Newswire: The Hammer Comes Down

Kellen Winslow is going to feel the wrath of the Westlake Police Department as he is officially cited for his "crotch rocket" crimes. Meanwhile, the Plain Dealer feels the wrath of Bernie's Insiders webmaster after giving fawning coverage to the team's attempts to usurp the independent media. All this wrath is created by this morning's newswire, linked and discussed herein...

Links and opinions about today's Browns news typed in by a guy sitting in his messy office and failing to convince his dog not to bark at everything he sees through the window...

Kellen Winslow will feel the wrath of the Westlake police this weekend, as the city is bringing the hammer down on Winslow for his reckless behavior on a "crotch rocket".

The team's top pick in 2004 will have to deal with the notion that he's going to have go give up $150 of his hard-earned cash to pay for his offenses. Not only that, but he's got a summons to appear in Rocky River Municipal Court.

If that's not bad enough, he also earned four points on his license. If he gets eight more, his license could be suspended.

Cue the Dragnet music, please.

Let's assume that Winslow winds up giving back all of his bonus money, leaving him only with his paltry second-year player salary ($305,000) to pay the fine. Based on the idea that he would have been on call to participate in all sixty minutes of every regular season game, the $150 equates to approximately 30 seconds of work for Mr. Winslow.

Of course, he'll get that salary regardless of whether he ever steps on the field for the Browns, so the Westlake police will rob Winslow of his earnings for thirty seconds of standing around on crutches on the Browns sidelines.

Ouch. That's gotta smart. I'm sure a valuable lesson will be learned.

It just gets worse for the tight end, who has earned the nickname Evil Kawinslow on the Bernie's Insiders forums. He even gets a "brickbat" from the News-Herald editorial staff today. I'm not sure what a brickbat is, but if it's a bat made out of bricks, that sounds like something that would really smart if you got hit with it.

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Those looking for more pleasant Browns news might be able to find some in Kentucky Sports Report's brief article on new Browns rookie Ellery Moore. The young man sounds like his coach made a strong impression on him about the value of an education.

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Those looking for something more akin to the Winslow weirdness might want to read the Plain Dealer's love letter to the business-side of the Cleveland Browns organization.

In it, a business columnist named Henry Gomez fawns over Browns President John Collins, saying he left a "left a cozy job as the National Football League's vice president of marketing and sales" to head to rough-and-tumble Cleveland.

Well, that's not quite the whole story, as many Browns fans already know, but that doesn't get mentioned in the article.

In it, as if you can't tell by the snarky tone I've already set, the Plain Dealer lavishes attention to the team's attempts to usurp the local sports media via development of their own "official" web site, magazine, and television productions.

"Whatever you think fans would want to see, we want to provide that," Collins tells the unquestioning Gomez.

The question Collins is never asked and never answers, of course, is "why you?".

Why do the Cleveland Browns need to go into competition with the media, including Bernie's Insiders, local newspapers, radio, television, and national sports networks like ESPN and Sportsline which already cover Cleveland Browns football like a blanket?

The answer, in my opinion, has absolutely nothing to do with giving fans what they want. The free market is already working to give fans what they want, and there are enough choices to provide fans with the ability to reward those media outlets they like and avoid those they don't.

If there's one thing we've know, it's that there's a free market. If people don't feel our product is worth $6-8 a month, they can just walk away.

Rather, again in my opinion, the team is listening to people like Browns' media consultant Vic Carucci who says that the team can grow revenue "at the edges" via their own media properties. This has the secondary and positive effect from the team's perspective in pulling attention away from objective (read: less complimentary) versions of the news.

Another question for fans to consider is what would happen if the Browns, an organization not known for low expenses, loses money on their website, video productions, and magazines in a crowded marketplace?

Tough question.

By the way, the cost of season tickets went up this off-season.

This article represents the opinion of Barry McBride, the webmaster and managing editor of Bernie's Insiders. It does not necessarily represent the opinions of Bernie Kosar or other members of the Bernie's Insiders staff. Fans viewing this article through Yahoo! should visit the website at to view the links referenced above.


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