San Francisco has Joe Montana. Miami has Dan Marino. Cleveland has Bernie Kosar.
To anyone outside Cleveland, that might sound like the beginning to some terrible "three quarterbacks walk into a bar..." joke, but to Browns fans, it makes perfect sense.
Bernie was, is, and probably always will be our favorite son. As well he should be. Was he the most talented player ever to wear the orange and brown? Not even close. Did he ever win a championship? I think you all know the answer to that one. But is he, with very good reason, the most beloved player in Browns history? Absolutely.
Part of the appeal? Kosar was just so, well, Cleveland. He didn't look like much, but he had heart, he worked hard, and he always seemed to find a way to do what needed to be done, even if it looked darn ugly happening.
And oh, was it ever ugly. There are countless hilarious analogies made for what Kosar looked like scrambling, my personal favorite being "scrambles with the grace and speed of a giraffe on Quaaludes." (that's courtesy of Miami News columnist Jenny Kellner).
But that was part of what was so endearing about Bernie. He was just as awkward and unpolished as the rest of us, yet he proved over and over again that he could be a winner at the highest level of football. That is, above all else, the makings of a true hero. Kosar was a guy we could all both relate to and look up to.
The above video, which plays a long-forgotten (and my personal childhood favorite) song about our beloved Bernie, is a good example of who Kosar is to Cleveland.
He showed that having the most talent isn't always the only thing that gets the job done. Bernie's stats don't even come close to ever demonstrating his ability to win and why he means so much to Cleveland.
Bernie Kosar gave us hope, joy, and validation that the Cleveland attitude of hard work and dedication sometimes really pays off. Bernie was our hero, but he was also one of us.