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
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.