Atlanta Browns Backers Respond to Tragedy

Being a pro football fan is mostly about fun, and the biggest Browns worry that many of us have is around bad calls or the salary cap. Sometimes, however, tragedy intersects our lives as Browns fans. Such is the case in Atlanta, as the local Browns Backers group is touched by a horrifying tragedy.

Mark Zickefoose, a member of the Atlanta Browns Backers group, brought our attention to a horrifying crime which lost Browns fans a friend.

The Atlanta Browns Backers gather during the season at the Sidelines Sports Grille near I-285 in Atlanta. The bar owner, Bently Kriewald, is a Clevelander who brought the ABB into his establishment for Browns games and made an in-season home for them. He and his wife Barbara worked day and night at the bar to build a family business which would support their intentions of building a big family. Barbara was seven-months pregnant with their third child.

Early Thursday morning, as Barbara (who split duties with her husband on a rotating schedule) and Mike Kirby, a manager-trainee, were closing up shop, they were attacked by an armed robber. Police are speculating that he hid somewhere in the building after the bar closed to business at 2AM. The robber tied up Barbara and Mike and, according to Kirby, shot them as they knelt on the floor. The robber then looted the safe.

Barbara Kriewald was shot and killed, as a bullet passed through her arm and into her abdomen. Her unborn child was killed as well. Mrs. Kriewald leaves behind two sons: Nicholas, nearly 3, and Nathan, 1.

This stunning, senseless, tragedy has touched those who knew the Kriewalds, including the Atlanta Browns Backers. As Browns fans always seem to do, they are seeking to help. As Mark writes: "The Atlanta Browns Backers are currently asking for donations to help the family during this time of loss. If anyone who reads this wishes to help, please contact Bill or Joan Bohach at"

Portions of this article are based on the report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (linked above).

- AB


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