CLEVELAND (WJW) – One of the most popular Cleveland Browns players in team history just opened up to the FOX 8 I-Team telling his most personal secrets he’s never revealed publicly before.

Legendary quarterback Bernie Kosar shared a battle with the impact he says he’s suffered from head injuries on the football field.

He admits life, now, can be a daily struggle. Yet, we found him fighting back in his own way.

“I wasted a good seven, eight years in massive darkness and massive pain,” Bernie Kosar told the I-Team.

He opened his soul decades after a career of taking hard hits on the football field in front of cheering crowds.

“You have massive headaches and massive noise constantly in your head. It’s in your head all the time,” Kosar said. “And, I was having seizures. Ten of my 14 seizures were in and around plane flights. I flopped on one of them in Chicago. I was in a coma for 96 hours.”

He added that he is “seeing stars all the time even to this day.”

WJW photo

Bernie Kosar retired at the young age of 33. He retired after a long career, and he even wears a ring from when he won a Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys.

We recently showed you similar struggles for other former NFL players. Kosar watched some video clips from a previous story, and he reacted.

“My first reaction is, that’s me and I don’t want to drop the laptop right now because of peripheral paralysis, the inability to feel my fingers, to feel stuff right now,” Kosar said.

Many former NFL players have been battling for a piece of a class action concussion settlement. A payout to help cover the cost of treatment for what the players say they’re dealing with now.

Kosar tells us that six years ago he started the process of filing a claim. But, then, he decided to concentrate on ways to help his body heal. He told us, he had found it difficult to explain even to loved ones what he was going through.

“You actually have the people closest to you thinking you’re faking,” Kosar said. “Thinking you’re lying. I wasn’t as good a person, father, husband, person out there because I was being told that I wasn’t sick. That I was ‘OK.’ You’re bluffing.”

In fact, Kosar tells us it got so bad that, in 2017, he panicked during a concussion evaluation. He said he ended up, disoriented and hitchhiking.

“Hitchhiked on I-71 from the medical campus there,” Kosar said. “I got lost and confused and hitchhiked and, ironically, made it to the Pilot Flying J on 71.”

Kosar says he came to realize you can’t get better fighting in court. So, he says he gave up on that.

But, he didn’t give up on trying to get better. He tells us he now feels better than he has in a very long time. Getting better with his own treatment plan.

“I haven’t drank, or did a pill, in 5 and a half years. OK? Spending the time to go down the path of trying to heal yourself and make yourself better was, and is, an obsession of mine,” Kosar said.

So, of course, we asked, ’What’s the secret?’

“Rest assured, it’s not any one thing. It’s a combination of things,” Kosar added. “Fresh fruits. I’m a vitamins guy. Good water which is a fixation of mine. I’m huge with that, right now.”

He went on to say, “Give other things a shot first. And this is the most holistic way of regenerating, or at least slowing down the deterioration.”

These days, you can see Kosar on a weekly FOX 8 Browns pre-game show. You can also see him speaking to groups at events raising awareness of traumatic brain injuries and the impact. Through it all, you can find him determined to overcome the effects, he says, he’s still feeling from what happened on the field.

“I used to think I was put on this earth to be the quarterback of the Browns,” Kosar said. “Almost feel, a lot of what’s happened to me is a lot of responsibility to really learn how to cognitively help and get yourself better. Not just yourself, but other players and people.”