Bernie Kosar

Bernie Kosar themed slot machines come to Northfield Rocksino

Bernie Kosar gets his place among slot machines in Summit County: Little Mermaid, Treasure Island and Wheel of Fortune can get out of the way, Bernie Kosar has made his entrance into the realm of video slot machines. 

Joining the genre of Kosar-themed stuff around Northeast Ohio, including Bernie Beer, are a set of Bernie Kosar slot machines at Northfield's Hard Rock Rocksino, Northeast Ohio Media Group's Karen Farkas reported. The minimum bet is $1, the jackpot $50,000

Kosar joins Drew Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley in the casino's lineup of celebrity slot machines.

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Mike Pettine calls Bernie Kosar's criticism of Browns 'dramatic' and he 'couldn't be further from the truth'

BEREA, Ohio -- Coach Mike Pettine called Bernie Kosar's criticism of the Browns' front office this week way off base and unfounded.

In an interview on The Mike Trivisonno Show on WTAM 1100, Kosar said that Johnny Manziel and any other quarterback the Browns start will fail because of the losing culture at the top of the organization.

He said it's "somewhat of a tough spot for Johnny given this team and given this organization. It's just a complete recipe for a disaster.

"You can't put these kids (the quarterbacks) in these spots. It's almost abuse. If you're going to keep running it the way we're running it, we may as well do nothing (to fix the quarterback situation), because you'll kill two more kids coming in here. It'll fail. It does not matter right now.''

He added: "We've had a headache. I've had a headache for 15 years with this and it's not stopping. It's getting worse."

Pettine stressed that he's been a longtime fan of Kosar's but that his remarks "could be further from the truth.''

 "I think that's a little dramatic,'' he said. "I know I've talked about that before.  Sometimes guys will make comments that are a little bit over the top.

"I have a lot of respect for Bernie.  He was one of my favorite guys growing up - heck of a quarterback - and he's entitled to his opinion.  But being here on the inside of it and seeing what we're building and the interaction we have between Jimmy Haslam and Ray Farmer and Alec Scheiner and myself, that the commitment is all there for us to be successful.''

Pettine acknowledged that the track record hasn't been good, but that the current regime is committed to turning things around. From his opening press conference, Pettine has talked about changing the culture.

"Obstacles are being removed for us to be successful and I'm very encouraged about the future here - very encouraged,''And I'd be the last one to tell you that the odds are stacked against us to be successful because of management.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  We're in a society of instant gratification. Everybody wants it to happen now.  As much as we want that to happen, it is a process.''

Pettine had the Browns all alone in first place in the AFC North at 6-3 until they've lost four of their last five.

"When you build a house, you have to build it from the foundation,'' he said. "You have to build it the right way, make sure it's rock solid and we're in the middle of that.  So I get that people are going to have their opinions and say what they say. A lot more of that happens when you've lost three in a row. I didn't hear a lot of that when we'd just gotten our seventh win, so [if] we want that stuff to go away, it's still a bottom line business.  You've got to win games.''

Pettine stressed that the Browns must be successful in the final two games to eradicate the "losing culture'' mantra.

"I think that's critical,'' he said. "Just momentum in the offseason is critical. How we started the year, a lot of people won't remember that. We'll be remembered by our last game, our last performance or our last month or our last two months.

"As far as the culture change part of it, that's something consciously and subconsciously, we've been working on doing here since the end of January a year ago, just to come in and implement a system. When you have the culture of losing that's been here when it's been only four or five wins a year going back however many years, that's a difficult thing to overcome because it's a mentality.

"When you get stuck in a rut like we're in now it's easy to fall back into an old habit. That's what I've been saying. We need to fight our way out of it. Right now, we've gotten ourselves in a mode where we've been failing more than we should."

Kosar said during the interview: "You can take out Brian, you can take out Johnny Manziel's name and you can plug in (Tim) Couch.....(Derek)  Anderson, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy...the names change, but the way we do things as a culture above them is still the same and yeah he wasn't ready, but the team's not ready. December is when teams have to play good.''

He  said the Browns set the bar too high for Manziel by the way they praised him all week.

"They've been talking so positively like 'this is the savior' and that's what bad organizations do,'' he said. "They set these quarterback controversies up and it kind of takes the heat off of them and it gives everybody a little glimmer of hope. ...The organization and the players and coaches actually thought he was going to do good. I know they believed he was going to do good.''

He said he's been hearing the same refrain since 1999 about the 21 quarterbacks who have started a game since then.

"I'm 51,'' he said. "At this pace, I'm going to die by 60 and for the last 25 years of my life, all I'm going to talk about is, 'Who do you think the quarterback should be?' That's all we talk about. And you can't fix it until you fix it above it.'

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Bernie Kosar blasts the Browns' front office

Johnny Manziel’s first start was a nightmare for Browns fans, and the rookie managed just 80 passing yards in an embarrassing 30-0 loss to the Bengals. Former Browns great Bernie Kosar doesn’t believe that Manziel should be blamed for the defeat, though. In a radio appearance on WTAM 1100, Kosar blasted the Browns front office being “uneducated” and fostering a culture in which the team can’t possibly succeed.

“When you have a front office that’s really uneducated – and I’m not talking about just the coach, way above him that deserves this – they don’t know how to lead and organize and set a culture to play winning NFL football…. This is a recipe for disaster, because when everybody’s talking about everything else other than their job…. It makes me want to throw up.”

Kosar said he doesn’t hold Browns head coach Mike Pettine or any of the Browns’ quarterbacks accountable for the team’s failures, and believes that the Browns’ culture needs to change before any young players can thrive.

“The issue is systemically, from a culture at Berea, they’ve got to get it together because I don’t know anyone who can be consistently successful in winning within this culture and within this organization right now. You just can’t play football like this…. You can’t put these kids in these spots. It’s almost abuse.”

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5 questions with Bernie Kosar about NFL quarterbacks

CLEVELAND, Ohio – In light of the publication of Sports Illustrated's "NFL QB: The Greatest Position in Sports," we check with Bernie Kosar on his view of quarterbacks, from those who played when he was growing up to ones competing today.

Kosar broke into the league in 1985 with the Browns and played 12 years with three teams. He won a championship ring with Dallas in XXVIII in 1994.

Who was your favorite quarterback to watch when you were growing up?
"Being from Youngstown I was obviously a Brian Sipe guy. Then my second-grade teacher was Sister Veronica. Well, I thought it was Daryle Lamonica's mom. So (Oakland Raiders') Daryle Lamonica and (Minnesota Vikings') Fran Tarkenton when I was real little. The sister had a big influence."

Is there a quarterback of any era who stands out as the all-time greatest in your mind?
"I'm not trying to play the fence on this, and I would have answered it a different way five years ago when my era was fresher, but the guys who played the biggest in big games – Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana. But guys today, especially after watching these guys – Aaron Rodgers, (Ben) Roethlisberger. What Tom Brady is doing with minimal weapons around him – it's amazing what guys are doing today. I know the rules are different. ... But there are a lot of impressive quarterbacks today."

The Sports Illustrated book breaks QBs into various types – strong arms, scramblers, for instance. How would you define yourself?
"I obviously would have loved these rules. Not to take away from anybody, but the throws -- throwing the ball up the seams, in the post, deep -- now the ability (is there) to go up and catch the ball without the fear, 'cause you're not allowed to hit a defenseless receiver. You have guys who confidently can go up for the ball without fear of getting decapitated. Ronnie Lott would have been suspended every week (if he were playing today). The game is still physical, but there was a level of physicality and violence that made receivers have that demon in your head telling you to be aware when you went over the middle."

Are there any current quarterbacks who could have played decades ago, with Johnny Unitas and Joe Namath, or with guys before them?
"These guys would do good in any era. They would adjust their games around them. The accuracy of Aaron Rodgers' throws the other night – he throws 50 yards on a dime. (Rodgers went 18-27 for 315 yards and six touchdown passes in a 55-14 win over Chicago on Monday, Nov. 10.) Matthew Stafford getting hit when he throws, basically throwing underhanded, a Kent Tekulve fastball. These guys are really creative in how they come up with plays. They could play in any era and be extremely successful, that's for sure. I really believe that."

What's the future for the position look like – will we see more receivers breaking routes and adjusting in the middle of plays to defenses?
"Some of the old stereotypes have broken down. I love watching Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson play, even Drew Brees. ... I think these guys are introspectively honest with what they do good, and more important what they don't do good. I really see a creative resourcefulness in quarterbacks today. ... Years ago, grade-school (kids) threw it five, six times a day. High school, 10 times a game. Now grade-school through high-school kids are spreading out throwing the ball from birth almost. More kids are gaining experience. That's why I think it doesn't take as long to transition from high school to college and college to the pros. ... now you see spread-throwing offenses in Pee Wee; that never happened before."

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Bernie Beer to be released in cans

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Bernie Beer, which was released on draft in May, will roll out in cans Wednesday morning, with a couple of twists.

Joel Sandrey of Hop View Brewing Co. in Madison said the former Browns quarterback personally will sign 100 to 150 cans before they roll out for distribution.

"Bernie is going to hand-sign those cans, and they are going to be randomly put in the canning," Sandrey said. "So if you come across an autograph, that is a hand-signed Bernie Kosar autograph."

Sandrey said, in addition to the autograph touch reminiscent of a Willy Wonka golden ticket, the canned beer will be slightly different than what the draft initially tasted like.

"We're really, really thrilled with the final product," he said. "We used the draft release to get some feedback from consumers. This (canned) beer is slightly different; we made a little tweak to it. People tried it and thought it was a little on the sweet side. So it's still a brown ale, but we pulled back on the malts and we pumped up the hops just a bit."

So the finished product will be "slightly less sweet and have a bright, clean, dry finish," he said.

Ed Thompkins, wine and beer buyer for Heinen's, said the effort to get Bernie Beer crafted, produced and distributed is about pride and collaboration.

"It's partly a Cleveland thing. John Lane (owner of the Winking Lizard) said 'You guys really have to bump up the hops'," Thompkins said.

"It shows the competency of Joel and his team," he added. "We're giving them (brewers) a road map to get to the destination, and they've been able to do it."

The beer will be available Thursday, Nov. 13, at Acme Fresh Market, which is scheduled to host Kosar from 6 to 8 p.m. at its store at 3875 Massillon Road in Green. Six-packs of the 12-ounce cans will retail for $9.99. The beer will be available at all Acme locations beginning Friday, according to a news release from the store.

All Heinen's locations will begin selling the beer beginning Thursday, Nov. 20, Thompkins said.

Early next week it goes to Columbus, said Darren Wyville of Vintage Wine Distributor, which is handling distribution, and then in mid-December he said it will be shipped to other retail locations throughout Ohio.

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UM Legend Bernie Kosar: Tony Bosch "Had an Amazing Impact on My Life"

Biogenesis proprietor Tony Bosch didn't spend all his time cooking up elaborate doping procedures for MLB stars like Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun. As reported in Blood Sport, the new book on the Miami scandal, Bosch also had a huge network of regular clientele, from UM students to high schoolers to ex-athletes. Among that latter group, Blood Sport recounts, was none other than UM legend Bernie Kosar.

Yesterday, Kosar talked about his ties to Bosch for the first time. The former NFL first-round draft pick says the unlicensed anti-aging doctor "had an amazing impact on my life."

Kosar, who discussed his relationship with Bosch on his Cleveland-area radio talk show, said that the Biogenesis founder was well-known around the Coral Gables campus where Kosar won a national title back in 1983. (Bosch's deep ties to UM were covered in a Blood Sport excerpt in New Times earlier this month.)

"Going to the UM, he's been around us and (our) friends for like 30 years," Kosar said. "And he has been talking about this for 20 years."

But Kosar says Bosch's sins as a PED-supplier in baseball cloud the fact that he's truly helped regular clientele like the ex-quarterback. Kosar struggled for years with symptoms related to his playing career.

"I had bleeding in my head for probably 20 some plus years from all those concussions that my body couldn't naturally clot and stop," Kosar said.

About ten years ago, Kosar said Bosch convinced him to try "natural hormones" as a way to "build up your immune system."

Bosch's treatments helped, Kosar said, and helped point him toward other holistic doctors who have aided his recovery. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have been able to get on my kinda personal journey to health and wellness," Kosar said.

Kosar did note that his connection with Bosch came well before New Times exposed his ties to MLB ballplayers.

"The last couple years, it has become clear what probably transpired," Kosar said of Bosch's side job selling PEDs. "Go back 10 to 15 years, and I was more focused on myself and how I could get myself going. Not being a baseball player and in this post-football era trying to stay healthy to keep up with Joe, my 14-year-old son. It wasn't something I really paid attention to."

In Blood Sport, an old Canes teammate named Julio Cortes takes credit for connecting Bosch and Kosar. Like Kosar, he says the fake doctor helped heal his post-football pains. "A month before I saw him, I was sitting on the ground and I couldn't get up," Cortes said. "He put me on this program, and a month later I'm playing racquetball and feeling good."

As Blood Sport notes, it's tough to find too much fault in Bosch helping out two battered and aging football stars. From the book:

If he gave Cortes and Kosar testosterone, Bosch broke the law. But it's hard to see immediate harm in two ailing middle-aged men snagging testosterone if it helped heal their aches. After all, they had legitimate health problems and were certainly old enough to know what they were getting into.

Kosar puts himself into that category: "I'm really proud of how much he helped me. He really helped," Kosar said.

In the book, some ex-football gurus go even further. Mike Ditka says he'd like to see HGH legalized for football players. "We gotta stay hurt forever?" Ditka says. "If it helps you recover from injuries, I have no idea why it would be a bad thing. You're paying players all this money, wouldn't it help to get them back on the field where they can earn money? If I owned a football team, I'd want my guys to play every week."

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New book "Blood Sport" alleges Bernie Kosar's slurred speech resulted from painkillers Browns gave him

CLEVELAND Ohio –- Bernie Kosar slurs his words because:
• He has post-concussion syndrome.
• He refused to wear a mouthpiece as a Browns and Miami Dolphins quarterback and suffered severe dental injuries.
• He has a drinking problem.
• The Browns kept him on the playing field with doses of the addictive pain-killer oxycodone (trade name, oxycontin; street name, oxy, OC, O).

The latter is alleged as the cause in the new book "Blood Sport – Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era" by the Miami New  Times' Tim Elfrink and Newsday's Gus Garcia-Roberts. Excerpts of the book, detailing the doping that made the currently suspended Rodriguez baseball's No. 1 drug offender, appeared in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated.

The Browns controversially removed Kosar as a television analyst for their exhibition games this off-season, citing sharp criticism he directed at a St. Louis Rams backup quarterback last season. Kosar's sometimes slurred diction has often been criticized by some viewers.

"Blood Sports" says he was steered to the Biogenesis "anti-aging" clinic by Julio Cortes, a defensive end on the 1983 Miami Hurricanes team that Kosar led to the national championship. The connection occurred after a central figure in baseball's steroid scandal moved his offices in late 2011 to Coral Gables, directly across the street from the University's Alex Rodriguez Park.

Suffering from a bad back and knees that resulted from a short, violent football career at The U and with the NFL Seattle Seahawks and teams in the Canadian Football League, Cortes visited Biogenesis because he had gone to the same Miami high school, Christopher Columbus, as its founder, Tony Bosch.

Known as "Dr. Tony," Bosch had only a two-year degree from a medical school in Belize in Central America and was unlicensed to practice medicine in the United States. He had gotten good results with a complicated regimen of steroids, amino acids, testosterone, and human growth hormone, prescribed in Florida by licensed doctors willing to be paid for doing so to patients they never examined.

The state, say the authors, became a fertile breeding ground for (the) age-conquering crusade."

In reality, "anti-aging" was a flimsy euphemism for steroid doping. "The state had always prided itself on its Wild West lack of regulation, particularly in the medical market," say the authors. "The Sunshine State encumbered (anti-aging) businesses with virtually no rules."

The book alleges that, along with A-Rod and other elite baseball players, seeking to either regain or increase an illegal performance edge, "a steady stream of ex-Hurricanes and former NFL players started creaking over to Bosch's office for treatment."

Among them was Kosar. "After a twelve-season pro career," say the authors in a sad summary of the Browns' legend, "Kosar has stumbled through a sometimes-incoherent retirement, marred by batty behavior, bankruptcy and drunk-driving arrests."

Bosch's records indicate that Kosar was a patient and that at least one shipment of drugs was made, for which Kosar paid $600.

The authors paraphrase Cortes' view this way: "Compared to the highly addictive painkillers that NFL teams shovel at players, Cortes says Bosch's treatments were a healthier alternative."

In a direct quote, Cortes said, "We can either do this or get back on the oxy. You read the papers about Kosar, and he's a mess. He's slurring his words from the medication, from the oxy that the Browns gave him."

Withdrawal from oxycodone is considered one of the most painful ordeals a drug addict faces, with body aches much worse than the flu and a sensation of pins and needles stabbing his muscles.

The authors conclude: "If he gave Kosar testosterone, Bosch broke the law. But it's hard to see immediate harm in two ailing middle-aged men snagging testosterone if it helped heal their aches. After all, they had legitimate health problems and were certainly old enough to know what they were getting into."

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Bernie Kosar on Jay Cutler: ‘I wish I had 80 percent of his arm’

The first thing Bernie Kosar noticed about Jay Cutler was the first thing everyone sees.

“I wish,” Kosar said, “I had 80 percent of that arm.”

The rest of the scouting report, though, is rooted in subtlety only a man with 13 years of NFL experience can appreciate.

After visiting the Bears’ organized team activities Wednesday as a guest of mentor Marc Trestman, the former Pro Bowler seemed even more impressed with Cutler’s ability to know when not to uncork a blazing fastball.

“He has amazing sense of timing and touch,” said the former No. 1
overall draft pick. “You see on a couple of plays out there. His ability to sometimes have, almost, it’s like an innate ability to judge about how to throw it.
“When to throw the fastball. When to hitch. When to throw it with a little bit of touch — with a little loft to get it up and down before the safeties get over — is really impressive.”

Cutler has a command of the huddle, Kosar said, and audibles with aplomb.

And then there’s his feet.

“I used to joke with Dan Marino,” said Kosar, who backed up the Dolphins great from 1994-96 after spending most his career as the Browns’ starter. “Dan had an amazing presence within the pocket, being able to move from me to you, finding that weak spot, finding that kind of opportunity and openness.

“It’s just, [Cutler] feels the pressure, and just that subtle little step or two that he’s able to take to get away. He’s really impressive.”

The Bears’ other four quarterbacks have noticed.

Jerrod Johnson is amazed how Cutler still works on his fundamentals, from making sure he has a deep knee bend to following through on his throws to other basics the coaching staff preaches.

“For me as a young quarterback, he’s been tremendous for me,” said Johnson, who is competing alongside Jordan Palmer, Jimmy Clausen and rookie David Fales for the backup job. “The things coach Trestman says, he really applies it, and you can see his play go up as well.”

The five quarterbacks huddled up with Kosar for about an hour before practice and made dinner plans for later that night. Clausen said he was fortunate to “just learn from one of the great quarterbacks in the past.”

Kosar said he might be interesting in coaching one day — “Football’s in your blood; Once you start, it’s like this is part of your DNA,” — but was careful not to step on the toes of Trestman, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer or quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.

“I’m kinda sitting back and waiting to see how it’s going,” Kosar said.

Asked about Kosar, Johnson smiled and rattled off practice guests ranging from Mike Ditka to Mike Singletary.

“Coach Trestman,” he said, “has some cool friends.”

Few go back farther than Kosar.

The two met when Trestman was a volunteer assistant at the University of Miami and Kosar was a highly touted freshman.

They won the 1983 national championship together, Trestman having been promoted to quarterbacks coach.

They reunited in the pros with Trestman coaching Kosar for two years in Cleveland. With Trestman as the offensive coordinator in 1989, the Browns reached the AFC championship.

Kosar is the godfather to Trestman’s oldest daughter, Sarahanne.

Kosar said he was proud of the comfort level Trestman has achieved — and the respect he receives from players — in only his second year.

“You can see the camaraderie, almost a family-type atmosphere they have here within the building and within the team,” Kosar said. “It’s really impressive to watch.”

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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.

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Bernie Kosar on Hand for Annual Tapping of Bernie Beer at Winks in Beachwood

Hours ahead of the start of the NFL draft on Thursday, former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar joined fans, friends and brewers at Winks in Beachwood for the inaugural taping of Bernie Beer, his namesake brown ale that's locally brewed and distributed.

Bernie Beer is brewed by The Hop View Brewing Co. at Cellar Rats Brewery in Madison, Ohio, under the name Bernie Beer Co. It was brewed with a goal of tapping it in time for the NFL draft.

Bernie Beer is a low-alcohol beer at 5.5 percent, and is low in IBUs (International Bitterness Units) at 20. Ed Thompkins of Heinen's, who was the impetus for launching the beer, says describes it as "a pale ale in amber ale's clothing."

Joel Sandrey of Cellar Rats Brewery says that they are hoping to have a can or bottle distribution ready for the start of the NFL season.

A portion of Bernie Beer sales will go to the non-profit Play It Forward organization, which was founded by Northeast Ohio businessman Scott A. Marincek. The group emphasizes good deeds over money and encourages people to inspire others to do random acts of kindness without expecting anything in return.

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Bernie Beer, a brown ale named after Bernie Kosar, will debut in time for 2014 NFL Draft

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Bernie Kosar's name may be gone from the broadcast booth, but it's back on beer.

A draft version of Bernie Beer, a brown ale, will be available starting Thursday, May 8 – coinciding with the first day of the NFL Draft. Plans then call for wider distribution to be rolled out in time for the NFL season, which begins Thursday, Sept. 4.

Ed Thompkins, wine and beer buyer for Heinen's, said Kosar will be at Winks Bar and Grille, 25800 Central Pkwy., Beachwood, from 5 to 6 p.m. on May 8. Sixteen of 17 Heinen's locations also will have the draft available that day; only the Middleburg Heights location will not have it, since there is no growler station there. First-day draft coverage will air on NFL Network and ESPN beginning at 8 p.m.

Thompkins said a team effort was involved to fight the clock so the beer could be ready by Draft Day.

"We were building around the excitement of the draft," he said. "It was an opportune time. The timing worked out."

Like a well-executed play on the gridiron, where everyone has a specific job, several companies each have a specific role to play with Bernie Beer. The beer will be brewed by The Hop View Brewing Co., at Cellar Rats Brewery in Madison, under the name Bernie Beer Co. Hop View is the name Cellar Rats uses for contract brewing.

Contract brewing is when an entity – sometimes even a non-brewing venture - has a brewing recipe but no equipment. So an established brewer – in this case, Cellar Rats – is asked to step in.

"We're excited they approached us," Joel Sandrey of Cellar Rats told The Plain Dealer. "If this beer takes off, we hope to have other seasonals. Bernie Beer would be year-round in draft and cans, and seasonals would follow from the Bernie Beer Co. They (Bernie Beer names) would be based on the football season. Bernie's Brown Ale would be the flagship. All the packaging will say Hop View Brewing Co."

Sandrey's company is handling only the brewing. Initial launch of the brown ale will be draft only in half-barrels, he said.

"We are simply the place where the beer is being made," Sandrey said. "All we are is a place for brewing." The hope, he said, is the beer would be canned by Buckeye Canning of Amherst in time for the NFL season.

Sandrey said the recipe is a new one.

"We've never made a brown ale before at this facility," he said. "We brewed a small batch, brought out some samples, did some minor tweaks, and we came up with this."

Retail price and packaging – whether it will be cans or bottles, or four-packs or six-packs – is undecided, Thompkins said, but he added it will be "competitively priced."

"I like cans, their portability as for tailgating, as much as anything else," he said.

Thompkins said what excites him about the beer is it's a "total Cleveland effort," from the ale's creation by a local brewer to distribution through a family-owned grocery chain. And Kosar is, of course, an Ohio native.

Bernie Beer actually came about last year, after Thompkins introduced Kosar to Sam McNulty of Market Garden Brewery. The brewery released an amber ale on tap in September. Kosar greeted hundreds of fans who showed up for the release party at the Ohio City brewery.

That same month, Kosar, a beloved figure among Cleveland sports fans, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Solon. Charges were dismissed on April 28. Last week, it was announced Solomon Wilcots will replace the candid Kosar as preseason analyst in the broadcast booth.

Kosar played nine of his 13 NFL seasons for Cleveland.

"He's a living legend with his name on a beer in a greet beer town," Thompkins said.

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Additional Video Released in Bernie Kosar’s Arrest

SOLON, OH — Fox 8 obtained additional video that was taken by Solon police the night Bernie Kosar was arrested.

New video taken by a body camera that the police officer wore during the arrest shows Kosar talking to officers in the booking room of the jail.

He appears calm for the majority of the video. He does get startled when he hears another inmate screaming.

Kosar also answers all questions asked by police and even corrects the officer when they misspell his last name.

“You don’t see I am capable and talking?” Kosar asked the officers. “I remember everything. How many people know these answers without even thinking? You guys see it, you guys know.”

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Bernie Kosar Pleads To Lesser Charge Stemming From Traffic Stop

CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan/AP) — Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar has pleaded no contest to a lesser charge after blaming knee and ankle surgeries for not performing a field sobriety test during a traffic stop last year.

Kosar had been charged with drunken-driving in September, but on Monday he entered a plea to reckless operation and received a fine and suspended jail sentence.

“I am pleased with the court’s decision that reaffirms that alcohol was not involved in my traffic citation from September in any way,” Kosar said in a statement. “I sincerely apologize to my fellow Clevelanders for the guilty charge of reckless operation, resulting from speeding in a construction zone. In the future, I will strive to be more cautious and careful.”

Police say officers smelled a strong odor of alcohol when Kosar was pulled over in Solon, in suburban Cleveland. Kosar told an officer he couldn’t perform the standard one-leg stand or walk and turn tests as he had undergone several surgeries on his knees and ankles because of his playing days.

“I do not fault law enforcement for making the original charges and mistaking my concussion related ailments for alcohol-induced impairments,” Kosar said. “I understand how slurred speech and physical limitations could be misinterpreted as intoxication.”

A police report said Kosar was driving 74 mph on a 50-mph limit street. According to the report, Kosar had slurred speech and difficulty speaking.

Kosar has publicly talked about how head injuries suffered during his NFL career have affected his speech, making him sometimes slur his words.

Last week the Browns and WKYC-TV 3 announced that Kosar was being removed as a color commentator for preseason games.

Kosar, 50, said he was removed because of slurred speech he attributes to “a direct result of the many concussions I received while playing in the NFL.”

WKYC-TV issued a statement disputing Kosar’s assertions. In announcing the decision, the Browns said they were in discussions with Kosar about “potential new roles” on pregame telecasts and on the team’s website.

Last summer, Kosar drew criticism for in-game comments about former St. Louis third-string quarterback Kellen Clemens, the Rams’ receivers and assistant coach Ray Sherman. The Browns apologized to the Rams and reprimanded Kosar.

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Bernie Kosar believes Browns, WKYC ousted him as preseason analyst because of his slurred speech

Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar believes the team and WKYC ousted him Wednesday as the color commentator for their preseason game broadcasts because of his slurred speech that he attributes to concussions he suffered as a player.

Kosar made the assertion in a statement released this morning and expressed hope that WKYC would reconsider the decision to remove him from the broadcast booth.

Solomon Wilcots will replace Kosar as an analyst during preseason games, and Jim Donovan will remain the play-by-play man, the Browns and WKYC announced Wednesday. The Browns also said they’re discussing potential new roles with Kosar that could include appearances on their website, radio shows and the pregame telecasts for preseason games.

Here is Kosar’s statement: “I was informed yesterday by the Cleveland Browns and WKYC that I have been replaced as a 2014 preseason game day color commentator.  I believe that this decision stems from my slurred speech impairment, which is a direct result of the many concussions I received while playing in the NFL. This is very unfortunate, as I believe my football acumen and ability to describe what is happening on the field, has been well received by Cleveland Browns fans. I love to put the personal touch, pride in the Browns, and pride in our Cleveland community into the broadcast. Being able to share these preseason games with my fellow Cleveland Browns fans is truly one of the remaining joys in my life. I would hope that WKYC would reconsider utilizing my in-game talents and overlook my concussion-induced impairment. I want everyone to know that I still bleed Brown and Orange.”

Kosar became enveloped in a controversy last year after he ripped former St. Louis Rams backup quarterback Kellen Clemens, the team's receivers and receivers coach Ray Sherman during a preseason game. Rams coach Jeff Fisher responded by saying he lost respect for Kosar. Former Browns CEO Joe Banner then released a statement explaining that the organization reprimanded Kosar for "the personal and unprofessional approach that Bernie took with some of his comments during the broadcast." Kosar defended his strong opinions during the next preseason telecast without publicly apologizing.

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The Browns demote Bernie Kosar

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Demoting Bernie Kosar from television commentary on exhibition games is not a bad PR move by the Browns.

It's a horrible move.

Solomon Wilcots instead. A former Bengal and Steeler? Really?

What, a former Raven isn't available?

Whatever job Kosar gets on the Browns' website or radio or some other team forum, I know I'll miss his insight, humor and frankness when he had the broadcast audience.

It was some frank, quarterback-bashing remarks about St. Louis' Kellen Clemens that landed Kosar in hot water with the long-gone, little-missed Joe Banner. You remember the now deposed Banner, Hotspur Haslam's hand-picked top lieutenant?

Banner was the guy who always looked like somebody had been flatulent nearby, due to the perpetual scowl/sneer he had pasted on his face.
Kosar vs. Banner? Boy, that's a tough one.

There's Kosar -- a guy who drafted the Browns as much as the other way around, played with physical limitations behind an offensive line that was never a big priority, coped with a changing cast of coaches and coordinators, took the Browns to the brink of the Super Bowl three times on the strength of his video study and recognition of defensive tendencies, and bled for the team and the fans -- on the one hand.

And there's Banner -- the guy who plighted his troth, professionally anyway, with Mike Lombardi, king of front office intrigue, in cahoots with whom Banner deferred most of the 2013 draft to 2014 -- on the other hand.

It was a bad show all the way around, the overreaction to Kosar's criticism.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated went on Twitter, speculating about Kosar's documented dependency struggles after football. It was not a good moment by a respected writer. I've had those moments, too. If you really swing the bat in a column, you risk the chance that you will swing and miss at times. You can overdo it and overswing other times.

I've taken some shots at people in my career I wish I had back. There was the Browns' Earnest Byner, to whom I apologized, and the Indians' Ernie Camacho, to whom I should have. But at least my criticism was only about their performances on the field.

I seriously don't recall anything approaching the Bernie-must-be-drinking rumors for being nasty and personal.

Maybe Kosar was off base on his comments about Clemens. Kosar apologized. Under duress, but he still apologized. Should have been the end of the story.
At the very least, muting Kosar, or giving him a smaller platform than TV, or however the Browns spin it, continues the bland-leading-the-bland type of broadcasting that is a Cleveland staple.

One of the best NBA analysts in the business, Matt Guokas, got sacked by the Cavs  because he didn't wave pom-poms on the air.

Wilcots might do a fine job. For the sake of people who have to watch exhibition games, and Browns exhibitions at that, I hope he does.

But he won't have Kosar's background here, or his emotional resonance with the fans as the best player on the last teams that were consistent contenders. I doubt if Wilcots will have Bernie's way of explaining a play, which is close to that of a professor explaining a difficult passage in a book.

In that regard, I don't think his skills have diminished. He should have been allowed to do whatever he wanted to. They owe him.

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Bernie Kosar pre-trial for OVI, speeding charges postponed

BEDFORD, Ohio – A pre-trial hearing scheduled Monday morning for former Cleveland Browns star Bernie Kosar has been postponed to April, a Bedford Municipal Court official said.

Kosar is charged with speeding and operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The retired quarterback’s OVI and speeding charges stem from a September traffic stop in Solon during which he refused to take a breath alcohol test.

Police who pulled over the ex-NFL star just after 2:30 a.m. on U.S. Route 422 reported smelling alcohol coming from Kosar’s vehicle.

Kosar pleaded not guilty to both charges. 

Bedford Clerk of Court Thomas Day said Kosar's lawyer arrived in court Monday morning and requested the reschedule because Kosar is out of town.
Kosar played quarterback for the browns from 1985 to 1993.

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Throwback Thursday, 1985: Bernie Kosar announces he'll leave Miami to play for the Cleveland Browns

CORAL GABLES, Florida - On April 24, 1985, University of Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar announced he was taking his talents to the North Coast.

Through a bit of NFL draft wizardry, Kosar became available to the Cleveland Browns in the supplemental draft that year.

Kosar grew up in the northeast Ohio city of Boardman. He graduated from the University of Miami in just three years.

His arranging the circumstances to come to Cleveland was just one of the reasons he became a fan favorite. As a hard-working quarterback  from a blue collar area, he made it easy for fans to identify with him.

His teams went to the playoffs in each of his first four years he played for the Browns.

But back to Miami: the story in our video player is from WEWS reporter Roger Morris. Morris traveled to Florida to cover Kosar’s announcement he was leaving Miami for Cleveland.

Bernie may have had Cleveland on his mind at that press conference, but his attire was all Florida. He walked to the podium in a tank top and shorts.

Answering a question regarding how badly the Browns have handled their operations of late, Kosar responds, “It’s funny, if they’ve handled things so badly, how come I’ve been in this position, with these options for really the first time any player has had these kind of options.”

Bernie alludes to then-Browns starter Paul McDonald saying, “Until I prove I’m better, he’ll stay the starting quarterback in all probability.”

According to, Kosar started 10 games in his first season with the Browns and a total of 105 in his Cleveland career.

He was released in 1993 after Browns coach Bill Belichick said Kosar suffered from "diminishing skills." He went on to play for the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys.

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Bernie Kosar calls Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater a "fantastic quarterback and young man"

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Now that the Cleveland Browns have a new head coach, the conversation will shift to the NFL draft as Mike Pettine's success will be tied to his players.

The Browns are one of two teams – the St. Louis Rams the other – with two picks in the first round. General manager Michael Lombardi and his staff have racked up the frequent flyer miles, travelling all around the country in search of a player to use the fourth-overall pick on.

Quarterback seems to be a likely target in the draft, especially given the emphasis this regime has placed on the position.

On the wall of the Browns' war room, there is a blueprint for how the front office plans to turn around a downtrodden franchise that has grown accustomed to double-digit losses. The message begins with "We will be BOLD. We will have a CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL QB."

But do any of the quarterbacks in this year's draft fit that description? Does Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel meet the criteria? How about Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater?

Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar has been watching Bridgewater, who comes from the Miami area, since he was in junior high school, and likes what he sees.

Bridgewater completed 71 percent of his passes for 3970 yards with 31 touchdowns against 4 interceptions in his final season with the Cardinals.

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Bernie Kosar to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

CLEVELAND - Legendary Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at this month’s 14th Annual Greater Cleveland Sports Awards, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission announced Thursday. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a sports figure who has made a lasting impact on the Cleveland community.

“I am humbled and honored to be given this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Kosar. “I want to thank the Cleveland community for their unwavering support. Cleveland is a special place made up of special people and it will always be home.”

Kosar, a native of Youngstown, became a Cleveland icon almost as soon as he was drafted by the Browns in 1985. Taking over the starting position midway through his rookie season, Kosar quickly cemented himself as one of the National Football League’s top signal-callers.

Kosar led the Browns to the AFC Championship three times during his career and was named to the 1987 Pro Bowl.  He also set the NFL record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception (308).

Since retiring, Kosar has maintained an active presence in the Cleveland community. Along with serving as the color commentator for Brown’s pre-season games, Kosar hosted a charity golf tournament for many years. Kosar also played a major role in bringing an Arena Football League franchise to Cleveland.

The Greater Cleveland Sports Awards honors the best of Cleveland sports and features top sports personalities and athletes, an outstanding memorabilia and experience auction and an exciting dinner and awards show. The event will be held on January 23 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel Grand Ballroom.

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Bernie Kosar claims he wasn’t putting anyone at risk

Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar gave a radio interview this morning in which he was asked about his recent arrest on suspicion of DUI. Kosar didn’t really clear much of anything up.

In a rambling answer to a question about what happened, Kosar didn’t say whether or not he was drunk when he was driving, but he did say he didn’t put anyone else at risk, even though he realizes it may appear to others that he did.

“With the court process going on it’s something that you’re not really supposed to over-talk about,” Kosar said on ESPN Radio in Cleveland. “You don’t want to put other people in danger, and I pride myself on trying to do the right thing and not wanting to put other people at risk. I’m not trying to blame anybody, I’m not trying to make excuses. I look hardest at myself and what I could do, and I know how appearances make things look, but it’s something again that I wouldn’t want to make anybody, put them in a tough spot. And when you’re trying to help people out, and you’re trying to do things, sometimes you end up in situations that you, you know, don’t look as good. But time’s going to show, show stuff on this. And again I’m not really able to talk a ton about things, with the case going on. But again for people out there, you have to take it seriously, you have to look within yourself first to make sure you don’t put people at risk, don’t put people in danger. And I never, never would do that, nor do I want to do that.”

Kosar gave a vague explanation to another question in which he said he was trying to help people at the time he was arrested. Perhaps the best way for Kosar to help people would be to call a cab.

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Why couldn't Bernie Kosar walk straight in DUI stop? He blames the Browns

When ex-Dolphins quarterback Bernie Kosar was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Ohio four days ago, the homegrown fave had a quick excuse as to why he couldn't walk straight.

His knees are shot, Kosar told police, and the Cleveland Browns'  lousy offensive line was to blame.

"Mr. Kosar stated that he had a lot of surgeries on his knees and ankles because his line couldn't block," Officer Scott McElroy said.

Kosar, 49, self-employed and living in Youngstown, Ohio, was pulled over around 2:40 a.m. Sunday in Solon, Ohio. McElroy clocked him zipping through a construction zone with workers present at 74 mph — 24 mph over the posted limit.

Kosar had slurred speech and reeked of booze, McElroy reported. Asked for his driver's license, Kosar handed the officer credit cards. Asked whether he'd been drinking, Kosar replied "he was helping a friend," McElroy said.

And asked to recite the alphabet from E to W, Kosar stated "E,F,G,P,L,M,N,O,Q, and from there it trailed on with more letters that were not correct and ended at X," the officer reported.

Kosar refused breath tests. "He was told never to take those," McElroy said.

He was arrested and later released on $500 bond.

Kosar played for the University of Miami, the Browns and the Dallas Cowboys. He ended his career in 1996 after three seasons with the Dolphins.

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Bernie Kosar cracks jokes during weekend DUI arrest

Former Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins quarterback Bernie Kosar was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol on Sunday. According to the arrest document filed by the arresting officer, Kosar was stopped around 2:45 a.m. ET in Solon, Ohio for speeding. The document suggests that Kosar was going at a "steady speed" of 74 mph in a 50 mph construction zone with workers present.

After pulling over Kosar's black Cadillac, Officer Scott McElroy reportedly asked Kosar to present his driver's license. At this point, Kosar reportedly handed the officer two credit cards. McElroy said he observed slurred speech and a strong odor of alcoholic beverages at this time.

When asked to exit the vehicle and perform a field sobriety test (after a reported colossal failure to recite the alphabet from letters 'E' through 'W'), Kosar complied, but was unable to stand on one leg or perform the walk and turn test. When asked if there was anything preventing him from taking these tests, Kosar reportedly suggested he could not due to multiple knee and ankle surgeries because his "line couldn't block."

Kosar was then arrested and officially charged with OVI -- operating a vehicle while under the influence. Kosar played for the Browns for a full eight seasons before being released and signed by the Dallas Cowboys and later the Miami Dolphins. He was elected to the 1987 Pro Bowl and was an All-Pro that year, as well. He was with the Cowboys for their Super Bowl XXVII victory, though he was not the starter at this time.

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Bernie Kosar arrested on DUI charge, pleads not guilty

Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar has pleaded not guilty to drunken driving charges in suburban Cleveland.

Bedford Municipal Clerk of Courts Thomas Day says Kosar's attorney sent the not guilty plea on Kosar's behalf Monday. A Dec. 9 pretrial hearing was scheduled.

Police in Solon, Ohio say Kosar was pulled over for speeding early Sunday and officers smelled a strong odor of alcohol. The police statement says Kosar took sobriety tests and was taken to jail.

Kosar didn't return a phone call seeking comment.

The 49-year-old Kosar has publicly talked about how head injuries sustained during his NFL career have affected his speech, making him sometimes slur his words. He has also been addicted to pain medications, gone through a divorce and had financial troubles.

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Bernie Kosar says taking part in NFL lawsuit was not for him

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Despite having suffered post-career head issues himself, former University of Miami star and ex-NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar did not join nearly 4,500 former NFL players in a lawsuit accusing the league of hiding risks of concussions and repeated hits to the head.

The two sides reached a settlement worth $765 million on Thursday.

"Whether I got a dollar or a billion dollars, that wasn't going to help how I was feeling," said Kosar, who said he endured such things as equilibrium issues, sounds in his head and insomnia.

"I focused more on trying to figure out something ... I feel like I got a second chance, a blessing from God ... to have found a doctor, kind of a holistic way to treat some of the issues I had."

In January, Kosar said treatments he got from a Florida doctor named Rick Sponaugle helped reduce the pain and other symptoms resulting from at least a dozen concussions during his playing career.

"I was more focused on trying to find something that made me feel better," Kosar said Friday night. "I was able to kind of fix that stuff as opposed to, no disrespect to any attorneys ... but to sit through depositions and kind of talk about that, wasn't really going to help me feel better."

Kosar, 49, was at Sun Life Stadium for the season opener between the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic University. He was among members of UM's 1983 national championship team being honored at the game.

The 12-year NFL quarterback said he endured bleeding and contusions in his head for almost 25 years.

"The Junior Seau thing was an eye-opener to me ... he was like a little brother to me ... to find something that at least could help me," said Kosar, who added he saw Seau five or six days before the former linebacker's suicide.

Kosar cited former Florida Gator and 12-year NFL linebacker Wilbur Marshall and former offensive lineman Steve Everitt as peers dealing with serious post-career injuries.

"The acceleration of this stuff is starting to happen to these younger guys," Kosar said. "It's tough to see all lot of your friends going through stuff like that."

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Bernie Kosar lends name to Rocksino steakhouse

NORTHFIELD: Former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula capitalized on his famous name by opening upscale steakhouses in south Florida and his hometown of Cleveland.

Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka did the same in the Windy City.

Following in those footsteps, Cleveland Browns legend Bernie Kosar is entering the premium steakhouse game.

Kosar announced Thursday that he’ll lend his name to Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill at the new Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park, a racino slated to open in December.

The restaurant will include memorabilia on display from Kosar’s playing days.

Brock Milstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Northfield Park, said it made sense to marry the celebrity of Hard Rock and Kosar.

“As someone who was born and raised here and grew up watching the Browns, there is no bigger icon,” he said. “There is no one who’s more beloved and there’s no one who represents our pride, our sense of community and our perseverance as a region more than Bernie Kosar.”

Kosar, who played college football at the University of Miami, said he came to know the Seminole tribe, which owns the Orlando-based Hard Rock International, and the Milstein family through the years.

“I’m just incredibly honored to be a part of this,” he said.

The partnership was announced during a news conference outside the racino that also included an update on the $265 million racino project, which is still under construction.

Milstein, Kosar, racino President Jon Lucas and others signed a white ceremonial beam that will be on display at the gambling facility.

Construction workers took a break from their jobs to watch the event, which politicians and other onlookers also attended.

Lucas also announced that the Rocksino will hold its first job fair Sept. 12. The facility is expected to employ about 700 workers.

Other details about the hiring process are expected to be released next week.

The Rocksino, located next to the Northfield Park harness track along state Route 8, will be filled with about 2,300 slots-like video lottery terminals, a comedy club, the steakhouse, a buffet, a Hard Rock Live music venue and a Hard Rock Cafe.

It will house more than $1 million worth of music memorabilia.

Officials have pushed the fact the Rocksino will be an entertainment attraction and more than gambling.

“Wow. Absolutely amazing,” Northfield Mayor Jesse Nehez said of the project. “You would not expect something of this size, this magnitude to come to Northfield village.”

Amy Hollar, the local representative for the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association, said the horsemen are looking forward to the opening.

The industry has argued for years that owners, drivers and trainers have been leaving Ohio for other states where race purses are bigger. That’s expected to change with revenue from the racino.

“It’s our turn to shine,” she said. “It’s our turn to prosper. It’s our turn to make change for the better.”

The Hard Rock Rocksino is expected to be the third of seven racinos opening in the state.

It also will be the third major gambling venue to open in Northeast Ohio, behind the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland and the ThistleDown Racino in North Randall. The Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course is under construction near Youngstown and is expected to open next year.

In other gambling news Thursday, ThistleDown announced it is opening a comedy club for a six-week trial run starting Sept. 26.

“Northeast Ohioans have embraced every facet of ThistleDown Racino, from live thoroughbred horse racing to video lottery terminals and live bands, proving that they want more entertainment options close to home,” racino General Manager Rick Skinner said in a prepared statement. “With the addition of The
Comedy Zone, we aim to offer residents throughout the region one more fun way to relax.”

The Comedy Zone will launch with Shaun Jones and Paul Strickland. It will offer five shows a week on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

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Bernie Kosar doesn't back off TV comments

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar addressed his harsh comments about the Rams last night during the pre-game show on WKYC.

He didn't apologize for his remarks and defended his commentary.

"I love the game so much and there’s no way I’d want to disrespect or hurt or make fun of any players or coaches,'' Kosar said of his take on the Rams. "That being said, the way I look at the game and the way I like to analyze it from a football perspective, it is what it is. Again, I don’t want to disrespect or hurt any of the players or coaches in the league. But I do like the way I look at the game and I have strong feelings about how the game is played."

Browns CEO Joe Banner reprimanded Kosar for his "personal and unprofessional approach" during the Rams broadcast, but never seriously considered taking him out of the booth.

Banner also reached out to the Rams, and Kosar called Rams coach Jeff Fisher to apologize.

On Sunday, Banner issued the following statement:

“We don't condone the personal and unprofessional approach that Bernie took with some of his comments during the broadcast Thursday night. We’ve spoken to Bernie, he understands that, and we would expect the situation is resolved moving forward. We’ve also reached out to the Rams organization and have shared those same sentiments."

Kosar, who ripped the Rams' receivers, third-string quarterback Kellen Clemens and receivers coach Ray Sherman, returned to his commentary role with play-by-play announcerJim Donovan for the second preseason game against the Lions.

In addition to Fisher observing that Kosar has "well-documented" issues, Sports Illustrated's Peter King asked Kosar via King's Twitter account if he had been drinking. King later apologized for the drinking reference.

Fisher acknowledged Monday that Kosar called to apologize, but declined to elaborate and said it was a dead issue.

On Saturday, Fisher went off on Kosar during his post-practice press conference for his harsh remarks.

"I feel bad for (the Browns) that they had someone doing their broadcast feel the need to speak that way about players," said Fisher, "specifically on our team and coaches for that matter.

"I'm just surprised that Bernie has such a lack of respect for players and this game. To be honest with you, I lost a lot of respect for him. It's highly unlikely he knew anything about our football team, but felt the need to make those comments. I don't think they were justified."

It was Kosar's comments about Clemens that seemed to most rankle Fisher. When he came into the game, play-by-play man Donovan told a story about Clemens having his daughter blessed by Pope Benedict XVI and giving the Pope an autograph.

Kosar said he didn't think he'd want the autograph himself, and added, "Bless me father for I have sinned. I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter."
Fisher retorted Saturday: "Bernie's got his issues; they're well documented."

Kosar's erratic behavior on local TV and radio is nothing new to Browns fans, who've been hearing it for years. But he's attributed it to post-concussion syndrome, for which he's receiving treatment.

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Jeff Fisher: I lost respect for Bernie Kosar

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Saturday he's lost a lot of respect for former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar, who was highly critical of Fisher's team while serving as color commentator for the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night during the teams' preseason opener.

Kosar regularly criticized the Rams, specifically their wide receivers and backup quarterback Kellen Clemens.

Fisher was asked about Kosar's comments after the Rams' practice Saturday and did not hold back.

"First off, let me say this: The Cleveland Browns' organization is a first-class organization from top to bottom and it has been that for years and years and years," Fisher said. "I guess I'm a little disappointed. I feel bad for them that they had someone doing their broadcast feel the need to speak that way about players, specifically on our team and coaches for that matter.

"I'm just surprised that Bernie has such a lack of respect for players and this game. To be honest with you, I lost a lot of respect for him. It's highly unlikely he knew anything about our football team, but felt the need to make those comments. I don't think they were justified."

Among some of Kosar's pointed comments Thursday night were:

After an incompletion intended for Tavon Austin: "I really think that he didn't overthrow him and that Austin has to make that catch in the NFL. I see why Sam Bradford has been struggling watching how bad these receivers have been for him."

After Nick Johnson dropped a pass: "This is actually not a bad throw. These St. Louis receivers are horrible. That's a drop there."

After Browns play-by-play man Jim Donovan asked Kosar what he'd think if he knew some of the parents of Rams receivers were watching, Kosar said he "would be embarrassed."

Kosar then turned his attention to receivers coach Ray Sherman.

"I'm checking through the itinerary here of guys and coaches to see who the receivers coach is to make sure I don't know who this guy is because he's not doing very good either," Kosar said.

Kosar had praise for Bradford but didn't feel the same way about Clemens. When Donovan told Kosar, who had been asking for the use of a telestrator throughout the evening, that he might get one if he was on his best behavior, Kosar responded with a seemingly out-of-nowhere shot at Clemens, an eight-year pro out of Oregon.

"I must not be because the next quarterback in, me and him haven't done too well with each other, too," Kosar said.

Browns CEO Joe Banner issued a statement on the incident Sunday.

"We don't condone the personal and unprofessional approach that Bernie took with some of his comments during the broadcast Thursday night," Banner said in a statement. "We've spoken to Bernie, he understands that, and we would expect the situation is resolved moving forward. We've also reached out to the Rams organization and have shared those same sentiments."

Clemens wasn't in the game at the time. Later, when Clemens came in, Donovan relayed a story about the QB giving an autograph to Pope Benedict XVI. Kosar responded by saying he didn't think he'd ever want it.

"Bless me father for I have sinned," Kosar said. "I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter."

Clemens finished the game by completing 6 of 13 passes for 116 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the Rams' 27-19 loss.

"Bernie's got his issues; they're well documented," Fisher said. "Kellen played well, he played hard, he made plays."

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Cleveland Browns' 100 best all-time players: No. 25, Bernie Kosar (video)

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A countdown of the top 100 players in Cleveland Browns history. Players must have spent at least four seasons with the Browns. The ranking is based only on players' careers with the Browns.

No. 25, BERNIE KOSAR, quarterback, 1985-93

Browns fans might be the most loyal and patient of any in the NFL, despite getting little reward for their devotion over the last four decades.

Beginning with 1974, Cleveland has had 11 winning seasons, two .500 seasons, 23 losing campaigns and three years without a team.

Save for the exciting "Kardiac Kids" seasons and 1994 -- which turned out to be an aberration of a season as the Browns went 11-5 and posted their last playoff win a year before they were moved to Baltimore -- there has been little of consequence for Cleveland fans to cheer.

Except for 1985-89, when talented but flawed and often injury-riddled Browns teams made the playoffs each year, won four AFC Central Division titles and three times came within a play or few of reaching the Super Bowl.

Their quarterback, Bernie Kosar, may have made just one Pro Bowl team -- hardly the measure of a player's quality -- but he played some spectacular games to help the Browns to big games, had some brilliant big-game performances and other fine showings in disheartening defeats. The gangly, 6-5 Kosar excelled despite an unconventional, semi-sidearm delivery, drawing on his accuracy, intelligence and instincts, and a toughness that allowed him to persevere through a string of injuries that in fact sidetracked him prior to what would have been his prime years.

Kosar, from Youngstown, led Miami (Fla.) to the national championship as a freshman in 1983, winning Orange Bowl MVP honors in the Hurricanes' 31-30 upset win over Nebraska. A few weeks after his sophomore campaign, Kosar announced his intentions to enter the 1985 NFL draft and that his hope was to play for the Browns.

At the time, only seniors or college graduates could be drafted according to NFL rules. Kosar had two years of athletic eligibility remaining at Miami but was on track to graduate during the 1985 summer with majors in economics and finance. In the meantime, controversy ensued as teams besides the Browns stated their interests in the 21-year-old quarterback. Missed paperwork deadlines for draft eligibility, threatened lawsuits and other issues further complicated matters as Kosar stood firm in his desire to play for the Browns.

As it turned out, the Browns traded their first-round picks in the 1985 and 1986 drafts, a 1985 third-rounder and a 1986 sixth-rounder to Buffalo for the Bills' first pick in the 1985 supplemental draft. The Browns used it, of course, to take Kosar. Another sidelight to the deal was that it had to be adjusted after controversial but talented Browns linebacker Chip Banks refused to be included in it, threatening to retire if forced to leave Cleveland.

The Browns acquired respected veteran Gary Danielson in a trade with the Detroit Lions to begin the season as the starting quarterback and at the same time tutor the rookie Kosar. Danielson, though, tore a rotator cuff in his right (throwing) shoulder when the Browns were 2-2, prompting Kosar's move into the lineup. Kosar started 10 games the rest of the way and Danielson returned to start one more (a win) and relieve Kosar in two others.

Kosar had a breakthrough game in its efficiency and importance in Week 15, a 28-21 win over the Houston Oilers. He completed 14 of 28 passes for 161 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions and ran two yards for the other touchdown. The Browns, who had gone 5-11 in 1984, became 8-7 in the game that eventually won them the AFC Central title, though they lost their regular season finale. Then, Earnest Byner's ball-carrying pushed the underdog Browns to a stunning 21-3 lead in a playoff game at Miami, before the Dolphins rallied for a 24-21 win. The run-oriented Browns of coach Marty Schottenheimer employed a cautious and unimaginative pass offense due to the youth of Kosar, who completed 10 of 19 passes -- including a 16-yard touchdown toss to Ozzie Newsome -- with one interception.

The Browns went 12-4 in 1986, the most regular season wins in team history (schedules were expanded to 16 games in 1978) not including the team's days in the All-America Football Conference (1946-49). Kosar and his receivers and line carried the offensive load, as backs Byner and Kevin Mack both struggled with injuries. Kosar, in fact, led NFL quarterbacks with seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime, the third most in league history. He was first, too, in comeback wins, games in which the Browns rallied to victory from fourth-quarter deficits.

In games started by Kosar from 1986 through 1989, Cleveland won 35, lost 17, tied one and won three more division championships. He played just 12 games in the 15-game, strike-shortened 1987 season, when "replacement players" formed the nucleus of team rosters for three weeks during the strike while most NFL veterans, including Kosar, didn't cross the picket line.

Kosar sprained his right (throwing) elbow in the 1988 season opener, an injury which sidelined him for six games and had lingering effects for the rest of his career. He missed the final regular season game and the 24-23 wild card playoff loss to Houston, in Cleveland, with a sprained knee.

Kosar set an NFL playoff game record that still stands when he passed for 489 yards during the 1986 Browns' 23-20 double overtime win over the New York Jets at Cleveland Stadium, the team's first postseason win since 1969. Kosar completed 33 of 64 passes with a touchdown. His two interceptions contributed to the Browns' 20-10 deficit, before he completed five passes during a long drive that pulled the Browns within 20-17 with just under two minutes left, then connected with Webster Slaughter for a 37-yard completion to set up Mark Moseley's field goal that forced overtime.

Kosar, who is one of four quarterbacks in NFL history to pass for at least three touchdowns in three straight postseason games, sparkled in two other playoff wins.

He completed 20 of 31 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns, with one pick, as the 1987 Browns topped the Indianapolis Colts, 38-21, in Cleveland. In a 1989 season playoff game, again in Cleveland, Kosar keyed a 34-30 win over the Bills by going 20 of 29 for 251 yards and three TDs with no interceptions.

Following each of the Browns' three playoff wins, they lost American Football Conference championship games to the Denver Broncos.

Kosar's 48-yard touchdown pass to Brian Brennan gave the Browns a 20-13 lead over Denver with under six minutes to go in the 1986 AFC title game at Cleveland Stadium. Quarterback John Elway then directed "The Drive," moving Denver 98 yards for the score that forced overtime and led to a Rich Karlis field goal and the Broncos' 23-20 win. Kosar, who had turned 23 on Nov. 23 of that season, was 18-of-32 for 259 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Browns fell behind, 28-10, in the 1987 conference title game at Denver. Kosar, Byner and their blockers led a compelling comeback that tied the game, 31-31, in the fourth quarter. After Elway drove Denver to the go-ahead touchdown, the Browns started a march on their own 25 with 3:53 left. Byner, who played a great game, appeared on his way to a tying touchdown on the seventh play of the drive, but was stripped of the football just short of the goal line by Broncos cornerback Jeremiah Castille, who recovered the fumble at the 1 with 1:05 to go.

Denver won, 38-33. Kosar had 26 completions in 41 attempts for 356 yards and three touchdowns. His lone interception was early in the game, an on-target pass that bounced out of a Browns receiver's hands.

Cleveland's 1989 season again fell one game short of the Super Bowl with a 37-21 AFC championship game loss at Denver. Kosar may not have played if it had been the regular season. He was hampered all year by a sore right arm and elbow, and he played the title game with a rubber splint on his right index finger. Browns receivers dropped at least a half-dozen Kosar passes, and he finished 19 of 44 for 210 yards with three interceptions. Still, he and Brennan connected for two third-quarter touchdown passes, pulling the Browns to within 24-21 before they faded.

The Browns were an aging and banged-up team following the 1989 season and it showed dramatically in 1990 as they went 3-13. Coach Bud Carson, who had taken over in 1989 after Schottenheimer and owner Art Modell had a parting of ways, was fired with the Browns 2-6 and replaced on an interim basis by assistant and former Browns cornerback Jim Shofner. Kosar was benched by Carson for one game, and he missed the final two games after fracturing his right thumb in the first half of Game 14, a game he finished anyway, a 13-10 Browns' win over the visiting Atlanta Falcons. Cleveland totaled 14 points in the three games, all losses, that Kosar didn't play.

Kosar's final full season of play with the Browns was in 1991, Bill Belichick's first as the team's coach. Cleveland went 6-10 though Kosar had a fine individual campaign, finishing among the NFL's top six in numerous statistical passing categories.

Kosar didn't throw an interception until the 10th game in 1991. In all, dating back to a pick during his final 1990 appearance, Kosar threw 308 consecutive passes without an interception to set an NFL regular season record. It stood until Tom Brady's streak of 358 spanning the 2010 and 2011 seasons for the Belichick-coached New England Patriots.

Kosar broke his right ankle in the second game of the 1992 season and missed the next nine games. The injury occurred during the first half of the Browns' 27-23 home loss to the Dolphins. Kosar limped through the rest of the game, throwing two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter for a short-lived 23-20 Browns' lead, before X-rays revealed the extent of the injury hours later.

Veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde signed a free agent contract with the Browns prior to the 1993 season, ostensibly as Kosar's backup. Kosar and Belichick had been feuding for some time though, and their communication was strained, to say the least.

Testaverde took over for Kosar during the second half of Cleveland's 19-16 road win over the then-Los Angeles Raiders. The victory made the Browns 3-0. Testaverde and Kosar both played in the Browns' next two games, a 23-10 loss to the Colts in Indianapolis and a 24-14 home loss to the Dolphins. Testaverde went the distance in Cleveland's 28-17 win over the Bengals in Cincinnati as the Browns improved to 4-2.

Eric Metcalf returned two punts for touchdowns to key the host Browns' 28-23 win over the Steelers in the next game, which Testaverde started but had to leave after injuring his right (throwing) shoulder late in the contest. He was replaced by Kosar. With Testaverde sidelined, Kosar played the entire game the next week, a 29-14 loss to the Broncos at Cleveland Stadium. That left the Browns 5-3 and in a first-place AFC Central tie with Pittsburgh.

The day after the Denver game, Kosar was released, Belichick saying the quarterback's skills were diminishing. Belichick also wasn't especially pleased that Kosar said following the game that he had drawn up a play in the dirt during a huddle that went for a late touchdown pass to Michael Jackson.

Testaverde was still hurt, though, and inexperienced Todd Philcox was at quarterback when the Browns lost their next three games and eventually finished 7-9.

When let go, the injury-riddled Kosar wasn't the player he had been. Belichick, though, admitted several years ago that he had handled the release of Kosar poorly.

The resilient Kosar wasn't quite through. The Dallas Cowboys, with star quarterback Troy Aikman out for a couple weeks, signed Kosar right after his dismissal from the Browns. Seven days after his final game in a Cleveland uniform, emergency-starter Kosar completed 13 of 21 passes for 199 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions in the Cowboys' 20-15 win over the Phoenix Cardinals in Dallas.

A few weeks later, a shaken-up Aikman had to leave the Cowboys' National Football Conference championship game against the San Francisco 49ers in Dallas. Before Aikman returned, Kosar stepped in to complete five of nine passes for 83 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown to Alvin Harper that built Dallas' lead to 35-14 in the third quarter.

That finally got Kosar to the Super Bowl. Fittingly, he got in for the final few snaps of the Cowboys' 30-13 rout of Buffalo.

Free agent Kosar then joined the Miami Dolphins. He backed up Dan Marino for three years, throwing 152 passes and then retiring after the 1996 season.

Kosar, 49, has remained visible to Browns fans over the years, including work as a television analyst for the team's preseason games.

Kosar announced early this year that he was being treated for brain trauma, an effect from his NFL career, and that the results were encouraging. He suffered at least a dozen documented concussions as an NFL player.

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VIDEO: Bernie Kosar Talks Football, Past And Present

When it comes to the most beloved athletes in Cleveland's history, the top spot for many fans belongs to Bernie Kosar. The gangly Youngstown, Ohio native won over the hearts of Cleveland sports fans when he announced after his impressive career at the University of Miami that he wanted to play for the Browns, and they've loved him ever sense.

Drafted as the Browns top pick in the 1985 NFL supplemental draft, Kosar took a Cleveland squad that had finished 5-11 the season before to three straight playoff appearances, including back to back heartbreaking losses in the 86' and 87' AFC title games that were infamously won by the Denver Broncos and now associate Kosar with spine tingling terms like "the drive" and "the fumble".

But Kosar had experienced football heartbreak on the big stage even before his time at Cleveland, during the famous "Hail Flutie" game where Boston College's Doug Flutie completed a hail mary on the final play of the game to beat Kosar's Hurricanes 47-45. Kosar threw for 447 yards and two touchdowns, completing 25 of 38 attempts in the loss and says during his entire football career that was the only game he chalked up as a win before the final whistle.

Kosar also says the outlook for the 2013 Cleveland Browns should be a bright one. Kosar believes the offensive philosophies of new head coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordiantor Norv Turner are "perfect" for quarterback Brandon Weeden and that the Browns could be dangerous if the young wide receiving corp progresses.

Kosar thinks the defense will be much improved as well with new coordinator Ray Horton and the additions to the defensive front. He says Horton has similar philosophies to Steelers coaching great Dick LeBeau and believes if the Browns defensive front seven plays well it will mean more wins for this years squad.  

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Bernie Kosar says doctor eased concussion symptoms

CLEVELAND — Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar's glowing assessment of a doctor's work to ease Kosar's slurred speech, insomnia and headaches has created a buzz amid rising interest in sports concussions.

Kosar, who publicly discussed his treatment last month, said he has been inundated by calls from NFL players wanting to know more about Dr. Rick Sponaugle of Palm Harbor, Fla.

"It works for me, that's all I know," Kosar told The Cleveland Plain Dealer in an interview published Sunday.

Sponaugle, who treated the 49-year-old Kosar in December, is a medically trained anesthesiologist who graduated from West Virginia University's School of Medicine in 1982. He did his residency at the University of Florida and has made Florida his home ever since.

Sponaugle's website,, said he provides programs for 14 brain-related ailments, including trauma, Alzheimer's disease and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Sponaugle said that 70 percent to 80 percent of his patients come to him for something other than addiction.

Kosar found Sponaugle after doing research on the Internet and arrived at the clinic within days of Kosar's widely publicized radio interview in which his speech was badly slurred and rambling.

Kosar said that by the time he met Sponaugle, he had seen many doctors but failed to find relief from years of headaches, insomnia, slurred speech and a persistent ringing in his ears.

Sponaugle said Kosar had previously been prescribed pain pills by doctors and that more recently he had been given sleeping pills.

Kosar's treatment for what he describes as his concussion-related problems began with four days at Sponaugle's Florida clinic. He spent a total of 15 days there in December and was expected to return in January, according to Sponaugle.

The treatments included administering an intravenous tube and dietary supplements, both Kosar and Sponaugle have confirmed. According to The Plain Dealer, neither would identify the supplements nor what was fed through the IV tube.

Sponaugle calls the contents of his IV drip proprietary and said Kosar was awake throughout his treatment.

Dr. Robert Cantu, a Boston University neurosurgeon and brain-injury researcher, said using IV therapies and supplements to treat brain trauma is not standard practice.

Omega 3 oils and DHA, among other nutritional supplements, have been tried but none has been proved in double-blind studies to be effective, Cantu said.

The theory, he says, is that such supplements, many of which are known to be anti-inflammatory agents, improve blood flow to the brain, helping to heal damage. But Cantu said he was not aware that such therapies have been shown to improve post-concussion syndrome.

The interest in concussion and its causes, long-term effects and possible cures has increased in recent years.

In 2009, as news reports about former players' medical treatment received national attention, Congress held hearings on the cognitive dangers of professional football and, in response, the NFL adopted rules designed to better protect players.

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Bernie Kosar calls concussion treatment a 'gift from God'

On the football field, Bernie Kosar was a picture of contradictions. Pure athleticism was never his forté, from legs that never could outrun the slowest pass rushers to an arm that often reverted to an unconventional, sidearm motion.

The results? He once threw 308 passes without a single interception, setting what was then an NFL record.

Now 49 years old, the former University of Miami and Miami Dolphins quarterback is finding that maximizing his tools to avoid life’s potholes can be even trickier. For years, some of his public appearances, as well as those on radio, have left many wondering if his slurred speech was the result of drinking. He had trouble finding words to express himself. The past decade has brought virtually nonstop ringing in his ears and headaches. Meaningful sleep became impossible.

All this, in addition to well-documented financial problems in which millions vanished and his marriage ended in divorce.

That’s not the Bernie Kosar who appeared before the media Thursday in Cleveland, where he spent the majority of his career with the Browns. A confident, upbeat Kosar offered a glowing testimonial to “groundbreaking” care received from Dr. Rick Sponaugle, who runs a wellness institute in Palm Harbor, outside Tampa.

Finding Sponaugle, Kosar said, was “a gift from God” to counter more than a dozen concussions while playing. He added, “I see all the symptoms going away.”

In a phone interview with The Palm Beach Post on Friday, Sponaugle offered a general outline of his treatment, saying he conducted a PET (positron emission tomography) scan of Kosar’s brain to assess damage, then put Kosar on a “proprietary” IV and supplement program combined with a holistic approach that included improved nutrition.

“According to Bernie, it’s 90 to 95 percent gone, probably with a week and a half of treatment,” Sponaugle said of Kosar’s symptoms.

Without evoking the word “cure,” Sponaugle added, “He doesn’t need my services anymore, to be honest with you.”

Almost simultaneously with the news conference, researchers confirmed that the brain of late Dolphins and San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which also has been found in scores of other former professional football players who have died or committed suicide at an early age, including Pahokee’s Andre Waters.

Given that Sponaugle said he not only could mitigate but reverse the effects of brain trauma, such treatment would constitute nothing short of a breakthrough.
Such progress is the goal of Dr. Robert A. Stern, a Ph.D. and professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. Stern received a grant from the National Institutes of Health that was supported — but not funded — by the NFL to develop a way to diagnose CTE in a living person (currently, it can be diagnosed only after death). Stern’s study includes 100 former NFL players ages 40 to 69, began a year ago and should last two more years.

“I find Dr. Sponaugle’s claims are not at all based on any known or accepted scientific findings,” Stern said Saturday. “I view them as unacceptable, misleading and potentially quite harmful.”

Stern said he knows of no methods of reversing brain injuries.

Privately, others involved in traditional brain injury science are skeptical of Sponaugle, hedging themselves by conceding they haven’t examined Kosar and find it quite possible Kosar either feels better or at least believes he does for now.

Kosar, who still lives in western Broward County, said his reason for coming forward was to help others.

“I see friends of mine and I think a lot of them are losing hope,” he said at the news conference. “There are hundreds, if not thousands of guys, who are dealing with issues and pain and stuff . . . They have an option and something that can genuinely help them get better in a short amount a time. You don’t have to live the rest of your life in pain and agony.”

Kosar isn’t the first Sponaugle patient to offer a testimonial. Sponaugle admitted he has given selected patients free treatment, in some cases in exchange for positive comments to the media — an arrangement virtually unheard of.

Sponaugle bristled when asked if Kosar, who in 2009 was filing for bankruptcy, received free or discounted care.

“He paid me in full,” Sponaugle said. “He did not get a thing from me. He didn’t ask for free treatment.”

Sponaugle is an anesthesiologist specializing in addiction. On websites and infomercials with actress Suzanne Somers, his claims include treating autism and Alzheimer’s, and he has said his anti-aging program can take 15 years off patients within weeks. His detox program claimed to cure OxyContin addicts in six hours. At times, his approach has included citing from the Bible and he once told The Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal that if such passages didn’t move patients to tears, “I feel like I’ve failed.”

Stern scoffed at what he sees as Sponaugle’s over-reliance on PET scans and such sweeping claims.

“If that were the case, he would have won already several Nobel prizes and be applauded by the entire scientific community as perhaps the most brilliant scientist out there,” Stern said.

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Bernie Kosar receiving 'groundbreaking' treatments for brain trauma

MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio -- Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar never thought about the consequences of the helmet-rattling hits he absorbed while throwing touchdown passes and raising Super Bowl hopes at old Municipal Stadium.  

He kept a packet of smelling salts stashed in his uniform pants for occasions when he was "dinged," called a few running plays until his head cleared and knew the team trainer would always hold up two fingers for the rudimentary concussion test.  

But for the past decade, Kosar has spent sleepless, fitful nights dealing with the painful effects of at least a dozen documented concussions during a 13-year NFL career. There have been headaches, insomnia, slurred speech and persistent ringing and buzzing in his ears.  

The 49-year-old had searched unsuccessfully for lasting relief until recently finding it courtesy of a Florida-based doctor who he says is helping reverse the effects of his brain trauma.  

Kosar held a news conference Thursday in Middleburg Heights touting the "groundbreaking" work of Dr. Rick Sponaugle, who has been treating the Pro Bowl quarterback for about a month.  

"It was a gift from God to find this and to feel like this," Kosar said. "I see all the symptoms going away."  

 He hopes to raise awareness of the therapy, which the doctor says improves blood flow in the brain through intravenous treatments and dietary supplements.  
 Kosar knows there are many former players grappling with similar brain-trauma issues. He has spoken to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the therapy and the league has put Sponaugle in touch with one of its medical advisers, Dr. Elliot Pellman.  

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed the correspondence. 

 "They are very interested," said Sponaugle, 57, who has spent 15 years studying the brain. "Why wouldn't they be?"  

 Kosar addressed the media on the same day ESPN reported that former NFL linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide in May, suffered from the type of chronic brain damage found in dozens of deceased players. Seau's family was informed last week the brain tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease that can lead to dementia, memory loss and depression.  

 "There are hundreds, if not thousands, of guys who are dealing with issues and pain and stuff," said Kosar, whose speech is noticeably improved from last month. "Literally, I think a lot of them are losing hope. I tried really hard to find it. This [treatment] isn't something I think a lot of guys know about, whether it's the younger kids playing or the ex-NFL players. I don't think a lot of people know there is hope for them."  

Kosar stressed he has no business interests with Sponaugle, who operates a detox and wellness center outside of Tampa, Fla. He wants to spread the word in an effort to prevent future tragedies like the one involving his friends Seau and Dave Duerson, who also committed suicide.  

 According to the ESPN report, researchers at Boston University have confirmed 50 cases of CTE in former football players, including 33 from the NFL. Kosar is not among the more than 4,000 former players suing the league in federal court, claiming it ignored a connection between football and brain damage.  

He has no regrets about playing, Kosar said, or the medical care he received during his time with the Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins. He believes the league is doing more to address player-safety issues and wants to do his part.  

 "I hope if there are people and players out there suffering [they now know they] have an option and something that can genuinely help them get better in a short amount of time that doesn't involve living the rest of your life in pain and agony and on medication," Kosar said.  

 "I am not trying to over-dramatize this, get attention and [make people] feel sorry for me, but it was bad and I needed to get to him when I got to him and through God's blessing it got reversed."  

 Kosar and girlfriend Tami Longaberger learned of the treatments about 16 months ago, but didn't make contact with the doctor until this fall. He was skeptical about the claims of Sponaugle, who reportedly has admitted to administering treatment for publicity in the past.  

 But Kosar said he started seeing almost immediate results. His positron emission tomography (PET) scans, which detect damage to the brain, are showing improvement. Over the past month, he has received about 15 treatments, each lasting about two hours.  

Sponaugle, who also works with patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis, provided little detail about his therapy Thursday. He did reveal he has treated about 20 former and current NFL players.

The doctor likened the head trauma Kosar and other players have absorbed to an auto accident.  

"The difference, folks, is the car accident is a one-time deal when a head goes through a windshield," Sponaugle said. "Bernie had his head go through the windshield every Sunday."  

The doctor has listened to Kosar's radio interview from last month in which he became emotional and sounded incoherent at times. Kosar, who has dealt with divorce and past financial troubles, has denied he was drunk or medicated.  

 "I knew what it was and I knew why he was weepy," the doctor said. "I have seen this in [many] people." 

Kosar, who's relaunching his charitable foundation, said he feels "20 years younger" and has lost about 40 pounds since last summer. He was in good spirits Thursday, joking with reporters and telling them the ringing he once experienced "wasn't my ex-wife yelling at me."  

"I really feel blessed to be restored as far as the brain," Kosar said. "And, the trauma that was there, I almost feel like it's gone right now."   

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Bernie Kosar undergoing treatment for brain trauma

We noted last month that former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar sounded so unintelligible in a radio interview that fans were concerned about his mental well-being. Kosar said the next day that he was feeling fine and surprised by the reaction to the interview, but he now acknowledges that he is getting medical treatment for brain trauma.

The good news is that Kosar says that treatment is working: Kosar says he has been under treatment from a doctor whose techniques for increasing blood flow to the brain have made Kosar feel better and sleep better.

“When I heard some of the things he was capable of doing I was bluntly a little skeptical . . . but just after a few weeks of treatment to not have the ringing in the ears, not have the headaches and to be able to sleep through the night without medications and all the stuff,” Kosar said.

Kosar said he has spoken to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the treatments, and that he’s hoping other NFL players can benefit. We hope Kosar, who has had a string of personal, financial and health problems in his retirement, continues to feel better.

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