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Old 09-06-2012, 07:26 AM   #1
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Default Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/footb...zed/57625328/1

Mixed feelings on this one.

He gave my town the royal shaft, but he also had friends and family who loved and cared for him.


RIP, even though I hated you.

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Old 09-06-2012, 07:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

RIP
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

Get ready guys, because this is going to be a minor essay (deservedly so)...



Pretty interesting day in Cleveland to say the least.

Usually the Cleveland sports community is pretty easy to predict on the Thursday before the start of the NFL season. The storylines are made ready to order, from Weeden to our new owner to our second year coach... Plenty to talk about...


Today, there was NO talk of the Browns' upcoming season opener, Ohio State's upcoming game, the Indians' putrid play, the Cavs' exciting young players... Nothing in the Cleveland sports community today other than very in depth conversations about Modell's legacy, whether he should ever be forgiven, his place in Cleveland sports history, etc.

A lot of people may not be aware that, prior to his moving the team in 1995, Modell was an icon in Cleveland and in the NFL, really. He was beloved here by my generation and the generation before me. He had owned the team for 34 years. And, for the younins' out there, those weren't generations of the putrid Browns teams that you see today.

He spanned the championship teams of the '60s which included arguably the greatest player in NFL history, some very good '70s teams, the 1980 Cardiac Kids, the middle-and-late-80s elite group that was a regular in the playoffs and AFC Championship (painfully close to bringing a championship to Cleveland on several occasions) and even some very good early-90s playoff teams, the last of which were coached by Bill Belichick.

He was a huge presence here during those 3+ decades, too... Always in the news, giving interviews, open to the media... one of the ambassadors for Cleveland.

That, along with this area of the country being insanely passionate about football and especially the Browns is what made the move so completely unbelievable.

People attempt to put LeBron James on Modell's level of infamy in Cleveland, but -- while James will always be a villain here -- he pales in comparison. Modell really was beloved here and a staple of the city. With James, there was always at least a little suspicion that he may not be the guy we could count on in the long run and he never truly embraced the city. Modell WAS Cleveland in a lot of people's eyes.


It was the ultimate deception and betrayal, because it came from a guy that was so trusted and loved.

Another interesting caveat is that, while he was that great icon for my generation and the one before mine (my dad), the generation before my father was very split on Modell before the move. What was the reason? He was the guy who fired Paul Brown.

There was a relatively sizable legion of ORIGINAL Browns fans that left the franchise with Paul Brown and became followers of the Bengals (where Brown went after Modell fired him). Those people hated Modell in Cleveland long before it became fashionable and, the ones that are still alive, are giving a very interesting perspective on this whole thing today.



There is a great debate about what Cleveland and the Browns should do... Should a man with such a huge hand in the franchise's history be honored in some way or should he be forgotten? Some have thrown out the idea of a moment of silence before Sunday's home opener against the Eagles. I would say that this is an AWFUL idea because it will not be silent nor will it be pretty.

It could give Cleveland a real black eye to see a rabid group of fans foaming at the mouth in anger at a man who has just died. Should there be more of a wait until these wounds heal a bit more before including him in some kind of memorial? Will it ever happen?

I will say this... as long as this incarnation of the Browns continues to be a laughing stock of the league, Modell will continue to be the most hated man in the city, because the Ravens -- which is our real franchise -- are thriving and Modell is responsible for sticking us with this jayvee squad.



Anyway, thought I would give you guys a little insight on how this is being looked at in Cleveland today. Sorry it was long (as usual with me), but there is no short way of telling this story.

I'll finish with this...

NFL on NBC's pregame coverage of the final game in Cleveland ('95) Part I
Part II

NFL Films' Coverage of the Final Game in Cleveland (have a hard time watching this one)

SportsCenter Coverage of the Final Game in Cleveland

Municipal Stadium being Ripped Apart by Fans as the Final Seconds of the Real Browns in Cleveland Tick Away (pretty amazing footage)



From This






To This








The kind of saga that would honestly make for an incredible movie. Now that he's gone, where does all of that hatred and venom go?

Last edited by RedBlackAttack : 09-06-2012 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

I guess you don't understand it completely unless you were around Cleveland for the years he was in charge, saw the team win championships, etc.....


So there are a very few select people. You have to be 55-60ish at least to completely understand.

I was going to say how can you hate a man who did so much for you, regardless of moving the team elsewhere....but like I said, I don't understand it at all really.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbine
I guess you don't understand it completely unless you were around Cleveland for the years he was in charge, saw the team win championships, etc.....


So there are a very few select people. You have to be 55-60ish at least to completely understand.

I was going to say how can you hate a man who did so much for you, regardless of moving the team elsewhere....but like I said, I don't understand it at all really.
I don't think you needed to be around for the championship years to understand. I wasn't around for them and I completely understand. There is a love for the Browns in Northeast Ohio that is hard to understand unless you are from here. The only appropriate analogies that could be made, I guess, would be if the Packers or Steelers moved... and that is totally unfathomable.

That is the way the Browns are beloved in Cleveland and Modell is entirely responsible for selling us a bill of goods. Any capital that he earned in his 3+ decades here went into the red that cold December day when the doors were closed forever on the real Browns. Things may never be the same again. And, this was a fanbase that sold out every week in an 80,000+ seat stadium for decades. We didn't deserve it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

I think you do though. People that came after the glory years can only be told what it was like, that can't actually remember it. Winning means everything.

If you weren't around for it, you can't truly understand it. You might get it 90% being from Cleveland, but you had to have been there in the Glory days to feel the full effect and betrayal.

It'd be like if I had a kid right now, and I lived in Pittsburgh....and than the Steelers moved when my kid was 20 years old because Rooney could make more money elsewhere....I don't think my son would truly understand because he wasn't there in the 70's or the 00's when we won superbowls.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbine
I think you do though. People that came after the glory years can only be told what it was like, that can't actually remember it. Winning means everything.

If you weren't around for it, you can't truly understand it. You might get it 90% being from Cleveland, but you had to have been there in the Glory days to feel the full effect and betrayal.

It'd be like if I had a kid right now, and I lived in Pittsburgh....and than the Steelers moved when my kid was 20 years old because Rooney could make more money elsewhere....I don't think my son would truly understand because he wasn't there in the 70's or the 00's when we won superbowls.
So, someone has to be present for the sole event of winning a Super Bowl to have an iron clad bond with a team and an owner? I don't think winning makes you a better, a more educated fan or a more passionate fan.

In fact, losing in the most dramatic fashion like what happened with The Drive and The Fumble and Red Right 88, when the team was on the doorstep only to have it slammed in their face can have a measure of bonding that someone who has only known a successful franchise can never understand.

I've always felt that it must be extraordinarily easy to be a Steelers fan. They are in the playoff hunt every season regardless of who the coach is. The names change, the product stays the same, you become comfortable in winning and your capacity to feel the kind of excitement that a hard-luck town reaches when it is close to something special is no longer there.

Leaving when you were so close to seeing a championship but the team could never quite get over the hump in your lifetime almost makes it more tragic. Those that witnessed the 50s and 60s glory can at least say that they were able to be a part of the city during those years. I was so close so many times and it truly always did feel like next year was going to be THE year... There wasn't a doubt in my mind that Modell would ultimately hoist that trophy in Cleveland. And, I shared those heartbreaks with my dad and brother by my side feeling exactly what I felt, further making it a more personal experience.

To never see it in Cleveland and, what's worse, to see him on that 50-yard line stage just four years after bolting town in a purple and black tie.... Made it all the worse.

Hell, I'm not sure a person who witnessed championships can truly understand it from MY perspective.

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

It's not an issue of how big a fan you or anyone is of the team, it's about being their and living through it all. Knowing what it was like in the moment....having all those memories, and then getting the team pulled from under you.

You cherish those almost superbowl teams I would imagine. Those are probably the best memories of the team that you can remember and are something you reflect on to say how much you hate Art for doing what he did.

Now imagine if you had went through the championships glory years as well. The intimate connection would be even more fierce. Instead of breaking a 20 year marriage off with a house and a couple pets, those people are breaking a 50 year marriage with 4 kids, grandkids, etc.

I'm sure the hatred runs deep in the elderly Cleveland Brown fans.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbine
It's not an issue of how big a fan you or anyone is of the team, it's about being their and living through it all. Knowing what it was like in the moment....having all those memories, and then getting the team pulled from under you.

You cherish those almost superbowl teams I would imagine. Those are probably the best memories of the team that you can remember and are something you reflect on to say how much you hate Art for doing what he did.

Now imagine if you had went through the championships glory years as well. The intimate connection would be even more fierce. Instead of breaking a 20 year marriage off with a house and a couple pets, those people are breaking a 50 year marriage with 4 kids, grandkids, etc.

I'm sure the hatred runs deep in the elderly Cleveland Brown fans.
I think you bring up an interesting point, but it has less to do with successes seen and more to do with the length of the relationship. Of course the bond between a 50-year fan of a team is going to be stronger than someone who became a fan five years ago.

I don't think that there is a necessity to have witnessed a dynasty -- as the Browns were in the 50s and 60s -- to have the strongest of ties.

Furthermore, I would say that when you factor in generational fans, it becomes even more convoluted when assessing something like who should feel the sting of this the most. I am a fourth generation Northeast Ohioan, a third generation Browns fanatic (which goes back to my grandfather and the team's inception).

When you are born into a family legacy like that, I tend to think that the bond between fan and team becomes stronger and stronger with each passing generation. Part of the sadness of the move as a late teenager was seeing how it impacted my dad and grandfather and the way that it clouded all of the moments we had together as a bonding entity. Just as the love for the franchise was generational, the outrage was too.

It was like a death in the family and compounded when we received this sh!t franchise and Baltimore became SB champs and one of the best teams in the league, as we were when that franchise was here from the inception of the NFL.

It may not be possible to make fans of a franchise feel worse, but Modell filing for bankruptcy in 2004 which forced him to sell the team did it. That was the whole reason he moved the team in the first place. It wasn't a lack of fan support (obviously) and, as much as he made it about this, it wasn't primarily about a new stadium either. It was about Modell's finances crumbling around him and, instead of selling the franchise which he ended up doing anyway, he desperately tried to hold onto it by moving Baltimore and a short-term (and clearly insufficient) influx of currency.

Al Learner wanted to buy the Browns and keep them in Cleveland. It later became obvious when he bought the new franchise, but he and Modell were close. It is now common knowledge that he wanted the team. Modell's refusal to face the true facts of his financial situation is what cost the city the real Browns... Nothing else.

I'll let Mike Ditka echo that thought via 1995...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFuN3-DbM9w

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBlackAttack
I don't think you needed to be around for the championship years to understand. I wasn't around for them and I completely understand. There is a love for the Browns in Northeast Ohio that is hard to understand unless you are from here. The only appropriate analogies that could be made, I guess, would be if the Packers or Steelers moved... and that is totally unfathomable.

That is the way the Browns are beloved in Cleveland and Modell is entirely responsible for selling us a bill of goods. Any capital that he earned in his 3+ decades here went into the red that cold December day when the doors were closed forever on the real Browns. Things may never be the same again. And, this was a fanbase that sold out every week in an 80,000+ seat stadium for decades. We didn't deserve it.


Bullshit. The Redskins concentrated fanbase is JUST as diehard as the Browns, they're very similar really. From NoVa to the District to Southern Maryland, it's just more spread out than Ohio. U guys aren't as special as you like to think, same can be said for Kansas City, Baltimore, Chicago, the Eagles, etc. Passionate fans who stick thru and thru. Cowboys have a big fanbase but they are more fickle than other ones cuz of the glamour and aura. More Phonies than the other die-hard bases

It's funny how the city of Baltimore where I live by worships Modell and a whole other Sports city with putrid luck and success feels so conflicted today. I respect Art Modell but I loathe him for bringing in the obnoxious Ravens nutriders.

RIP to an important man in NFL history from league merging, taking the Browns from the NFL and putting them in the AFC, television deals, etc. U meant a lot to the sport on this level
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:14 AM   #11
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

I'm fine with him being a villain, but this should not even be about football.

A man is dead, and he has has grieving friends and family.

Do we really want to make Cleveland look like the Westboro Baptist Church? We're already a laughing stock as it is. We should show a little decorum.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:46 AM   #12
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatComputerNerd
I'm fine with him being a villain, but this should not even be about football.

A man is dead, and he has has grieving friends and family.

Do we really want to make Cleveland look like the Westboro Baptist Church? We're already a laughing stock as it is. We should show a little decorum.
This but to be expected from cleveland http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkXRc9vls0M and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wzvg...eature=related

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatComputerNerd
I'm fine with him being a villain, but this should not even be about football.

A man is dead, and he has has grieving friends and family.

Do we really want to make Cleveland look like the Westboro Baptist Church? We're already a laughing stock as it is. We should show a little decorum.
I'm not getting your analogy to the Westboro Baptist Church, who pickets funerals of dead soldiers. No one is putting forth the notion that there should be some kind of interruption of his family's memorial. They had nothing to do with their father's decisions and should be left to mourn.

However, I'm also not going to be told I need to feel something or that this should wash away whatever he did during his life. I feel utterly nothing about his death.

I also feel completely indifferent to those who will use this in some kind of Cleveland punchline. If you spend your life fretting over stuff like that, Ifeel sorry for you.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:46 AM   #14
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

from the Plain Dealer

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Breaking News: Art Modell dead.

The Browns were going to pay tribute to Modell on Sunday, but his family has requested that they don't, so they won't.
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