Cover photo courtesy of Cleveland Landmarks Press Inc.
Any football fan knows that scrambling is the way a quarterback can gain more time and more opportunity. And scrambling requires creativity, nifty feet, and a little luck. But anyone familiar with Bernie Kosar’s football career knows he didn’t beat you with his physical prowess.
Possessing slow feet, an awkward throwing motion, and unorthodox mechanics, the kid from rough, blue-collar Youngstown, Ohio did not look like a prototype NFL quarterback. How he beat you -- and he beat a lot of people over the course of his college and NFL career -- was with a savant-like level of football intelligence and an indomitable will to win.
Anyone who ever claimed Kosar “did more with less,” never considered what was inside his head. “Learning to Scramble,” Kosar’s new biography gives fans the unique opportunity to learn from his experiences on and off the football field.
Chronicling his rise from the tough steel town of his birth, to prominence as the leader of the University of Miami’s first national championship team, and then to glory in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, the ride was not smooth and seldom came without a high cost.
Kosar’s well-documented struggles came largely after his playing career ended, and the
combination of physical, marital, familial and financial issues transcended his uncanny ability to break down “Xs and Os” and ultimately cost him heavily both personally and monetarily.
“Life has definitely been a battle for me at times… and my limitations in the scrambling department sometimes got the better of me.”
This book is the answer to the question, “How do you stage a dramatic comeback when, in your ultra-disciplined mind, people you thought were on your side – friends, family members, business associates – seem to conspire against you?” Kosar answers this question in non-chronological chapters titled with the personal character attributes he sharpened as a result of his many challenges: Confidence, Resilience, Trust, and many more. Touching on his
battles against a controlling parent, a battered body, a dysfunctional marriage, and doing it all on the public stage,
Bernie never stops moving forward and looking for a way to win. “Learning to Scramble” is an unvarnished and completely authentic account of an extremely talented man’s ability to not only learn from his mistakes, but to evolve and develop new ways of approaching life. “Almost every chapter of this book… is devoted to a virtue that I came to understand through football, or in later life… my ultimate hope here is that what I have gleaned from my own individual history is in some way instructive for you in pursuing your own personal victories and in confronting your own personal challenges.”
Published by Northeast Ohio’s Cleveland Landmarks Press, “Learning to Scramble” by Bernie Kosar (with Craig Stout) is a must-read for any fan of football, amazing comebacks, and never-say-die resiliency. It’s a distillation of one man’s life experiences and a text book on what can be done with just a little more time and a little more opportunity – all you can accomplish when you learn to scramble.
Books can be ordered online at berniekosar19.com/