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Thread: Art Modell dies at 87

  1. #1
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    Art Modell dies at 87

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/83...modell-dies-87


    Former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell has died. He was 87.

    The team said Modell died of natural causes early Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he had been admitted Wednesday.

    Modell was among the most important figures in the NFL as owner of the Cleveland Browns, which became the Ravens after he took the team to Baltimore in 1996 in a move that tarnished his reputation as one of the league's most innovative and influential owners.

    The Ravens won their lone Super Bowl in January 2001, less than a year after Modell sold a minority interest of the team to Steve Bisciotti. In April 2004. Bisciotti completed purchase of the franchise but left Modell a 1 percent share.

    During his four decades as an NFL owner, Modell helped negotiate the league's lucrative contracts with television networks, served as president of the NFL from 1967 to 1969, and chaired the negotiations for the first the collective bargaining agreement with the players in 1968.

    He also was the driving force behind the 1970 contract between the NFL and ABC to televise games on Monday night.

    At one time one of Cleveland's biggest civic leaders, Modell became a pariah in Ohio after he moved the team.

    "I have a great legacy, tarnished somewhat by the move," he said in 1999. "The politicians and the bureaucrats saw fit to cover their own rear ends by blaming it on me."

    The move was also believed to be the main reason why Modell never made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was one of 15 finalists in 2001 and a semifinalist seven times between 2004 and 2011.

    "I believe Art belongs in the Hall of Fame," former New York Giants owner Wellington Mara, now deceased, said in 2002. "I don't think I know a person who has done more for the league than Modell, especially through television."

    Modell's Browns were among the best teams of the 1960s, led during his first few years as owner by legendary running back Jim Brown. Cleveland won the NFL championship in 1964 -- Modell's only title with the Browns -- and played in the title game in 1965, 1968 and 1969.

    Modell said he lost millions of dollars operating the Browns in Cleveland and cited the state of Maryland's financial package, including construction of a $200 million stadium, as his reasons for going to Baltimore. The Ravens replaced the Baltimore Colts, who moved to Indianapolis in 1984.

    "This has been a very, very tough road for my family and me," Modell said at the time of the move. "I leave my heart and part of my soul in Cleveland. But frankly, it came down to a simple proposition: I had no choice."

    Ironically, the cost of the move to Baltimore left him financially strapped and left him no choice but to put in motion the chain of events that enabled Bisciotti to assume majority ownership of the franchise.

    Bisciotti has since poured millions into the team, financing construction of a lavish practice facility in Owings Mills, Md. As a tribute to Modell, Bisciotti insisted that a huge oil painting of Modell be hung above the fireplace at the entrance to the complex.

    Born June 23, 1925, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Modell dropped out of high school at age 15 and worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard cleaning out the hulls of ships to help out his financially strapped family after the death of his father.

    He completed high school in night class, joined the Air Force in 1943, and then enrolled in a television school after World War II. He used that education to produce one of the first regular daytime television programs before moving into the advertising business in 1954.

    A group of friends led by Modell purchased the Browns in 1961 for $4 million -- a figure he called "totally excessive."

    "You get few chances like this," he said at the time. "To take advantage of the opportunity, you must have money and friends with more."

    Aside from his work with the Browns, Modell became a leader in the Cleveland community. He served on the board of directors of a number of large companies, including the Ohio Bell Telephone Co., the Higbee Co. and the 20th Century-Fox Film Corp.

    Modell and his wife, Patricia, continued their charitable ways in Baltimore, donating millions of dollars to The Seed School of Maryland, a boarding school in Maryland for disadvantaged youths; Johns Hopkins Hospital; and the Kennedy Krieger Institute. The couple also gave $3.5 million to the Lyric, which was renamed the Patricia & Art Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric.

    Patricia, his wife of 42 years, passed away in 2011.

    Modell was beloved in Baltimore, and hoped one day the people of Cleveland would remember him for what he accomplished in the city. Long after the move, Modell pointed out that Cleveland ultimately got the new stadium he coveted, and that the expansion version of the Browns could draw on the history he helped crate.

    "I think that part of my legacy is I left the colors, the name and the records in Cleveland," Modell said. "The fans in Cleveland were loyal and supportive. They lived and died with me every Sunday for 35 years."

  2. #2
    Oh man, that's terrible. RIP

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Timmy? Thoughts?

    RIP.

  5. #5
    RIP.

  6. #6
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    To my knowledge, my grandfather never used a curse word or ever raised his voice in anger. He was a typical, nice old man.

    But, he was a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan. He never forgave Modell.

    While cities like Jacksonville may not be large enough or may not support their teams (numerous LA teams), the Browns had one of the most loyal and passionate fan bases. Even in bad years, they packed that dump of a stadium year after year.

    Simply put, Modell took a bribe from Baltimore to relocate a historic franchise. Then, he ran the Ravens into the ground and need a new owner to come in to bail him out. "Despite a no-cost stadium lease, all revenues from parking, concessions, and TV, as well as a reported $25M Maryland subsidy, Modell's ownership of the Ravens resulted in continual financial hardships, and the NFL stepped in and directed Modell to sell his franchise."

    RIH

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digetydog View Post
    To my knowledge, my grandfather never used a curse word or ever raised his voice in anger. He was a typical, nice old man.

    But, he was a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan. He never forgave Modell.

    While cities like Jacksonville may not be large enough or may not support their teams (numerous LA teams), the Browns had one of the most loyal and passionate fan bases. Even in bad years, they packed that dump of a stadium year after year.

    Simply put, Modell took a bribe from Baltimore to relocate a historic franchise. Then, he ran the Ravens into the ground and need a new owner to come in to bail him out. "Despite a no-cost stadium lease, all revenues from parking, concessions, and TV, as well as a reported $25M Maryland subsidy, Modell's ownership of the Ravens resulted in continual financial hardships, and the NFL stepped in and directed Modell to sell his franchise."

    RIH
    Wow, bitter much?

    RIP Art. You were good for the league in a lot of ways.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shevys View Post
    Wow, bitter much?

    RIP Art. You were good for the league in a lot of ways.
    I am not bitter. I am not a Browns fan.

    I just won't pretend he was a great guy or someone who belongs in the Hall of Fame. He was just an owner who ran one of the flagship franchises into the ground, moved it to another town, and ran it into the ground again despite getting a free $200m stadium and a $25m gift from Baltimore.

    He couldn't hold Al Davis' or Lamar Hunt's jockstrap in terms of contributions to the league.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Digetydog View Post
    To my knowledge, my grandfather never used a curse word or ever raised his voice in anger. He was a typical, nice old man.

    But, he was a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan. He never forgave Modell.

    While cities like Jacksonville may not be large enough or may not support their teams (numerous LA teams), the Browns had one of the most loyal and passionate fan bases. Even in bad years, they packed that dump of a stadium year after year.

    Simply put, Modell took a bribe from Baltimore to relocate a historic franchise. Then, he ran the Ravens into the ground and need a new owner to come in to bail him out. "Despite a no-cost stadium lease, all revenues from parking, concessions, and TV, as well as a reported $25M Maryland subsidy, Modell's ownership of the Ravens resulted in continual financial hardships, and the NFL stepped in and directed Modell to sell his franchise."

    RIH
    Cleveland.

    Nuff said.



    Modell is one of the best and most visionary owners in NFL history, hands down. he brough football back to a real football passionate city (Baltimore). He say the value to the league of TV before most, and drove the league in that direction, and was a guiding hand behind a number of comissioners in growing the league. He also set the bar of quality in Baltimore for it's ongoing success as a franchise.

    The fact that he couldn't afford to compete within a small-market city and made he right business decision to relocate to a better city in every way means less than nothing on Modell's lifelong resume of success.

    At least he left Clevland with it's stupid "Hi, I'm a Color!" name and history, settin gthe stage for this (great IMO) change away from owners taking the Cities history with them.

  11. #11
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    He was an instrumental NFL architect, we owe a debt of gratitude. RIP.

    SAR I

  12. #12
    Modell contributed greatly to the modern NFL. It's sad that his legacy will be as the guy who shafted Cleveland. He's reviled there still.

  13. #13
    They'll probably have a moment of silence for him before the game on Sunday.

    Does this change anyone's outfit decision?

  14. #14
    RIP Modell...and condolences to his surviving family.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Crable View Post
    They'll probably have a moment of silence for him before the game on Sunday.

    Does this change anyone's outfit decision?
    I'll probably sport a "Modell Sold Us Out" t-shirt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Cleveland.

    Nuff said.



    Modell is one of the best and most visionary owners in NFL history, hands down. he brough football back to a real football passionate city (Baltimore). He say the value to the league of TV before most, and drove the league in that direction, and was a guiding hand behind a number of comissioners in growing the league. He also set the bar of quality in Baltimore for it's ongoing success as a franchise.


    The fact that he couldn't afford to compete within a small-market city and made he right business decision to relocate to a better city in every way means less than nothing on Modell's lifelong resume of success.
    At least he left Clevland with it's stupid "Hi, I'm a Color!" name and history, settin gthe stage for this (great IMO) change away from owners taking the Cities history with them.

    1) In terms of football, Cleveland was not a "small market" franchise. They were one of the flagship NFL properties. Properly run, they would have made a forturne for the owners. Even poorly run under the last group of owners, they were doing fine financially. According to Forbes, the current Browns have an operating income of $50.8m. They sold last month for north of $1,000,000,000.

    He left b/c he could not afford to run a franchise and Baltimore gave him $225m to leave.

    2) Even with $225m from Baltimore, he ran that franchise into the ground and was forced by the NFL to sell it.
    Last edited by Digetydog; 09-06-2012 at 01:56 PM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Digetydog View Post
    1) In terms of football, Cleveland was not a "small market" franchise. They were one of the flagship NFL properties.
    It's laughably homer to call Cleveland a "flagship" of anything, much less a National Sports League like the NFL. They had some championships in the pre-NFL era, yes. Since the merger they're a small market nobody.

    He left b/c he could not afford to run a franchise and Baltimore gave him $225m to leave
    He left because in every way, Baltimore > Clevelols.

    2) Even with $225m from Baltimore, he ran that franchise into the ground and was forced by the NFL to sell it.


    Bitter being bitter, what a shock. Hey, my Dad liked the Bengals before he died, should I :bitter: all over every Cincy related topic?

    Get over it. The ****hole by the flaming river got to keep it's lame name and ancient history, so alls well that ends well. If he was such a bad owner, you should be glad to be rid of him and blessed (lol) with the new franchise. Surely these loyal wonderful Clevelanders will bring them a title soon, right?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    It's laughably homer to call Cleveland a "flagship" of anything, much less a National Sports League like the NFL. They had some championships in the pre-NFL era, yes. Since the merger they're a small market nobody.



    He left because in every way, Baltimore > Clevelols.





    Bitter being bitter, what a shock. Hey, my Dad liked the Bengals before he died, should I :bitter: all over every Cincy related topic?

    Get over it. The ****hole by the flaming river got to keep it's lame name and ancient history, so alls well that ends well. If he was such a bad owner, you should be glad to be rid of him and blessed (lol) with the new franchise. Surely these loyal wonderful Clevelanders will bring them a title soon, right?
    1) I am not a Cleveland fan or a homer. I grew up in Dallas. I have never lived there. I will never live there. While I have family in the Cleveland/Erie area, they are all Steelers fans. My Grandfather is my only tie to the Browns.

    2) Baltimore>Cleveland is like saying an enema>catheter. Neither place has that much going for it. When I think of Baltimore, I think of The Wire and Stringer Bell.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Digetydog View Post
    1) I am not a Cleveland fan or a homer. I grew up in Dallas. I have never lived there. I will never live there. While I have family in the Cleveland/Erie area, they are all Steelers fans. My Grandfather is my only tie to the Browns.

    2) Baltimore>Cleveland is like saying an enema>catheter. Neither place has that much going for it. When I think of Baltimore, I think of The Wire and Stringer Bell.
    LOL! That's friggin' brilliant.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Digetydog View Post
    1) I am not a Cleveland fan or a homer.
    I'm not particularly worries about what you are, frankly, it doesn't affect the truth here. The only argument for Modell being "bad" for the NFL as a whole is that of bitter Clevelol homers. Cleveland today is a fringe city for big-time sports.

    While I have family in the Cleveland/Erie area, they are all Steelers fans.
    This says more about Clevelol than I could ever say myself.

    Woof woof dogpound.

    2) Baltimore>Cleveland is like saying an enema>catheter.
    lol, thats ****ing funny....and not far from the truth too.

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