Truthfully, I don't really take astrology too seriously ... at least not to the point where I let it dictate my life.
If I look at the morning paper and it says I'm supposed to stay home that night with a loved one, I quickly realize that either the forecast is wrong, or that I have a far greater affection for our cat, Busta, than I ever realized. That's because my four-legged feline friend will more than likely be the only other living thing in the family abode after 6 p.m.
However, on a more general basis, there are a few things which I definitely believe about astrology.
For example, every horoscope book I've ever read says the job occupation enjoyed by many Sagittarius, of which I'm one (yes, my birthday is Dec. 5 so feel free to send cards and gifts - re: money - to the address listed elsewhere in this publication) is that of publisher. How true!
Not only do I fit that mold, but General Manager Linda Lindeman DeCarlo, who also has published her own magazine, is likewise a Sagittarian. Likewise for staff writers Chuck Murr and Jeff Schudel
Thus, I should not have been surprised when I found out Bernie Kosar is also a Sagittarian, having just celebrated his 38th birthday late last month.
Bernie, as I'm sure you're aware by now, is the publisher of Bernie's Insiders, The Magazine, which you are now reading for the first time ever. It's yet another feather in the cap of a guy who, during the 16 years I've known him, has been not only one of the classiest athletes I've ever met, but more importantly one of the classiest people. I could probably count on one hand the number of ex- or current athletes I would put in that mold. Calvin Hill is one. Ozzie Newsome another. Likewise for Eddie Johnson and Sandy Alomar Jr.
I'll never forget a brief conversation I had with Bernie a dozen years ago. As I was walking out of the Browns' old Tiedeman Road training facility, Bernie was walking in.
I was concluding a 10-year career at Browns News/ Illustrated, having opted to leave the paper in order to start my own publication covering the Cleveland Indians called Indians Ink.
As we passed in the hallway, Bernie looked at me and, in all sincerity, said, "Frank, any time I can do anything for you, let me know."
Far too few athletes ever take the time to get to know the media on a personal basis. In fact, very few ever take the time to realize that it's the media that, in some ways, can make or break an athlete, at least in terms of reputation in the city in which he plays.
Bernie, from the day he was first presented to the media in 1985 in the restaurant at old Cleveland Stadium, always took the time to get to know the people with whom he would be dealing on a daily basis. The reason he did so was because he never put himself above anyone else. He treated everyone the way he wanted to be treated.
A few years later, I rejoined the staff at BN/I, having established Indians Ink to the point where I had enough free time during the off-season to once again start covering the Browns.
Unfortunately, the fun and excitement which had existed from 1985-89 no longer was there. The Bill Belichick Era was upon us and the ouster of Bernie was at hand.
I'll never forget the scene at a hotel in Independence the evening Bernie was fired. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of fans jammed into the ballroom and the hallways, making for one of the most chaotic scenes I've ever witnessed.
The love these fans showed for Bernie was absolutely incredible.
The city of Cleveland was bidding farewell to its favorite son, a guy who could have run for mayor and won in a landslide.
But Bernie wasn't saying good-bye. In reality, he was just taking a brief respite due to the fact the organization was now being coached by the Bernie Kosar antithesis, Bill Belichick.
Belichick had no rapport with the media. He had no rapport with the fans. He had no clue the reaction that the team and he would receive when he said he fired Bernie due to "diminishing skills."
That one event ... that one evening ... might very well have been the beginning of the end for the Browns as we had known them for nearly 50 years.
That evening might very well have set in motion the chain of events that eventually landed the old Browns in Baltimore and opened the door for the new-era Browns.
And now, nearly a decade later, I took Bernie up on his words: "Any time I can do anything for you, let me know."
I never would have guessed that in just a matter of weeks after the closure of Browns News/Illustrated we'd be able to join together to put out Bernie's Insiders, The Magazine. Yet, thanks to Bernie, his father, Bernie Sr., and especially his brother Brian, along with the good people at Discount Drug Mart, you now have in your hands the premiere issue of a publication we expect to be a long and successful venture.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. In reality, it was probably in the stars. I know for a fact that it was in one star, my good friend and now a fellow Sagittarian publisher, Bernie Kosar.
This article was originally published in the 12/03/2001 premiere issue of Bernie's Insiders Magazine.