I am biased because I grew up a Browns fan and went to their games with my dad, who grew up a Browns fan and watched them in-person win NFL Championships in the 50s and 60s. I was at the last game in 1995, crying after I got my seat taken by a security guy, after the Bengals had to turn away from the Dawg Pound once they crossed the 50 due to the stands being thrown onto the field and fireworks being let off in the bathrooms. I didn’t have an NFL team from 1996-1998 when I was in middle school. Art Modell took the Browns and made them purple and black in a city that once had their team stolen and taken to Indy. The Ravens then drafted about 10 HOFers (with Ozzie’s help) and won a Super Bowl in 4 years, a game the Browns have never been to. When Lebron James left Cleveland, some say he was the most hated athlete in Cleveland history. He was, except for Art Modell.
I do have to admit there are some factors that would calm my hatred for that man. Maybe if Browns made it to the playoffs more than one time since they came back in 1999. Maybe if the Ravens didn’t draft guys who will end up in Canton and if they didn’t win a Super Bowl 4 years after they moved.
But guess what? All of that did happen, and I will forever hate Art Modell. I am not happy he died. It brings back a lot of pain and anger. But I’m not going to look at him as a good owner. He was broke, moved to Baltimore, got a new stadium, won a Super Bowl in 2000 and had to sell the team in 2004 because he was broke again.
You can come at me with, “you’re just a Browns fan, get over it.” You’re right, I am a Browns fan, and no, I will never get over it. He moved the Browns out of Cleveland. I am glad he will not be alive when he gets inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the ceremony will be less than favorable. I am sorry for his family for their loss, but don’t expect me to “get over it.” He took my team because of greed and mistakes. Muck Fodell for eternity.