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Dilger site knocked off-line by Sept. 11

By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 6, 2002


As far as personal losses go, Ken Dilger understands he has nothing to complain about.

As far as personal losses go, Ken Dilger understands he has nothing to complain about.

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York last year impacted an entire nation, affecting each person in a different way.

Dilger, for one, lost a Web site.

The Bucs tight end, signed as a free agent this summer, had a personal site (kendilger.com) during his past three seasons with the Colts. When the World Trade Center's twin towers went down almost a year ago, so did the servers that kept his site running.

"Our servers were in New York, in the World Trade Center," Dilger said. "Everything was gone, so we just shut it down."

Dilger created the site in 1999 with a friend and updated the site himself, though he quickly found out that maintaining it was more time-consuming than an NFL schedule allows.

"It was a lot more work than I thought," Dilger said. "It was tough, but it was fun. We did a question-and-answer section, a chat room, off-field stuff, and things I was doing for my foundation: just getting information out to the fans."

Dilger said he's online two or three times a day, checking e-mails and stocks and catching up with friends from Indianapolis or his college days at Illinois.

"I'm all over the Internet. I'm kind of like a junkie, I guess," he said. "I'm always on there doing something. It's a constant e-mail barrage."

And now that he's settled with the Bucs, he said he would like to get his site back up and running, with a little help so it doesn't pull him away from other, more pressing matters.

"I'd love to have somebody else do it again," he said. "I'd love to try to reboot that thing back up. It takes a lot of work, and you don't make much money off it, but I enjoyed it."

And with his site down, there's still a way to support the Dilger Foundation for Children online. Visit plbsports.com and you can purchase Dilger's Dijon, an official NFL-licensed mustard, from which 100 percent of Dilger's profits go to his foundation.

Tampa Bay fans may be conflicted, as the site also offers "Bucs Mustard," as well as boxes of Mike Alstott's "A-Train Express" breakfast cereal. The frosted corn flakes are good for a souvenir more than sustenance -- the site now only offers "limited quantities with expired freshness dates."

SITES UNSEEN: Dilger wasn't the only Bucs player whose site went down last year.

Tampa's Bigpros.com had produced official sites for Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and ex-Buc Jacquez Green, but their sites no longer exist. Keyshawn Johnson's luck hasn't been any better -- the Pro Bowl receiver had a forum to express himself at athletesdirect.com until it folded in 2000, then joined realteam.com last year only to see it fold during the 2001 season.

"We've struck out twice in the Internet world, so (finding a new site) is not really a priority," said Johnson's agent, Jerome Stanley.

What player sites remain out there are either shared with brothers or bringing attention to players' charities. Ronde Barber and brother Tiki of the New York Giants are online at nfltwins.com, and Martin Gramatica joins brothers Bill and Santiago at gramaticabrothers.com. For more Bucs charities, visit jeffchristyallpro.com and johnlynchfoundation.org.

TID-BYTES: As far as fan sites go, there's a lot of fun stuff at Bucaholic.com, produced by St. Petersburg's Shad Biltz. The site has cool graphics, regular news updates and even bootleg video highlights in the intro, including last year's memorable Todd Washington kickoff return. ... Not to be outdone is thejollyroger.com, which boasts its own NFL power rankings and Hall of Fame selections, five years worth of archived news and a nice tribute page to Bucs who have passed. ... For a look at fans from Tampa Bay's new rivals in the NFC South, check out falconsroost.com, saintsreport.com and pantherfanz.com. You can find more links and news for all four division teams at thenfcsouth.com.

-- If you have a question or comment about the Internet or a site to suggest, e-mail staff writer Greg Auman at auman@sptimes.com.

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