Less than four weeks remain until the 2005 NFL Draft. And more importantly, the 2nd Annual Bernie's Insiders Draft Day Bash.
Once again, the event will be held at Bunker's Bar & Grille in Medina, OH. The day of reckoning is Saturday, April the 23rd. The bar opens at 9:00 AM, and there will likely be a line formed for early entry. The house will be packed and the spirits will be flowing aggressively by 10:00 AM. The draft starts at noon, and the Browns pick (assuming they stay at #3) will come shortly after the draft begins. Their second round pick will likely take place around 3:00 or 4:00 PM, and their third round pick should come towards the end of the ESPN coverage, which goes until 8:00 PM.
What we have consistently found when planning events like this, and the training camp tailgates and picnics is that the people who frequent this website and attend these functions are great people. It's always nice to put a face behind the screen names of those people you've been talking Browns football with on the Bernie's Insiders message boards. I've made many friends through the years at these events.
We strongly encourage all to come out. From those who go all the way back to the BTNG and Greedwatch days, to those who are just stumbling upon this website for the first time today.
Many people came in from out of town for last year's event, and this year will be no different. We've got diehard Browns fans making the jaunt into town from Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana … and all reaches of the great state of Ohio. Over 100 people attended last years event, and we've already got 110 confirmed for this year, a scary number considering most confirmations last year came after the posting of this very same column.
For some additional info, here's the thread in The Watercooler, where we have been discussing the party:
Let me know if you plan on attending, we're keeping an informal head count so
we can prepare Ernie Roma, the owner of Bunkers, for the madness that is about
to ensue at his fine establishment. Shoot me an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org if you are thinking of attending.
Speaking of Bunkers, here's everything you need to know about the venue. It is very spacious, with two levels, both very expansive. Fret not about finding a seat next to a television, regardless of how many attend this year.
There are televisions strategically positioned everywhere imaginable inside Bunkers, and the ESPN television coverage will be piping through every speaker in the bar. The food is phenomenal as well, most definitely not your typical bar food. Twelve different beers on draft. They have a huge outdoor deck that overlooks Bunker Hill Golf Course, the 2004 Ohio Golf Course of the Year … and last year the weather was phenomenal.
Also, Ernie will be transforming his indoor golf simulators into huge "Draft Day War Rooms". Complete with 10-foot big screens, furniture and tables … the war rooms are great for any draft obsessed maniacs insistent on being very close to the action. Here's a picture of what they look like:
And to cap the night off, The Rayhall Band will be taking that stage after the ESPN coverage ends. They play a mix of rock n' roll and blues, draw a great crowd, and always get the place rockin'. Here are the rest of the details on Bunker's …
Address / Phone Number: 3060 Pearl Rd., Medina OH 44256. 330-722-4174.
Photos From Last Years Event:
Who Is Invited? Any and all Browns fans. There is no cover charge or any costs associated with this party. All you will need is money for any food or drink you choose to consume.
Food: From light and healthy to hearty and fatty, Bunkers has a well diversified menu, and they actually just hired a new chef. Ernie has promised discounted food items, and also the possibility of creating a special menu for the event if demand is strong enough. Some of their menu items are featured on their website, and "The Swiss Miss" was voted Medina's sandwich of the year in 2004!
Drink: A full bar. Twelve beers on draft, many more in bottles, and a full complement of well, call, and premium liquors. I plan to be knee deep in a pitcher of Amstel Light no later than 10:00 AM.
Televisions/War Rooms: Televisions everywhere, both upstairs and downstairs. See the link to the picture of the War Room from last year to get an idea of what those are like.
Appearances: Ernie, myself, and the Bernie's Insiders webmangler are all working on some player appearances. While we cannot promise anything yet, chances are good that there should be some type of representation of either current or former Browns players.
Prizes/Contests: Once again, Bunkers and Bunker Hill have donated $50 gift certificates to the golf course and restaurant respectively. Additionally, we are working on accumulating some additional prizes for this event. Last year we did a Mock 1st Round Draft Contest for a nice prize package. We are still brainstorming ideas for this year, but be assured … there will be prizes and contests of some sort.
Golf: Bunker Hill is a very nice golf course, and we already have 40 confirmed golfers occupying the first ten tee times from 6:22 AM to 7:37 AM. Let me know if you have an interest in golfing in the morning before the event in case we have any cancellations. If you want to schedule a tee time after 7:37 AM (will have to hustle to get done by noon, when the draft begins) or if you want to possibly tee later in the afternoon, contact Bunker Hill at 330-722-4174 to schedule your tee time.
Lodging: We have arranged an agreement with The Sleep In, for those coming in from out of town, or those that simply do not want to drive home. Hotel rooms for $39! Contact the Sleep Inn at 330-273-1112, ask for Amy or Ken, and mention the Bunker's Draft Day BASH. The Sleep Inn is just a couple miles from Bunkers.
Taxi Service: Ernie is once again volunteering a taxi service for drunken attendees back to their hotel. Several people utilized this last year, and it saves you $$$ for a cab ride back to the hotel.
Internet Access: There will be several terminals available for people who bring their laptops to "plug in". At last check, Barry McBride was also working on having some kind of webcam/chat feature in the house so that those not attending can get a live look in via this website.
The Deck: Huge, and overlooks the 18th hole. Hopefully we get the same weather we got last year!
Live Music: The Rayhall Band will be taking that stage after the ESPN coverage ends. They play a mix of rock n' roll and blues, draw a great crowd, and always get the place rockin'.
Other Features: Darts, foosball, Golden Tee, indoor putting green.
This is a crucial draft for this team as Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel try to pick up the pieces and rebuild this team into a Super Bowl contender. Join us on Draft Day to watch the rebirth begin with hundreds of fellow Browns fans! Contact me at email@example.com to RSVP or with any questions whatsoever.
See you on the 23rd.