Bernie Kosar should have known better. And it cost him in the pocketbook twice. The former Cleveland Browns quarterback made the first legal sports bet in Ohio just after midnight on New Year’s Day. He wagered $19,000 on the Tipico Sportsbook app that the Browns would beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan. 8 in the NFL season finale for both teams.
Kosar promised that if he won the bet, his winnings would go to charity. So why a $19,000 bet? Kosar wore No. 19 when he played for the Browns from 1985-93.
The Browns lost 28-14. So did Kosar. In addition to the $19,000 he wagered, he also lost his job as a commentator on the Cleveland Browns Radio Network, where he regularly appeared on “Cleveland Browns Daily” and the “Cleveland Browns Kickoff Show” prior to games.
‘A Violation of NFL Rules’
Bernie Kosar was taken off the air because he violated the NFL’s gambling policy by placing the bet. The problem for Kosar was he was paid by the Browns to be on the radio shows. Here’s what a team spokesman said about Kosar’s firing:
“Earlier this week, we notified Bernie that per league policy, we were required to remove him from our pregame radio coverage for the season finale after he violated the NFL gambling policy by placing a bet on an NFL game. We understand what Bernie means to this community and our history, but as team contracted personnel hired to provide content on our media platforms, his bet was a violation of NFL rules and we must adhere to all NFL policy.”
The NFL does not allow team personnel to bet on NFL games. The list includes part-time employees as well as “club employees, game-day stadium personnel and other staff.” Kosar should have known that before he made his bet. He didn’t do his homework.
No Apology from Bernie Kosar
Instead of being apologetic for not knowing NFL gambling rules, Kosar seemed miffed. Here’s what he wrote Jan. 8 on his Twitter and Instagram accounts: “Steelers GameDay yet once again I was informed by the Browns that my services are no longer desired or needed. I will not be doing today’s radio program. I am shocked & disappointed. Brown & Orange is my life.”
Kosar was cut by the Browns in 1993 before finishing his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys (1993), where he was the backup quarterback for the Super Bowl XXVIII champion Cowboys, and Miami Dolphins (1994-96). That’s why he referenced being let go by the Browns “once again.”
Kosar’s first nine seasons in the NFL were with the Browns after he was selected first overall by Cleveland in the 1985 supplemental draft. The former University of Miami quarterback who led the Hurricanes to the national championship in 1983 went 53-51-1 as Cleveland’s starting QB, throwing for 21,904 yards and 116 touchdowns.
He had 81 interceptions. Twenty years after playing for the Browns, he threw another interception. A two-time pick six.
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