By Kerry J. Byrne
Cold, Hard Football Facts yeoman purser
Welcome aboard the new and improved Cold, Hard Football Facts, version 3.0.
It's bigger, better, badder and more informative than ever. (And, yes, we realize a redesigned football site should have been done like a month ago, before the start of the football season. But, for a variety of reasons too numerous to bore you with here, we're a little late. Shoot us.)
Those of you who remember the original Cold, Hard Football Facts we launched just three years ago might recall a site so primitive it didn't it even have opposable thumbs.
We literally drew the original site up on a napkin one day and, with our former design partner, built it in one night before the start of the 2004 season. It was launched at about 3 a.m. on a Thursday, some 17 hours before the 2004 NFL season kicked off.
At the end of that highly successful first season, it was pretty clear we needed a better site, and we launched version 2.0 in August 2005. That's the site most of you have known. It was better than the original, but hardly ideal.
Little did we know that the site we drew on a napkin back in the summer of 2004 and put together in one night would grow into a popular pigskin medium that generates millions of page views and tens of millions of hits every month. So, here we are, with the third version of the Cold, Hard Football Facts, a version that has more of a "news portal" feel.
Here's what the new Cold, Hard Football Facts offers:
More of our stuff
We're cranking out more kick-ass football analysis than ever before. We now have more places to put it, and more places to make it easily accessible to you, especially on the home page. Our major stories will still be found in the same place, in a main story section that's in the premier position on the home page.
More of your stuff
We get a lot of material from our readers, some of it great, great research. We want to do a better job of giving your content a voice and a place on the site. With the new design, that will be easier to do.
We'll also be doing more to encourage you to send us more material and interact with us on the site. Whether you have great statistical comparisons, a favorite tailgate recipe or just want to mix it up with fellow football-loving trolls, we want you to participate more in the growth of the site.
It's only a matter of time before we're recognized on every corner of Planet Pigskin for what we are: the single greatest football resource in the history of mankind. You might as well be an active participant in our inevitable world domination.
More new features
You'll find plenty of new features on the site:
More links – The "Quick Outs" section on top of the middle column of the home page offers links to short, fact-filled items that we create, and links to cool, interesting and entertaining content from around the web. It's a capability we never really had before, but will give you more reasons to visit Cold, Hard Football Facts more often.
More video – There's a video segment now in the upper-right corner of the homepage. We'll have our own material from time to time. But more often than not we'll simply be linking to cool videos from around the web. You'll also see more videos incorporated into various sections of the site, if you haven't already.
More team news – Our team pages are easily accessible through the team logos across the top of the home page. On each, you'll find up-to-date links to daily news stories in each and every market, along with other great team information, including links to fan blogs and media. Basically, if you want news and commentary on any NFL team, you can access all of it from the Cold, Hard Football Facts home page.
More CHFF classics – The "Frozen in Time" section of the home page offers links to some of the timeless classics that have appeared in the pages of the Cold, Hard Football Facts, often to much acclaim (usually from our moms), and often of a historic nature. It's important for folks to remember that football wasn't invented by Bill Belichick back with the Giants in 1986. We'll remind you.
More tailgating – We also have tons of great recipes and tailgate tips on the site. We'll have relevant and interesting tailgate items at the bottom of the home page each and ever day.
More stats & lists – We have tons of great statistical lists and charts we've compiled over the years, most of which you can't find anywhere else. For example, if you want a list of the greatest defenses of the Super Bowl Era, we're the only place on the web to find it. We've made many of these stats & lists accessible through a new section at the bottom of the middle column of the homepage.
All the same old features you've always loved
There are changes, but we didn't take away a single Cold, Hard Football Facts feature that you know and love. Sure, there is no "Mail Pouch" link in our navigation bar anymore, but we'll still be answering your mail. We'll just be placing it in our Archives, instead of in its own place. Moves like this were simply made to streamline the site.
Finally, we always welcome your comments, criticisms and suggestions
. As one internet veteran told us this year, website designs are never "complete." A great website is always a work in progess, and there will be changes, minor and major, here and there from time to time.
We may have a new design, but we still don't have any feelings, so you won't hurt them.