Art Modell isn’t making the Hall of Fame until he is no longer on this earth. I know it sounds a little brash, but it’s the truth. I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve to be a member because anyone who follows pro football knows what Modell has accomplished in his 45 years in the NFL. I’m just saying there are still enough voters out there who haven’t gotten over his decision to move the Browns from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1996. As citizens of Baltimore, we should understand where the people of Cleveland are coming from because we all know the feeling of having our beloved football team taken from us. Oh, and the fact that the Hall of Fame resides in Ohio doesn’t help matters either.
This is Modell’s seventh time making the cut as a semifinalist, but has yet to make it any further than that. Modell certainly has the credentials to make it to Canton, having been full owner of both the Browns and Ravens for 43 years as well as being involved in various other endeavors within the NFL. As we all know, Modell sold the Ravens to Steve Bisciotti in 1996, but still serves as minority owner of the organization. But most of Modell’s impact has already been made. So, now he just gets to sit back and wait…and wait, and wait.
I still think the one factor keeping Modell out of the Hall is that certain voters are still bitter about what he did to the fans and city of Cleveland. These voters just don’t want to give Modell the satisfaction of being able to be present to celebrate his own induction. I know it sounds really terrible to say, but I think it’s the truth. Even Modell himself admits that he will most likely remain the most hated man in the Cleveland history. Yes, even more than LeBron James when he left the Cavaliers for Miami this past spring. As he told the Baltimore Sun a few months ago, “I’m not waiting for LeBron to take me off the hook. I’m not on any hook. I did what I thought was right for the players, coaches and employees in my organization. I have no regrets.” Well, not being able to celebrate his induction into the Hall of Fame could be one thing he does regret.
Submitted by Steve Giles