A couple of months ago - September 6th, to be precise - we let you know that we'll be heading into the future with a new name.
As listeners to our radio show heard last evening, the new name will be "The Orange and Brown Report" and the new URL will be http://www.theOBR.com.
(Fans curious as to why we're changing the name can look back to the article "Goodbye, Bernie's Insiders" which I wrote back in September)
Here's some more info on the new name and similar, um, exciting topics.
Why Orange and Brown?
There was a ton of discussion about what our new name should be, especially back in September. I've read every message board thread on the subject, and read every every email sent to me with ideas. Multiple times.
One thing that kept coming through was that the team's colors, orange and brown, have always represented the team. The team's simple, unadorned uniform and helmet are symbols of our region's love of old-fashioned, no-glitz football. Since the uniform has changed little, it also is a constant reminder of the Browns history and tradition.
While many NFL teams have changed their logos multiple times or have constantly reconfigured their look based on market research, the Browns have stayed true to their roots.
Orange and Brown. Very simple. Very true to what this team is about.
The "dawg" mystique may fade over time. The "brownie" logo may fade away again someday. The basic orange and brown is, we hope, here to stay.
And, so, hopefully, is The Orange and Brown Report.
What locked down the decision was the idea of nicknaming the site "The OBR". That sounded a lot like "BTNG" to me, and just seemed right. We checked, and TheOBR.com was available. After testing out the name with a bunch of fans and friends, we made the call.
So, there it is. Scout has folks working on a new logo as we speak.
BTW, there is no truth to the rumor that I've renamed my kids "O", "B", and "R". I have suggested to them that it might help promote the site if we tattooed the URL to their foreheads, but they seem reluctant.
Why Didn't You Name the Site "(--fill in the blank--) "?
Stop it. Just stop it.
Yeah, I mean you.
Selecting a new name was a difficult task. The new name had to be be easy to remember, not infringe on trademarks, and represent our team to everyone who works on the site or comes here to read up on their beloved Browns. Plus, there needed to be an internet domain name available for it.
The league's aggressive approach to trademarks helped to wipe out a lot of options. The word "Browns" cannot be legitimately used in a URL without infringing on the team's trademark. Plus, we're not trying to fool fans into thinking that we're somehow affiliated with the team. We love the Browns, but we're proud of our independence.
In addition, as most Browns Backer presidents know, the team has also vowed at various times to go after web sites or entities which use the phrase "dawg" in a "pro football context".
So, even though the current front office might be good-natured enough to look past the use of some variation of "Browns" or "Dawg", it's impossible to predict if they might change their mind five years from now. There have been instances where this has happened with other teams and sites.
Unfortunately, our decision to strictly adhere to NFL trademark policy ruled out the most popular choice among our visitors - returning to the name "BrownsTNG".
The second thing that makes renaming a website tough is the availability of good internet addresses. A lot of the good ones have been snapped up those with legitimate needs , or by speculators. This helped to wipe out a lot more potential names.
What Happens Now?
Not too much, really. We're going to keep plugging along like we have been. After the season, the site's logo will change, and you'll be able to get here using the same old URLs as well as http://www.theobr.com. The January issue of the magazine will include some notes on the name changing, and the February issue will bear the new name and logo.
I'm currently working on a bunch of new capabilities to add to the site that will hopefully launch after the season along with the new name. These new doodads are focused mostly on adding more interactive features and fun stuff to the web site.
The off-season is a very busy time around here, and we look forward to this one being the most fun and active off-season ever on the website.
You'll also see more of old webmaster Art Bietz, as he's promised to sober up enough to do the occasional commentary. Oddly enough, Art has even been showing up on our weekly radio show of late.
On a personal note, the opportunity to work with Bernie and the Kosar family has been one of the greatest pleasures in my life. They're fantastic people, and I'm glad to have had the chance to get to know them over the last four years.
Now, onto the future. I look forward to working with the gang here to make The Orange and Brown Report an active and fun part the Browns community for years to come.
Most importantly, though, we hope you're part of the experience. Stay with us, or join us, because there's a lot to talk about.