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.
Art Modell was one of kindest men I have ever known. I am proud to have called him a friend & will miss him dearly. twitter.com/CoachBillick/s…
— Brian Billick (@CoachBillick) September 6, 2012
To a man that I consider not only a friend but a second father Art Modell you taughtme a lot about life and being a man thank u ! RIP!
— Tony Siragusa (@TonySiragusa) September 6, 2012
RIP to Art Modell…. It was a great pleasure and a privilege to play under one of the great pioneers of the NFL.
— Jamal Lewis (@Jamal31Lewis) September 6, 2012
— Qadry Ismail (@QadryIsmail) September 6, 2012
Art Modell’s leadership was an important part of the NFL’s success during the league’s explosive growth during the 1960s and beyond …
— Roger Goodell (@nflcommish) September 6, 2012
RIP Art Modell, one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever covered in this business. He loved the NFL as much as any owner.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) September 6, 2012
RIP Mr. Art Modell…without his dream I would have never been able to play for this great city…thank you
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) September 6, 2012
Art Modell will be vilified for some forever for Browns move, but he was a visionary who belonged in Hall of Fame before his passing
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 6, 2012
Bisciotti on Art Modell: “His generosity, his love, his humor, his intelligence, his friendship – we were all blessed by this great man.”
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 6, 2012
RIP, Art Modell. Covered him in Baltimore, enjoyed the back-and-forth. Departure from Cleveland more complicated than portrayed.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 6, 2012
RIP to art modellheard he was a good man
— LaMarr Woodley (@LaMarrWoodley) September 6, 2012