Cleveland Browns actually planning an Art Modell tribute

Cleveland Browns planning an Art Modell tribute. This should go well.

9/7/12 in NFL   |   JoeKukura   |   492 respect

Blog Photo - Cleveland Browns actually planning an Art Modell tributeIf you thought Ten Cent Beer Night and Disco Demolition Night were bad ideas for sports promotional events, wait until you hear what they're planning for this Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium. They are actually planning to do a tribute to Cleveland's all-time most hated human being, former Browns owner Art Modell.

I would have been less surprised if they did a Karl Rove tribute at the Democratic National Convention.

Yes, the Browns are planning to pay homage Art Modell, the guy who tried to effectively eliminate the Cleveland Browns from existence by moving the team to Baltimore. The former Browns and Ravens owner passed away this week at the age of 87, and the Browns plan some sort of tribute at Sunday's home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

What form this official tribute would take is not yet clear. Browns spokesman Neil Gulkis told ESPN that the team plans an "appropriate recognition" of Modell and his legacy to the NFL and the Cleveland community.

Blog Photo - Cleveland Browns actually planning an Art Modell tributeTo Browns fans, "appropriate recognition" would involve a large number of D-size batteries.

The NFL has requested that all stadiums observe a moment of silence this weekend to commemorate Modell. In Cleveland, this would surely be the loudest, rowdiest, and most rage-filled moment of silence imaginable. Think Two Minutes Of Hate from George Orwell's 1984.

Surely Browns fans can let bygones be bygones, right? Riiiiight. Cleveland fans are so gracious that one Browns site has been running an Art Modell Death Watch for years, complete with an embeddable widget alerting you to whenever Modell's health went south.  Since Modell's passing, an update has been posted reading, "This site will continue open, on alert for the admittedly remote contingency of zombie Modell outbreaks."

Tony Grossi reports at ESPNCleveland that the Browns organization has been holding difficult and hours-long deliberations over whether to commemorate Modell in Cleveland. The report indicates that as of Thursday, the Browns organization still was not sure how they would handle the issue.

Modell owned the Browns/Ravens for 43 seasons, was the first chairman of NFL Films, and is credited with the invention of Monday Night Football. He moved the Browns to Baltimore in 1996, where they became the Baltimore Ravens. 
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9/8/12   |   TargetsSport

They thought better of it. It would have been ugly.

9/8/12   |   markira

I have been a Browns fan since before Modell bought the team. And I will bleed brown and orange until the day I die. As such, I was as hurt and outraged as any fan could be.

But over the course of a decade before 'The Move,' it became obvious that Clevleand's movers and shakers created a 'perfect storm' for driving the Browns out of town.

Considering all the circumstances, Model did what any other owner would have done... with one slight difference. Any other NFL team owner would have moved his tea out of Cleveland at least five years before Modell did.

The online article "Art Modell belongs in the Hall of Fame... REALLY!" goes into considerable depth describing how one group of Cleveland nabobs after another gave Modell and the rapidly decaying Cleveland Municipal Stadium the "Talk to the hand!" treatment. By the time Cleveland's power brokers realized what they'd neglected for so many years, it was WAY too little WAY too late.
Isn't it curious that nobody could figure out how to come up with the $65-70 million needed to fix up Muny Stadium, but subsequently found a way to finance a brand new stadium costing more than six times what was needed to rennovate the old Stadium?

My suggestion to all the Browns fans who still blame it all on Modell to take a deep breath, switch to decaf, tear down that poster of the Sports Illustrated Modell "Let's lynch the wrong man" cover, and learn what actually happened, what didn't happen, and what SHOULD have happened.

Browns fans are some of the most astute and loyal fans any sports team cold dream of having. But when it comes to knowing all the facts about The Move, they just can't see past that SI charicature of Modell kicking one of us.

Well, we were kicked.  So was Modell.