SBD/August 13, 2013/Media

Pundits Opine On Whether Kosar Should Return To Browns Booth After Recent Comments

Kosar's on-air gig is being defended by more than one Cleveland writer
Former Browns QB Bernie Kosar was reprimanded for negative on-air comments he made about the Rams during the Browns-Rams preseason game last Thursday, but there is "absolutely no reason" he should be fired for his comments, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. The "best action is to talk to Kosar about his approach to the games." Pluto: "But fire him? For what? Being in a bad mood and coming off as grumpy?" SI's Peter King in a tweet wondered whether Kosar was drunk, but Pluto wrote Kosar "was not drinking" and that his "comments were clear." It is a "cheap shot to suggest he was drinking." King also shares the "same agent as Rams coach Jeff Fisher," which puts King "in the position of sounding biased" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/13). In Cleveland, Bill Livingston wondered if Kosar was a "trifle over the top and too personal with his comments." By the "Milquetoast standards of NFL broadcasts and the God-ing up of players by ESPN, yeah, he was." But Kosar was not "wrong" in what he said. Livingston: "'Candidly' is one of embattled Browns' owner Jimmy Haslam's favorite words. The adverb obviously does not apply to the broadcast booth under the new regime, though -- even when the barbs are directed at the other team" (CLEVELAND.com, 8/12).

SHOULD HE BE ON AIR? Kosar's comments were a hot topic of discussion on sports talk radio shows and ESPN's afternoon programming yesterday. Denver Post columnist Woody Paige noted Kosar has acknowledged he suffers from Post-Concussion Syndrome and said, "I don't know that he should go on-air and be an analyst and not be any more prepared than he was. If he's going to say those things, he's doing it in the wrong location." ESPN's Jackie MacMullan said, "You don’t have to make it so cruel and so personal and so biting. It was all unnecessary, the language he used. ... I'm not really sure why he would be on the air again." Columnist Kevin Blackistone said, "If he's bringing you this as an analyst, he's really not doing anything more than anybody would do at a sports bar." Blackistone: "If you're going to be analyst, don’t just tell me somebody's horrible. Point out to me as an expert how it is they're horrible." ESPN's Israel Gutierrez: "You can be entertaining and you can be critical without being a jerk" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/12). ESPN's Antonio Pierce said, "When you talk about somebody's family, that's a little personal. I have a problem with that." ESPN's Herm Edwards: "Words are powerful and I think you have to be careful. ... It was a little bit surprising coming out of Bernie's mouth to hear what he was saying" ("NFL Live," ESPN, 8/12).
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