Of the 65 preseason games that will be played this month, only 11 will be handled by national broadcast crews. The remaining 54 games will be broadcasted by local television crews, which of course means blatant displays of "homerism".
That appears to have been the case with the Cleveland Browns broadcast crew on Friday night. Analyst and former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar trashed St. Louis Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens and the Rams wide receivers as a whole, including position coach Ray Sherman, during the Browns' 27-19 win on Friday night.
Browns play-by-play announcer Jim Donovan relayed a story about Clemens signing an autograph for the pope, which prompted Kosar to say "Bless me father for I have sinned. I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter." Kosar also said the Rams receivers were "horrible" and that he would be embarrassed if he were their parents watching at home.
According to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher lost a lot of respect for Kosar.
"First off let me say this, the Cleveland Brown organization is a first-class organization from top to bottom and it has been that for years and years and years," Fisher said on Saturday. "I guess I’m a little disappointed – I feel bad for them – that they had someone doing the 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 for this game. So, to be honest with you, I lost a lot of respect for him. This game is a preseason game. Players are playing hard. It’s highly unlikely that he knew anything about our football team but felt the need to make those comments. I don’t think they were justified."
Kosar has had his fair share of struggles in his post-NFL life. There have been tax issues, a very public divorce, financial issues and Kosar has dealt with medical issues, including some related to brain trauma he sustained during his career. However, none of those issues excuse Kosar's comments on Friday night. The blow back from these comments should also serve as a reminder to the local broadcast crews that with preseason games being shown live or replayed on NFL Network, or shown live on the Preseason Live app, people outside the home market are watching and listening to their broadcasts and will take issue with wildly uninformed commentary.