The football world lost a great local hero this morning. The man that brought football back to Baltimore, Art Modell, passed away at age 87.

A pioneer in the National Football League and called a true gentleman by everyone who worked with him, Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore in 1996, bringing pro football back to this town after it was previously ripped of it in 1984.

Sadly, Modell will not be remembered nearly as highly as he should because of a vocal group in Cleveland. Despite a lifetime of contributions, he was never elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

I will always remember seeing the famous footage of Art holding the placard that read “Ravens” when the team selected their name in 1996 or seeing him tear up when the confetti fell after Super Bowl XXXV. He was always the quiet owner, who loved our city and cared about how his franchise was perceived off the field as much as he did on it.

I’ve been critical of the Ravens decision to take open training camp from the fans, mostly because I believe it was something that Modell thought we all deserved and worked so hard to make a great experience.

Thank you Art, for giving us a franchise when the NFL told us to build a museum. You will always be remembered as a hero in Baltimore.