BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 9: (FILE PHOTO) Art Modell, owner of the Baltimore Ravens, shows off the Superbowl trophy during pre-game festivities before the game against the Chicago Bears on September 9, 2001 at PSINet Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Modell died on September 6, 2012 of natural causes at the age of 87. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner, Art Modell, passed away today at the age of 87-years-young. Over the course or Art Modell's life he managed to bring an NFL Championship to not one, but two different NFL franchises. Also, he managed to restore football to Baltimore, a city that had long since been stripped of its football team, while leaving plans for Cleveland to have a franchise reinstated by 1999.
Not only was Art Modell a wonderful owner, but he was also a wonderful citizen. Art was heavily involved in the community of Cleveland. He pitched in many ways around the community, and was even involved to some degree in various political activities.
Art also played a critical role in the development of the NFL into the multi-million dollar industry it is today with his revolutionary new idea.
Roger Goodell: Art Modell's leadership was an important part of the NFL's success during the league's explosive growth during the 1960s and beyond," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "As the longtime chairman of the league's Broadcast Committee, Art was a visionary who understood the critical role that mass viewing of NFL games on broadcast television could play in growing the league.
"Art played important roles in many other league matters as a key advisor to Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue, and also built championship teams in Cleveland and Baltimore. His skills as an owner and league contributor were matched only by his great sense of humor. Any conversation with Art included laughs. He always left you with a smile on your face. We extend our condolences to John, David and the rest of the Modell family."
For anyone to say that this man does not deserve a place in Canton is a travesty of the highest degree. Art Modell was a wonderful person all-around and helped change the NFL into what it is today.
Rest easy Art, you are loved and will be missed tremendously.