The Cleveland Browns and WKYC collaborated on a decision they knew would not go over well with fans, no matter how they spun it: they have removed legendary Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar from the preseason commentating booth and are replacing him with Solomon Wilcots. Team president Alec Scheiner released the following statement regarding the decision:
"We look forward to again having WKYC as our preseason broadcast partner. We welcome Solomon and are excited to look further into additional opportunities to continue to engage Bernie with our fans. We want Browns fans to look forward to seeing and hearing his continued contributions and analysis on not only our preseason telecasts, but also our radio network and ClevelandBrowns.com."
Last season, Kosar came under fire in the national spotlight for his commentary during a Browns-Rams preseason game. I wrote an in-depth article about it, passionately defending Kosar's commentary. Only half of the battle was won at the time, though -- while Peter King of Sports Illustrated offered a half-hearted apology for insinuating Kosar was drunk during the broadcast, the Browns' organization publicly reprimanded Kosar for his remarks. I was hoping that would be the end of it, but apparently, the current front office wanted to go a different direction.
I've supported most, if not all, of the team's off-the-field initiatives under the new regime, but that streak ends here with the decision on Kosar. He defines the spirit of a Browns fan and offers analytical commentary that you won't find anywhere else. No disrespect to Wilcots, who while sometimes annoying still offers some good takes, but he doesn't hold a candle to Kosar when it comes to football analysis. Not many do.
Here are some reactions on the Twitter universe regarding the decision:
#Browns decision to replace Bernie Kosar as TV analyst was discussed for several weeks as club pondered backlash from fans.— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) April 23, 2014
Bernie's out of the preseason broadcast booth? Blasphemy.— Scott @ WFNY (@WFNYScott) April 23, 2014
So the Browns boot Bernie from preseason broadcasts. I tried to warn the last group of bosses that wouldn't go over well.— Zac Jackson (@FSOhioZJackson) April 23, 2014
In game analysis just took a huge hit RT @FredGreethamOBR: #Browns replace Bernie Kosar on preseason games with Solomon Wilcots— LA - theOBR (@LaneAdkins) April 23, 2014
If anybody is interested in spearheading a movement to get Kosar back into the booth, feel free to tweet at @scheiner_alec and let your thoughts be heard. Do you think this is a big hit for your Browns preseason entertainment?