Cleveland Browns Will Not Honor Art Modell Before Game


He was vilified in Cleveland for moving the beloved Browns back in the mid-1990’s and because of that, the late Art Modell will not be honored before the Cleveand Browns season opener against the Eagles on Sunday, per the family’s wishes.

Because of the public outcry that occurred when Modell moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore in 1995, the Modell family has asked that the Browns forego any and all tributes to the late owner, out of fear that there will be harsh, ugly and inappropriate backlash given Modell’s less than solid standing with Browns fans.

The former NFL owner died on Friday at the age of 87.

The Ravens, on the other hand, held a public memorial for Modell at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, honoring the man that returned football to their town after their team had been stolen from them and transplanted to Indianapolis over 50 years ago. Thousands of mourners came and went to pay their final respects to one of the most well known NFL owners the game has ever seen.

“He always cared about what was going on in your life,” former Raven Jonathan Ogden said. Ogden was on the 2001 Super Bowl team and was one of Modell’s self-professed favorite Ravens of all-time. “It was always what he could do to help somebody else.”

The Cleveland Browns had planned what they described as an “appropriate recognition” of Modell and his legacy, but Modell’s surviving family kindly asked the Browns to refrain.

Like that’s going to go over well with fans.

Love him or hate him, Modell was a gigantic part of the Cleveland Browns heritage, but his time spent with the franchise will forever be marred by his moving the franchise to Baltimore. Nothing signifies this more so than the Modell family cutting all ties with the Browns like this after Art’s passing.

But even Browns fans who hated Modell for moving their team will have kinds signs for Modell on Sunday. Ravens fans without a doubt feel as though they’ve lost a family member and the outpouring support they will have for the Modell family will be apparent when the Ravens open up their 2012 season in the house that Art built.