Honoring Art Modell In Cleveland Might Not End Well…

The NFL plans to honor the passing of Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell league-wide this weekend. This could present a serious problem in Cleveland because Modell has long been vilified there for moving the Browns franchise to Baltimore.

BEREA, Ohio — Art Modell will be recognized Sunday by the team he moved to Baltimore.

The Cleveland Browns plan to have an “appropriate recognition” for the late Modell at the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Modell died Thursday at the age of 87 from natural causes. He remains a vilified figure in Ohio for moving the Browns to Maryland after the 1995 season.

Browns spokesman Neal Gulkis said plans have not yet been finalized, but the team will acknowledge Modell’s death. Any tribute will likely take place before the opening kickoff.

“We’re trying strike the right balance,” Gulkis said Friday. “We want to show respect and dignity for the Modell family, the community and the fans.

This really seems like a no-win situation for the Browns. If the fans are able to really express their feelings it will get all sorts of negative media attention. About the only way it could be worse if they had LeBron James as the MC.

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  • Sky__Captain

    Yeah, this seems like a spectacularly bad idea.
    And since the local TV is scheduled to show the Eagles/Browns game, it might actually be worth watching to see some of the poster the fans bring in.

  • jim_m

    Yeah, maybe they could have a whole theme organized around Cleveland Sports failures. Lebron can MC and John Elway (author of “The Drive” in 1987 that sent the Broncos to the Super Bowl and The Browns home for the winter) could speak. They could cap it all off with a speech by Jim Irsay, whose family owned the Baltimore Colts, the same Colts that moved out of Baltimore in the middle of the night to Indianapolis creating the vacancy that lead Art Modell to abandon Cleveland.

    It’s right to honor the memory of Art Modell, but not in the city that he screwed over.

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