Art Modell, the former owner of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, passed away this morning at the age of 87. A lot of people in northeast Ohio seem happy about it. Why?
Long story short; he’s the dude that shut down the Cleveland Browns in 1995. In a whirlwind of political wrangling with the city of Cleveland combined with handjobs provided by the city of Baltimore, Art Modell dumped the name, the colors and the history of the Browns on W. 3rd and moved
my his team to Baltimore; they became the Ravens.
I won’t get into the politics of the whole deal since that’s already been written; look it up if you must…
The news of Modell’s passing did, however, stir up some old emotions in me. That’s what I want to talk about here.
I’m not happy that a man has died.
Let’s go back to ’95, though, when I would have killed that same man.. On November 6th of 1995, Modell held a press conference, in fucking Baltimore, to announce that he was bringing a team,
my Browns the former Browns, there.
I had been a Browns fan since I was a little boy and knew what a football was. Modell took a huge portion of my fuckin’ childhood and ran off with it. Yeah, I was 22 when I heard that the Browns were leaving; I cried like a baby..
The Browns wouldn’t return to the league until 1999, so I had three years without a team to root for…
When the 1996 NFL season started I had to watch former Browns players play for the Ravens and it made me sick… A lot of people told me to pick another team to be my team. Like the Steelers. Fuck that! I wasn’t only raised to be a Browns fan; I was raised to despise the Steelers and to this day I do. I also knew the Browns would be back for the ’99 season so I wasn’t gonna jump ship. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a ship to jump from at that point, so for the next few years I just watched football like a zombie. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved football, but when there’s no vested interest it becomes vanilla, and I hate vanilla.
I made it through the three years without a team to root for. And since the Browns came back in 1999 they have sucked. But they’re my Browns and they forever will be. God, I hope things start looking up this season!
The conversation that is, “Should Art Modell be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” came up again today. I say NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT!
I understand he did a lot for the NFL, including helping to establish TV contracts and Monday Night Football, but for what he did to Cleveland? And to me? Sorry, dude, you don’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
Honestly, as I was writing this, I became absorbed in Barack Hussein Obama’s speech and lost my train of thought, so I gotta cut this short….
Rest In Peace, Mr. Modell…