Written by Rich Swerbinsky

Rich Swerbinsky
There's all kinds of exciting things going on with the website.  Site enhancements, new writers, potential expansion into the internet sports talk radio side of things, and a slew of events we've planned out for the summer to help bring together the readers, writers, and contributors to the website over some ballgames and beers.  In my latest little update piece on the website, I lay out a bunch of things we're working on and have put together, including the inaugural TheClevelandFan.com golf outing at Little Mountain Country Club on Saturday, August 23rd.

Hey everyone.  A couple quick things on the website.

First off, thank you for visiting the site.  This little thing of ours continues to grow by the day, and it's very exciting to watch happen.  As readers, you can rest assured that I am very committed to continuing to improve the site a little bit at a time.  There's always things we can do better, always things we can do to make the site more aesthetically pleasing, and I'm very cognizant of that as we move forward here.

In the two and half years we've been around, many, if not most of the enhancements, improvements, and new features we've added have been the results of reader feedback and suggestions.  And that will continue to be the case going forward as we strive to build the ultimate cyber sports bar for Cleveland sports fans.  I love to hear your ideas, your thoughts on what you like and what you don't with The Cleveland Fan.  And to help solicit that feedback, I do a little survey every six months or so.  It's one page, eleven questions, and will take no more than 60 seconds of your time.  And one random respondant will win a $50 gift card to the retailer or restaraunt of their choice.  The link to the survey is below.


The feedback from the survey really helps me keep my finger on the pulse of the readership as the site grows.  I've seen so many other websites, businesses, and organizations lose touch with the masses amid growth, and it's something I'm determined to not let happen here as we get set, likely sometime in 2009, to surpass the readership totals of the print version of the Cleveland Plain Dealer sports page. 

The demographics information on the survey helps us with potential advertisers.  We've recently added reputable names like The House of Blues, Cleveland State Unversity, Mullinax Ford East in Wickliffe, Miller Brewing Company, and Gray and Company Publishers (Terry Pluto's publishers) to the mix as advertising partners and sponsors.  If any of you out there know anyone that may be a good fit to adorn our front page, I always take really good care of the people that give us leads that end up resulting in a new relationship.

One of the other things I'm a big believer in is getting people together, away from the keyboards, mousepads, and monitors.  We threw a huge party for the Browns memorable 2007 Draft at Panini's downtown that saw hundreds of readers come out and join me and my writers for a breakfast of draft beer and overstuffed sandwiches followed by hours of grown men weeping and hugging each other as the team selected Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn.  We followed that up with a couple amazing tailgate parties down at the Muni Lot, both boasting crowds of 100+ for good times, great music, and an unbelievable spread of food.  I really enjoy putting faces with e-mail addresses and message forum screen names, and I've developed many new friendships as a result of these events.

We've got a nice slate of events shaping up for this summer and fall.  Mark your calendars and make plans to come out and join us.

Sat Aug 2: TheClevelandFan Browns Training Camp get together - Date is close to being locked down, but more details still to come on this.  The vague plan right now is to get a group together for Training Camp Saturday morning, go get some lunch and beers somewhere around there after the morning session, head back to the Berea facility for the night session.  Or maybe 18 holes between sessions and dinner and beers after the night session?  Regardless, it will be a blast.
Sat, Aug 23: Inaugural TheClevelandFan.com Golf Outing at Little Mountain Country Club - One of the top golf courses in Ohio. Four person scramble, 1:30 shotgun start, last Saturday before football starts. Included is lunch, 18 majestic holes of golf, a steak dinner, an open bar, and massive amounts of cash prizes and awards. More details to follow real soon on this, but all the above ones are iron clad, including the date. The event is limited to the first 124 golfers, so please lock your place in soon.

Sun, Sept 14: The Mother of All Tailgates III - Steelers game, week two, Sunday night, Muni Lot. 8:30 kickoff. Party starts at 7 AM. Seeing as how the Muni Lot will still fill by 9 AM (and many will be unable, unwilling to get there that early), we will be picking another parking lot where people who come later can park. We'll be renting a bus to shuttle people from that lot over to the Muni at noon, 2:30, and 5:00 PM. Live band and a ridiculous ensemble of catered food and alcohol.

Sun, Nov 2: The Mother of All Tailgates IV - Ravens game, week 9, 1 PM kickoff.

Sun, Nov 30: The Mother of All Tailgates V - Colts game, week 13, 1 PM kickoff.

These tailgate parties we throw, they are an amazing time.  We partner with the Lake Erie Browns Backers.  They are professionally catered, and they bring all the alcohol.  We hire a live band to literally come play the tailgate.  And have an RV with indoor restrooms for men and women.  The Lake Erie Browns Backers guys get there the night before to set up, and the tailgate consumes like 20 parking spots.  We should be a couple hundred strong at these this season, and that doesn't count the hundreds and hundreds of people that end up hovering around the tailgate because of the live music ... which really seems to horrify people, in a good way.

Lastly, we're always looking for new bracket themes and ideas for contests we can run in our message forums to help give away some of the prizes I've amassed to get out to readers.  At the link below, you can see what I'm talking about, and also chime in with any ideas you may have:


As always ... feedback, complaints, comments, suggestions, or to reserve a place in the golf outing, contact me here, or at richswerb@gmail.com.

And be sure to also check out my new Northeast Ohio golf website, www.CTownGolf.com.