The Cleveland area has arguably the sports world’s most devoted fan base, and it has a very strong sense of history, even if the market doesn’t have as much history to celebrate as some others.
When the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers hosted the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, the big video screen at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse showed former Cleveland Browns star quarterback Bernie Kosar, and the crowd went wild.
— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) November 19, 2022
It was a heartwarming gesture for one of the greatest players in team history, even though he hasn’t played in the NFL in over 25 years.
Kosar Piloted The Browns During One Of Their Best Eras
In the mid-1980s, before Art Modell moved the original Browns to Baltimore, they were a legitimate AFC power.
Kosar had grown up not too far from Cleveland and had rooted for the Browns growing up, and even though there was some controversy about how he made himself eligible for the 1985 NFL Draft, he got selected by them in the supplemental draft later that year.
He started 10 of his 12 games as a rookie, and in 1986, he dazzled fans with 3,854 passing yards and 17 touchdowns as Cleveland finished with a 12-4 record.
Kosar’s huge game in the divisional round versus the New York Jets got the team to the AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos, where he put it in position to win with his touchdown pass to Brian Brennan that put it ahead 20-13 in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately, John Elway led Denver on what is known as “The Drive” to force overtime, where it won.
The following year, Kosar earned his lone Pro Bowl bid and got the Browns back to the AFC Championship game, but this time, Earnest Byner’s fumble on the three-yard line late in the fourth quarter prevented them from tying the game.
The Browns released Kosar during the 1993 season, and he joined the Dallas Cowboys, where he finally got his world championship ring as a backup to Troy Aikman.
Although he never got Cleveland to a Super Bowl, Kosar is perhaps the most beloved player in team history to this day.