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BTB Brand Branches Out

Hello. My name is Dave Halprin and yes, I actually do blog on BTB. I thought I should re-introduce myself since my blogging has been notably absent over the past few weeks. (No cheering for that, you'll hurt my feelings.) I plan to re-enter the blogging life over the next few days. Let me first say though, kudos to Carl, Jim and Aaron, who have kept BTB rolling on without a hitch and have done a magnificent job, even though they've only been on the job for only a few months, Aaron even less. Thanks guys, you've done BTB proud.

Raf has been posting, too, but he's also been involved with the same project that has taken quite a bit of my time recently. The reason Raf and I haven't posted nearly as much as usual is because we're creating a Cowboys preview magazine that will be coming out this summer. Yup, an honest-to-goodness piece of old-school print that you can actually hold in your Cowboys-lovin' hands. The guys over at Maple Street Press, who crank out a ton of preview magazines for different franchises and schools, asked me earlier this year to be the creator/editor of a Cowboys preview magazine that they wanted to add to their catalog. I jumped at the opportunity to create a 128-page, full-color, tons of pictures, tree-killing magazine all about the Cowboys. I immediately asked Raf to help out and to write quite a few of the articles contained therein. Learning the process of creating a magazine has been a fun and interesting experience, but a very time-consuming experience. The last few weeks were spent finishing up most of the heavy-lifting, now my schedule can return to a sense of normalcy.

I'll have a lot more about the magazine as we roll into June and early July, including excerpts from articles, the ins-and-outs of its contents and when it will be on sale, and what bookstores and magazines stands around the country will be carrying it. You can also order it online, even pre-order it, for delivery over at Maple Street Press.

New topic: We were running the BTB training camp/blog improvement fundraiser for a while, but we stopped out of respect for Rich Behm and the accident with the practice facility. We didn't feel comfortable asking for donations when they were better served going to the Behm Trust. But now that some time has passed, we're going to crank up the fundraiser again. Don't forget, we are giving away two free tickets to the first game EVER at Cowboys "We don't need no stinkin' sponsor name yet" Stadium. That's right, two tickets to a preseason game against the Titans that will open Jerry World, Billion Dollar Stadium, er, Cowboys Stadium. Every $10 you donate gets you one ticket in the ticket raffle. We'll be using some of this money to defray costs at training camp for myself and Raf, and we'll use some of it for general improvements. Donate here.

There's more after the jump, so click the link!

New topic: Just because I haven't been posting much doesn't mean I haven't been reading the blog. Overall, I can't tell you how excellent it is that this blog remains a bastion of reasonable debate and discussion of the Cowboys. We've set a culture here on BTB that says: We want to talk football, Cowboys football in particular, and everyone is welcome to an opinion and to join the discussion, but we maintain a code of civility that keeps us from wallowing in the gutter.

Now, there are challenges to that. Lately we've had a group of visitors on the blog from the Land of the Eagles. I welcome them here as long as they abide by the guidelines and, because they are guests and not Cowboys fans, they need to be respectful. They get a shorter leash. I've already warned a couple about breaking the rules. But, as long as they talk football, I think they can come here and even criticize the Cowboys if it's a factual debate. As for being trolls, that depends on your point of view. My basic point is, let me be the traffic-cop, the bad guy. If things get out-of-hand I'll step in, otherwise you can either choose to engage in civil debate with them, or ignore them totally. Even in regular discourse with regular BTBers, let me be the police, if you get personally attacked by someone, please don't go ballistic and think you have the right to cuss them out, abuse them on a personal level, etc. If someone is repeatedly getting out of line, rest assured I will take care of it.

Basic rules to remember: No hard profanity, no personal attacks, no name-calling, no religion or politics. FanPosts are for breaking important news or thought-out pieces longer than 75 words. Off-topic or short posts that are just links, videos, pics etc. that have no real commentary around them should go in the FanShot section. Don't forget to recommend FanPosts that you like so they can get more attention at the top.

One final thing. I'm always available by email (bottom of page). If you got something bothering you about the blog or want to suggest something, I'm really good about responding. Please don't inundate me with every thought that comes to mind, but if you have something that really needs attention, let me know.

OK, enough of all that crap, back to your regularly scheduled Cowboys programming.

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