Getting Amped - Since the Browns returned in 1999, we've been slogging up the hill. We knew expansion would be tough, but the fans who were around during the hiatus pushed for it. We wanted to get a team back the right way, not through stealing one from another town.
While it was easy to tell ourselves that we were ready for the long road back to respectability, it's been tough. It seems as if every time this team is about ready for a breakthough, it manages to disappoint us in the most savage and deflating possible way. Our disappointment and irritation often turn inward in the days following, as we lash out at the admittedly weak crowd of spectators and tourists which infest Cleveland Browns Stadium, or on a quarterback, or on the front office.
I hope that this will be one weekend where we aren't pointing fingers on Monday. After three years of Modell-inflicted hiatus and four years of expansion-team struggle, we deserve a Sunday night of celebration.
The good guys don't always win, but a lot of us will have a hoarse voices on Monday because we're going to do everything we can to disrupt the Steelers and support our guys. We need a thunderous noise. Get amped! I'll be hanging with the BTNG tailgate guys for a bit on Sunday AM, drop bye and say "Hi" if you have a moment. We're in the west portion of the Muni lot, and there's usually a BTNG flag flying.
Bernie, Bernie - Last Sunday night, we posted Bernie's most recent article on the Ask the Insiders board. Now that the content of the article has been picked up by the local news media, I will present an section of it here. Bernie wrote a great article on Al Lerner, and I think that the following is of interest to all of Bernie's fans:
"Mr. Lerner asked me for my support at a time when it wasn't popular to support him. He said he would never forget it because he knew at the time it could end up being a potentially volatile and dangerous situation for me personally, professionally and financially. When personalities and egos later came into play, he also asked me to step back and let people grow into their positions and responsibilities, then at some point he'd like to have me join him when the situation would be less complicated and more stable and people felt more comfortable on ‘their turf.' He told me I was like family, and when things were ready, I could come home."
Speaking of Bernie... The shipments of autographed footballs to TAP subscribers has begun. My apologies for it taking a little while longer than expected to get these out-the-door. The logistics of moving a large amount of anything is always a challenge, especially since my experience with mass shipping has been primarily centered around last-minute attempts to get Christmas presents to relatives.
Although we haven't heavily publicized it, we're still sending out autographed footballs to new subscribers. If you sign up for an annual Total Access Pass, we'll send you an autographed football. If you would like to send one elsewhere as a gift, let us know when we write you back asking for your snail mail address. All the footballs Bernie has signed already have been earmarked for recent subscribers, but we'll start lining up some from the next group for new subscribers. If you want to subscribe and support this site, as well as getting access to all articles across TheInsiders network, click here. End of pimping.
More Fans Find a New Home - I'd like to extend a warm Bernie's Insiders welcome to some new friends who have joined us from another discussion board. Fanhome was one of the largest sports forums around, if not the largest, and they have recently joined TheInsiders. The Browns community on Fanhome has moved here with us and are hanging out in a new forum we created for them. Feel free to drop in and talk football with them as they get used to their new digs. The number of Browns fans talking on the Bernies Insiders forums is now well over 2,000 and continues to grow. The forums are the heart of the site and always have been.
Fanhome had huge communities for baseball, basketball, and hockey. The influx of new fans into TheInsiders will be the start of new sites within the network for these sports, making the Total Access Pass a better deal than before. If you would have interest in participating as a volunteer in potential new sites for the Indians and Cavaliers, feel free to contact me.
Alert! Alert! - A new button has joined the "Rack!" button at the top of the pages within the forums. With all the new Dawgs hanging out on our forums these days, it's tougher for our volunteer staff to keep an eye on everything going on. If you see anything that you feel is in violation of the standards on a particular board, feel free to use this button to notify our administrators. We haven't had many problems, but Dawgs take their football seriously and sometimes someone will get carried away, or a lame troll will drop in from one of our rivals. This Alert button is a good way to let us know if there is someone trying to disrupt a forum.
Menus and Site Maps - We've recently started using the menus at the top of every page as the primary means of navigating through Bernie's Insiders. Unfortunately, these menus don't work well (or at all) for folks using WebTV and some older browsers. For them, I've created a little standalone sitemap that they can use to navigate through the site. Please let us know if there's anything we can do to make your experience at Bernie's Insiders better. As opposed to some of the big corporate sites out there, this site has always been created for fans, by fans. We read every email that comes in and try to react to them to make this site the best Browns site out there. You can post in the Technical Support forum or contact us via email at either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Later Dawgs... let's get ready to rumble!