 times. That is a 44% success rate at making the post-season.

    Yes the Browns have sucked since Modell ripped the heart out of the city and (illegally) moved the team to Baltimore because he was going bankrupt and Baltimore gave him $20 million cash to do it. Yes, the league screwed them over by giving them the worst expansion terms ever. Yes, Carmin Policy and Dwight Clark should totally botched the team’s resurrection. Yes, the Lerner family screwed the team over due to incompetence and inattention.

    None of that takes away the fact that HISTORICALLY this is one of the greatest franchises in the league. Here is hoping that we are finally turning the corner and returning to the glory days.

    Miles Austin reaching back to the successful history of the Browns is a class move and will hopefully give him the good karma need to keep his hamstrings healthy.

  16. Classy of Miles to ask and demonstrative of his understanding of the magnitude of his request.

    Classy of Bernie to take time from anonymously paying for people’s life-saving operations to acknowledge him and accommodate.

    Both of these guys get it: The legend that is the Cleveland Browns belongs to no one, but many take their turn as custodians of it.

    And now for the obligatory: GO BROWNS!!!

  17. To add to rovadawg’s valued input, the reason Cleveland has a team today, and the reason that team is called the Browns, and the reason our rich history remains in Cleveland as we speak, is that the good people of northeast Ohio went ballistic on the league and collectively yelled “OURS!”. The league, realizing their irreversible injustice in allowing the move, did an about face and opened the door to the Browns rebirth, complete with colors, stats and history.

    Best and most loyal fans in the league, regardless of the team’s record.


  18. ddarlak says: May 21, 2014 9:10 AM

    what exactly did Kosar do, i’m 45 and i just kinda remember him as sucking and hanging around along time… many superbowls did he win again???



    One more than Dan Marino and Jim Kelly and the same number as Peyton Manning.

    His one flaw in his career was being on a team who just happened to get stuck playing John Elway teams when they were one win away from getting to the Superbowl (MULTIPLE TIMES). Superbowls where they would have to play Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.

    The guy made famous a QB changing plays at the line of scrimmage. Something that Manning guy is now well known for.

    As for him sucking. How many other teams have won superbowls with a backup QB playing a quarter of the season. Pretty sure the Dallas Cowbows would probably prefer him even NOW over Tony Romo.

  19. I am a broncos fan I’ll always bleed orange and blue , I just saw draft day which was about the browns and a great film , but I am also a football fan. For 3-4 years the broncos had a great rivalry with the browns and a lot of that had to do with elway vs kosar . Weather it was “the fumble “or “the drive . ” also the browns had one of the great rbs of history in Jim brown , I’ve always wondered if that is a coincidence or something . And to the lowlife who said john elway is classless for asking frank to unretire his number , get your facts straight first off frank called manning and gave manning his blessings , yes he’s old but just because he’s old doesn’t mean he’s not a fan of football or of the broncos which like the browns before modell shamelessly moved the team is a very classy organization and the broncos have and always will be one of the classyist organizations out there . Go broncos

  20. Regardless of Kosar’s accomplishments and importance to the Browns and its fans, Miles Austin showed RESPECT for Bernie, the Browns, the fans, and the game itself. Something most of the cake-eating billionaire owners lack….especially J.Jones and Lord Goddell.

    Rare is it nowdays to show respect for the game or its personnel….especially from Lord Goddell.

  21. One more thing about all you people who put down Bernie by saying that he lost it or that he wasn’t that good of a Quarterback because they only remember when he was playing under the Coaching of “Bonehead” Bill Belichick. Bonehead had his own idea of who he wanted under center and that was Vinnie Testaverde and so instead of being a Good Team Coach who devised Game Plans that would accentuate Bernie’s Strengths he devised Game Plans that accentuated Bernie’s Weaknesses which not only made it possible for him to replace him at quarterback, but it also made Bernie’s Value go down which was cruel and further worked to prove that he wasn’t a Team Coach. Any Coach who would devise Game Plans with the intention of Losing is Not only a bad Coach but a Bad Person as well which is probably Bonehead doesn’t say much to the Media who must have also picked up on this Trait if his. Well thanks to Bonehead Bernie got his Super Bowl Ring with the Cowboys albeit not as the Starting Quarterback but as the very capable Backup to Troy Aikman once Bonehead got permission to cut him since he had ruined his trade value so much.

  22. Joe Montana – 49ers – Super Bowl champ – HOF
    Terry Bradshaw – Steelers – Super Bowl champ – HOF
    John Elway – broncos – Super Bowl champ – HOF
    Troy Aikman – Cowboys – Super Bowl champ – HOF
    Ray Lewis – Ravens – Super Bowl champ – future HOF
    Tom Brady – Patriots – Super Bowl champ – future HOF
    John Riggins – Redskins – Super Bowl Champ – HOF
    Bernie Kosar – Browns – lovable drunk – HOF? Hell No!
    Do you understand why fans of the 31 other teams don’t get idolizing Bernie. Maybe if you would have had other QB other than Kosar when he played for the Browns you might have a ring.

  23. Let’s not forget John Elway is 2nd behind Jim Kelly for most Super Bowls losses. But the point is, even though I respect those HOF players, I do NOT idolize them, because they were not Cleveland Browns. Bernie brought a lot of excitement and hope to Cleveland.

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