NFL News: Rams Fisher, SI’s King criticize Kosar for on-air comments

Sports Illustrated’s head NFL writer Peter King and St Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher took issue with some comments made by former Browns QB Bernie Kosar during the Browns-Rams preseason game this past Thursday.

“Bernie’s got his issues. They’re well-documented,” Fisher said.

Fisher said he doubts Kosar has done the kind of research that Fisher believes an announcer should do before opining about a team. And he said that while he still respects the Browns, he doesn’t think Kosar belongs in the Browns’ broadcast booth.

“I guess I’m a little disappointed,” Fisher said. “I feel bad for them that they had someone doing the broadcast who would 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 for this game. So I lost a lot of respect for him.”

King tweeted:

I’m honestly surprised by this. I watched STO’s replay of the game in its entirety on Saturday and Kosar’s comments didn’t stick out to me. Well, that’s not entirely true. Things did get a little dicey when Jim Donovan told a story about Rams backup QB Kellen Clemons gave the Pope an autograph and Bernie cracked “Bless me Father for I have sinned. I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter.” But considering all the ways a Pope bit could’ve gone horribly wrong, I felt they skated by mostly unscathed (I mean, this was a local broadcast of a crappy preseason game. This could’ve been much worse).

I’ve never seen an NFL head coach get mad about comments made by an opposing team’s announcer. During a preseason game. I understand that Fisher has to stick up for his players and this is a easy battle to wage. But it’s not like Bernie was… you know… wrong. The Rams receivers weren’t very good. Kellen Clemons ended the night going 8-13 for 116 yards with a TD and two INTs.

Not everyone agreed with Fisher and King.

I was also a little surprised that King went with the “are you drunk?” crack. Seems like a shot a Bernie. But I don’t disagree with his concussion remarks. He’s absolutely right, if you’re gonna get in the booth, what you say is fair game. And if his injury history really has impaired Bernie’s judgement, King is right, he probably shouldn’t be on live television for three hours.

But really, we’re mad that a local announcer called a player “horrible” in a pre-season game? This is a thing?

One of these days the focus is going to be on all the good things the Browns did on the field. Not the owner’s legal issues. Not player comments. Not Bernie. The play on the field.

And it will be glorious.

[Related: Training Camp News and Notes: Joe Haden picks off a pair of Weeden passes]


  • TOJ

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, Peter…we get it. What I want to know is what airport coffee joint has the best Sumatran.

    Nice dig about Kosar drinking. It’s rare that a respected media figure will get down in the gutter to fling mud in response.

    Regrettable on so many levels (include Fisher’s mustache and mullet under that “regrettable” umbrella).

  • EdgewaterJoe

    Gee, look – the national media gangs up against the Browns. Again. It’s as if the entire media is still pissed off that Browns fans arose to force the NFL to clean up the mess left by Modell’s crime. I’ve always got the sense that most of the NFL “journalists” have genuinely enjoyed kicking the Browns around.

    I don’t know what was up Jeff Fisher’s rear end, but I know he’s generally beloved by a lot of folks like Peter King – and let’s not forget NBC uses that dipwad Yinzer Mike Florio to run Pro Football Talk – so we shouldn’t be too surprised.

    The only thing that’ll shut them up is the Browns winning. And that’ll be because they’ll have no choice, not because they’ll want to.

  • Pim Scutney

    This flap is ridiculous. ESPN has clowns like Bayliss and Screamin’ A say the same stuff about people every day, but Bernie makes a funny and accurate crack about how bad Kellen Clemens is and he’s the anti-Christ. If Bernie had Clemens’ natural athletic ability, he’d be in the Hall of Fame, so I can see why he can’t stand how little Clemens has made of that ability during his years in the NFL. And Clemens WAS horrible and the Rams’ receivers DID drop a bunch of passes. Was Bernie over-the-top? Sure, but it was a local broadcast. Doug Dieken cracks on the other team every week, and I can’t imagine the kind of stuff that’s been said about the Browns by their opponents’ broadcasters over the years.

    And how ironic that King and Fisher, in criticizing Bernie in a professional context, made things very personal, King with his “drinking” crack and Fisher with this sleazy gem:

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

    Both of them might like to have those particular comments back and keep things on a purely professional level, but sometimes, in the heat of the moment, you don’t phrase things as well as you like, do you, fellas? Kind of like a certain play-by-play announcer I could name.

  • DylonW

    This is a thing?!?!?!

  • maxfnmloans

    Is Jeff Fisher a youth soccer coach? Does he think everyone should get a trophy? Also, unfollow Peter King and avoid his new (pretty much horrible) website? Ok, can do.

  • Webster

    King’s concussion and alcoholism comments were more tasteless than anything Bernie said Thursday night, but that’s just me.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I said after the game in the Browns analysis article that I was glad Kosar wasn’t a coach and more importantly glad for any players who would have to work under him. But this isn’t anything new Kosar is always hypercritical when he does preseason games. Hey Jeff (Fisher) be glad Kosar isn’t doing regular season games.

    That being said like DylonW posted much ado over nothing. Actually I think Peter King if anyone overreacted. All of his Tweets especially the one mentioning the drinking was a low blow. Keep it classy King!

  • Scott Johnson

    Has anyone checked Jeff Fisher’s diaper? Sounds like he needs a changing.

  • Harv 21

    Two things, though it’s maybe two more than this deserves:

    – Fisher was getting weirdly cranky in his public comments in his last year with the Titans. Thought a year sabbatical would cure his burnout but maybe not. Or maybe this is just a little contrived preseason unity building exercise.

    – Kosar is mushmouthed now but his telecast thoughts seem mighty clear and accurate to me. He may not be the milquetoast commentator these guys expect after hearing his always careful comments when a player. I like listening to him – more the have-a-beer-and-watch-the-game-with-Bernie rather than Politic Bernie.

  • mr. lahey

    you’re right bayless and smith do this stuff every day on their garbage show calling out players for bad performances and know one makes a big deal of it. bernie could have been a bit easier on these guys but they were terrible in that game and he called it like he saw it. he would have had the same assessment if it was our guys performing like that. and it’s always the jerks who make a big deal of what someone else says and then butt in and make personal attacks

  • humboldt

    Just so I understand the worldview of Fisher and King:

    1) It’s not acceptable for a color commentator to critically evaluate players in an NFL game.

    2) It is acceptable to make retributive attacks on the purported character flaws of a color commentator.

  • Natedawg86

    Now how in the heck is the Browns winning going to sit up the media? Lol

  • ChuckR.

    Everyone is so hypersensitive these days! Bernie is just calling it as he sees it. Enough said!

  • RGB


  • Frank Cuccia

    Kosar, criticizes their ability on the athletic field. and how does Fisher & King a-hole respond, by attacking the man’s personal weaknesses.

    Both a-holes go even lower that Bernie’s comment how their parents should be embarrassed (which was clearly wrong).

    King your just another in the long line of Holier than thou – sports’ blog writers. How republican of you. Want to criticize Bernie, then criticize his critique of the game.

  • oribiasi

    How often did multiple media personalities make fun of Cleveland teams/players in the past? I think its alright if we get some laughs in once every 100 years.


    What I think is interesting is that Fisher didn’t address HOW BAD HIS RECEIVERS LOOKED ON THURSDAY.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Who dis, it can’t be, no way?

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Why are politics being brough up here?

  • Ben Frambaugh

    It’s acceptable for a man who discusses (or at least used to discuss) alcohol in every one of his MMQB articles to insinuate someone else is drinking.

  • thenoclist

    How liberal of you to call out Republicans in a sports blog…