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Art Modell's polarizing legacy complicating Hall of Fame bid

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05:19 PM ET 02.01 | As the Ravens prepare to take on the 49ers in Super Bowl 47, an entirely different fight is breaking out under the surface: does deceased former Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell belong in the Hall of Fame?

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Art Modell, USA TODAY Sports Art Modell, USA TODAY Sports
February 1, 2013  05:41 PM ET

It depends if you ask Browns or Ratbird fans...

February 1, 2013  06:28 PM ET

Nope. He was a true self dealing, lying scumbag. He was not a football guy and only made poor football decisions like firing Paul Brown and Bill Belichick. For years he tried to exhort money from the city of Cleveland while trying to force the city to build a new stadium in the suburbs and on land that he owned. Back in the late 1970's, the city wanted to build the first retractable dome stadium, but Model was against it (since he would have to share it with the Indians). When his poor football management couldn't prove successful, he tore the hearts out of a city by moving to Baltimore.

February 1, 2013  06:37 PM ET

The guy that fired Paul Brown?

February 1, 2013  07:59 PM ET

I never thought about Art Modell as a Hall of Fame Person.

February 1, 2013  08:04 PM ET

Art Modell is rotting for eternity in Hell. Ray "MVP=Most Valuable Prisoner" Lewis will hopefully soon join him. On the plus side, a celebrity roast would be easy.

Comment #6 has been removed
February 1, 2013  08:09 PM ET

He's his golf partner.

Comment #8 has been removed
Comment #9 has been removed
February 1, 2013  08:52 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Cry me a river Clevland.

Burn in Hell, Modell.

February 2, 2013  05:43 AM ET

Nope. For a guy that only invested $250,000 to buy an NFL franchise he sure was motivated by greed. He moved from Cleveland because of money and sold the Ravens again because of money. Maybe the real truth is he sucked as a businessman.

February 2, 2013  09:35 AM ET

He did a lot for the league TV wise. The fact that he didn't get in on his first ballot says the bad things he did probably outweight the good.

Comment #13 has been removed
February 2, 2013  12:45 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

And the people in Baltimore have a totally different opinion because he brought football back to a city that was without it for around 20 years. Clevland went what 3 maybe 4 seasons? And got to keep their team name and colors and everything else that went along with it? Cry me a river Clevland.

You could see it that way or you could see it the way Cleveland did for those 3 season. We turned on a TV to see a team that we used to call our own playing while we had nobody to root for?
The facts are simple, Art was in serious money trouble and he was mad that the city built a stadium for the Indians before his Browns (lookup what the Indians had to deal with when they used Arts stadium). The city told him that they WOULD build him a new stadium but he would have to wait a couple years (not 10-20 years). But Art was in such a bad financial situation he couldn't wait.
Then along came the city of Baltimore who offered to pay off his debts and build him a new stadium if he would move his team. Art's biggest fear was loosing his team so he took them to Baltimore and lost a lawsuit to keep the name and colors, this irked him to the day he died.
Also, Art was not a the only owner of the Browns at the time, they had many silent investors because he failed to manage his money and generate any outside income other than what he had with the team. This wasn't enough even though the Browns fans continued to pack the stadium each game.
To me the small good he did, doesn't outweigh the bad. Sure he helped create MNF (he wasn't alone on this as some think) but he also was the guy who fired Paul Brown, Bill B and moved a team that had the FULL support of the city and was willing to work with him. Art was a greedy man who's biggest fear was loosing the majority control of his team and in the end thats just what happened!

I find it funny when people say "get over it", walk a mile in our shoes and then see what "getting over it" really means.

February 2, 2013  12:45 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Modell borrowed the money to buy the Browns in 1960. Modell was a mooching lying bum.

Don't forget he borrowed money to sign Andre "Bad Moon" Rison!

Comment #16 has been removed
February 2, 2013  03:21 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

I don't know enough about Modell to have a solid opinion on the man. My only point is Clevland went 3 seasons without football. Baltimore went 12. Plus they lost their identity as the league let the Colts and everything about them walk out the door in the middle of the night. While it must have sucked to be a Clevland fan not having football for 3 seasons, when it returned, their name, color scheme and history was all restored. So in the grand scheme of things, while not an ideal situation, it could have been alot worse, just ask Baltimore.

Ok, and look at the Browns before the move and after the move. They were perennial playoff contenders and sold out every home game. This chotch took all of that away. And were not talking about the NFL equivalent of the Miami Marlins or whatever they're called now. This was the CLEVELAND BROWNS. It was like taking the Cubs away from Chicago.

February 2, 2013  03:25 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Don't forget he borrowed money to sign Andre "Bad Moon" Rison!

After getting turned down by several other banks! An owner with that bad of credit possibly getting in the HOF?

Comment #19 has been removed
 
February 3, 2013  07:31 AM ET

Well, we don't have to worry about it until next year.

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