Bernie Kosar bet and lost.
The Cleveland Browns legend was fired as a team radio announcer after placing a $19,000 bet on his former club to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in their season finale Sunday.
The 58-year-old Kosar didn’t try to hide his bet. In fact, he promoted it, according to Sports Illustrated.
During an appearance on “The Bernie Kosar Show With Hanford Dixon,” he bragged about placing the first legal bet in the state of Ohio via the Tipico Sportsbook.
Kosar vowed to donate any winnings to charity. The Browns lost 28-14 to the Steelers in any case. But it didn’t matter.
The Browns team ambassador and radio contributor was sacked for violating the strict NFL rule against employees and contractors betting on teams they’re associated with, per Cleveland.com.
Kosar confirmed the bad news in a tweet on Sunday.
“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,” wrote Kosar, who went to two Pro Bowls with the Browns from 1985 to 1993.
The Browns issued a statement explaining the decision to team beat writer Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
“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,” said a Browns spokesperson.
“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.”
Oddly, the Browns didn’t find a way to work something out with a legit team legend.
Especially with the NFL pulling an about-face on legalized sports betting in recent years via deals with seven sports book operators: Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings; FanDuel; FOX Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBET.
Then again, this is the same franchise that could have drafted Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen – twice – in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft but passed on him in favor of Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward.
With their 7-10 record this season, the Browns have missed the NFL Playoffs for 19 of the past 21 years.