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Bernie's Back

Beloved Browns QB moves the Gladiators into their new home.


The Cleveland Gladiators and team president Bernie Kosar are here to fill your football void until the Browns start up again late this summer. With the ex-Cleveland QB at the helm, the new arena-football team will be gunning for a win — and the hearts of Cleveland football fans — as it kicks off its inaugural season tonight against the New York Dragons.This will be the first taste of the arena sport in Cleveland since the Thunderbolts dissolved in 1994. It's also a chance to see the quirks of playing football indoors. The field is shorter, there are only eight players on each side, and final scores regularly climb well into the 50s. In place of a pristine, chalk-outlined field with plenty of room for out-of-bounds, the arena game is contained by an unforgiving wall, which is the only separation between the artifical-turf field and the front-row seats. After posting a dismal 2-14 record in Las Vegas last season, the team relocated to Cleveland and was put under Kosar's leadership. Ol' No. 19 has since pink-slipped the lazy driftwood that came with the losing team and replaced it with a roster of presumably more-talented pigskinners. Look for former Browns players Richard Alston and Kendrick Mosley in the retooled group.While the arena league can't claim the notoriety or financial cushion of the NFL, the Gladiators do have one thing the Browns don't: cheerleaders. In between the fast-paced action, the rah-rah goddesses will set your little heart aflutter. The Gladiators play at 7 tonight at Quicken Loans Arena, 100 Gateway Plaza. Tickets are $13 to $70. Call 216-685-9000 or visit
Mon., March 3, 7 p.m., 2008

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