Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, August 9, 1999
Browns' pound set to howl at Cowboys
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer
CANTON, Ohio, Aug. 9, 1999 — From the time Al Lerner was named their
new owner last September, the Cleveland Browns had just 11 months to get
ready to play the Dallas Cowboys.
Cleveland's fans have had three years to prepare.
And at a little after 8 p.m. tonight when they take the field at Fawcett
Stadium to face the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game, the new Browns will
be welcomed back by a city, the NFL and a national TV audience like a long
Browns fans, who cried when their team was swept out of town by Art
Modell in 1996, will finally be able to reconnect with Cleveland's glorious
Finally, the bridge between the old Browns and the new Browns will be
complete. Old memories will make room for new ones.
"I know when I take the field, and see the fans and the Cowboys," said
Browns rookie quarterback Tim Couch. "Then I'll know I'm in an NFL game."
So will the Browns, who after a three-year exile are being reborn in
Never has an exhibition game meant so much, and more than 17,000 fans
turned out for Sunday's walk-throughs for both teams.
In exhibition games on Saturday, Denver defeated San Diego 20-17 in
Sydney, Australia; Chicago beat Indianapolis 9-6; and the Raiders edged
St. Louis 18-17.
Cleveland's comeback isn't just for Browns fans, either. It's for every
fan who had his favorite team moved whether in Baltimore, New York, St.
Louis or Los Angeles.
On Saturday, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue talked with Cleveland's
players about the hurt he felt as a child when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved
"I could relate to that, too," said Browns coach Chris Palmer, who felt
similarly betrayed when the New York Giants went to San Francisco.
But after wiping away their tears when Modell abandoned them, Cleveland
fans fought back and convinced the NFL to bring a team back in 1999.
"It says a lot about Clevelanders," Browns linebacker Chris Spielman
said. "It says a lot for the NFL to bring a team back so quickly, and it
says a lot for Mr. Lerner to put up a half-billion ($530 million) dollars.
There's a special relationship between the fans and the team here."
This year's Hall of Fame Game was moved from its traditional Saturday
slot to Monday in prime time by the league to showcase the Browns' return
as the first expansion team with a history.
The game will cap an unforgettable football weekend in northeast Ohio.
Saturday, former Browns tight end Ozzie Newsome was enshrined in the Hall
"For us to go down there and be able to play as a local team in that
whole setting, coming back new ...," said Palmer, making his debut as an
NFL head coach. "I won't be the only one with butterflies."
Even America's Team is caught up in the excitement.
"I have a hard time thinking the Cleveland Browns are new," said Cowboys
coach Chan Gailey, who became familiar with the Browns and their tradition
while an assistant coach in Pittsburgh. "That doesn't sound right. It seems
like there ought to be some special name or exotic name for an expansion
team. I'm struggling with them being a new team. They've got the same fans,
I know that."
Cleveland's new football era will begin the Tim Couch Era with the Browns.
The rookie quarterback, taken No. 1 overall by the Browns in April's
NFL draft, will make his pro debut midway through the first quarter. He'll
replace Ty Detmer, who will run the Browns this season until Palmer and
his staff think Couch is ready.
Couch outwardly doesn't appear to be nervous.
"I played in the SEC and we played in the big game week in and week
out," he said. "I'll probably forget it's on TV once we get out there and
start playing football again."
Jays' Delgado nails Rangers in 8-7 victory
ARLINGTON, Texas, Aug. 9, 1999 (AP) — Carlos Delgado is going through one
of those phases that hitters dream about and pitchers fear.
"You get to the plate and everything is like in slow motion," Delgado
said after going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a homer in Toronto's 8-7 victory
over Texas on Sunday night.
"You recognize the breaking ball, you recognize strikes and when you
swing, it's effortless, really flowing. You don't know how you got there
and you don't know when you're going to get out of there. You just want
to ride it as long as you can."
Delgado gave Toronto a 2-0 lead with an RBI single in the first, then
he chased Texas starter John Burkett with the third of three straight doubles
in the fifth as they rallied for a 6-4 lead. His seventh-inning homer made
Needing a triple for the first cycle by a Blue Jay since Kelly Gruber
in April 1989, Delgado hit a fly to deep left-center, but Roberto Kelly
made a nice catch against the wall to end the ninth inning.
Although Delgado has no triples this year and only six in his previous
six seasons, it would've made sense for him to get one against Texas. Delgado
is 11-for-18 against the Rangers this season with two doubles and five
homers, three of them coming in a victory Friday night.
His career average against the Rangers is .359 and he has 12 career
homers at The Ballpark, tying Jose Canseco for the most by a visitor.
"He's being patient and swinging at pitches that he can drive," said
Burkett, who allowed five earned runs and six overall in four innings.
"He's a strong guy, probably the strongest in the league."
Texas' Todd Zeile, himself on quite a roll, hit a two-run homer in the
bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 7. One out into the top of the
eighth, Darrin Fletcher broke the tie with a solo homer off Mike Venafro
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise