Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1196 times:
All Browns fans can well remember this one. It was exactly 10 years ago since the beginning of the end of the real, true Cleveland Browns began. It was the day that Art Modell and then coach Bill Belicheck cut starting Quarterback Bernie Kosar. Kosar, raised in northeast Ohio, a National Champion at Miami, and the guy who said he wanted to play in Cleveland, was uncerimoniously dumped because of "diminishing skills". He went on to play that year with the Cowboys, subbing for an injured Troy Aikmen, and was a late-season key to the 'Boys run to a Super Bowl.
After the Browns cut Kosar, and unbeknownst to everyone at the time, it was the beginning of the end of the Browns as they were known. They were gone from Cleveland two years later, and Cleveland has never accepted the new Browns the way they did the original team.
It's a legend in Cleveland, but I'll bet sports fans in other cities can come up with similar stories of their beloved teams breaking their hearts by dumping a popular player.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 1166 times:
I am not sure that it is possible to "blow the life" out of franchise when it is already on life support.
They certainly weren't on life support then-they made the playoffs the next season, and no one-save Art Modell, perhaps, saw the train wreck that would engulf Cleveland in October of 1995. But up until that point, Modell was not seen as the arch villan of the city that many see him as now. He hired a coach who was emminantly unpopular with both fans and media in Belicheck, had made quesitonable roser moves-like gutting the O-Line, which got Kosar killed each week, paying guys like Andre Rison to come in and do nothing. But that happens on most sports teams, and as seen as just the ups and downs.
The cutting of Kosar was seen by Cleveland fans as a betrayal of them-whether true or not, that's what the fans felt. Were Kosar's skills "diminishing" becuase of the pounding he had been taken for 3 seasons? Of course, but you don't just kick a guy like Kosar, who wanted to play here, and led them to some of their greatest years in two decades, out the door like a dog. He should have been given his release after the season.
Belicheck's arrogance over the matter back then, and Modell's bungling of HOW he got rid of Kosar was, for many fans, the last straw. They never saw Art in the same light again, and, I truly believe, that that event helped lead Modell to his decision to move to Baltimore 2 years later, because he felt he had lost the trust and support of the fans.
Bernard Shakey From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 559 posts, RR: 10 Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 1157 times:
As a lifetime Browns fan/season ticket holder I have 2 opinions on that event:
1. It was handled poorly in terms of public relations.
2. But Belichek was right, Bernie's skills were diminished. He was a Alomarian clubhouse lawyer too. Anyone at the Pittsburgh game that season (where Vinny got hurt and Bernie came in) could see the writing on the wall. They only won because Metcalf took back 2 punt returns for touchdowns.
I loved the great Bernie years as much as anyone, but he was done. Additionally, that organization was not on life support at the time.
Mindless drifter on the road, Carries such an easy load
Srbmod From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 16888 posts, RR: 51 Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1129 times:
I remember when the Browns came down to Atlanta to play the Falcons that season. The Falcons had beaten the Kosar-QB'd Cowboys the week before. One thing that still stick in my mind were the "Bevis and Belicheck" signs the disgruntled Browns fans were carrying.
CLEfan From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 299 posts, RR: 1 Reply 18, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1055 times:
What made Bernie's cut even worse was that Vinny Testeverde, the other quarterback, was hurt at the time. So the Sunday after Bernie gets cut, they go off to Seattle, with Todd Philcox as the starting QB. Seattle had a terrible team at the time, but Todd Philcox was not an NFL quality QB, and the Browns got beat, losing 22-5. Bernie might not have been as good as he was in the 1980's, but he was a hell of a lot better than Todd Philcox. When the Cowboys won, I was happy for Bernie.
He was special. The hometown kid coming home to help lead his team.