BALTIMORE - Art Modell is being remembered today for more than just giving Baltimore an NFL team again. Here are memories of Modell from friends and family. Please add your memories below!
Former Ravens president David Modell issued this statement:
“Sadly, I can confirm that my father died peacefully of natural causes at 4 a.m. this morning. My brother John Modell and I were with him when he finally rejoined the absolute love of his life, my mother Pat Modell, who passed away last October.
“’Poppy’ was a special man who was loved by his sons, his daughter-in-law Michel, and his six grandchildren. Moreover, he was adored by the entire Baltimore community for his kindness and generosity. And, he loved Baltimore. He made an important and indelible contribution to the lives of his children, grandchildren and his entire community. We will miss him.”
John Harbaugh via @Ravens
"Art Modell was a visionary who broke barriers to help make the NFL what it is today."
Ray Lewis via @Ravens
Ray Lewis visited Art Modell yesterday, and "shared with him things that a son would say to a father."
Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti via BaltimoreRavens.com
“He was my friend, my mentor. We will miss him so much. How lucky are all of us to have had Art in Baltimore? How fortunate I am to have had him teach me about the NFL. His generosity, his love, his humor, his intelligence, his friendship – we were all blessed by this great man. We will strive to live up to his standard.”
NFL Executive Joe Browne the Longest-Serving Employee in the League Office via BaltimoreRavens.com
“Art Modell was a most influential member of Commissioner Rozelle's 'Kitchen Cabinet' for many years, along with Dan
Rooney and the late Tex Schramm. Ironically, Art is the only member of that group who is not enshrined in Canton. Hopefully, the Hall of Fame media selectors will rectify that oversight in the near future – not as an emotional reaction to Art's death, but as a rightful reflection of his longtime contributions to the NFL.”
Former Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick via BaltimoreRavens.com
“Art Modell was all about family, and that's how he directed the Ravens. He treated me, my family and everyone in the organization like a member of his family. Before I think of the gratitude I owe him for giving me the opportunity to be his head coach, I think of the way he treated all of us. I don't believe there's another NFL franchise that embraces that more than Art did. That was reflected in the people he hired. He created an atmosphere that was the best. It was a joy to come to work for him. He accomplished so much as an owner: championships, playoffs, the TV contracts, the leadership in the NFL. They are all great and deserving of the Hall of Fame. Those who worked with Art will all say the same thing. He was a Hall of Fame person.”
Longtime Browns and NFL Personnel Executive Michael Lombardi via BaltimoreRavens.com
“Vision, humor and generosity always guided Art Modell's life. His humor made him a daily pleasure to encounter. His genuine generosity, which supplied you with the tools to learn – as well as work your craft – will always be cherished, but his futuristic vision left a lasting impact on the game he deeply loved.”
Longtime Browns Fan, Father of John Harbaugh & NCAA Championship Head Coach Jack Harbaugh:
“It’s so sad to hear of the passing of Mr. Modell. Scribes and pundits who believe in fairness and honesty dropped the ball today in allowing Art Modell to pass from this Earth without being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“In addressing this in Baltimore, you speak to the choir; in addressing this to those around the country, who grasp the contribution Mr. Modell made over five generations of being a pioneer and visionary in this great game and great league – highlighted by his leadership in negotiating TV contracts and being an owner for two NFL Championship teams – you speak to the choir. But, there is a narrow-minded corps of individuals who came up small today. Very small.”
Former Browns Executive Vice President and Giants General Manager Ernie Accorsi:
"The NFL has lost a beloved member of its family. Along with Pete Rozelle, Art Modell helped revolutionize television's impact on sports; created preseason doubleheaders that drew 80,000 when the games were drawing 15,000; won two championships. He was a true bon vivant and a wonderful man to work for.
“There is a lot of laughter in heaven today. Art Modell has arrived with some great lines."
Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Emeritus Daniel Rooney:
“Art Modell was a good friend to our family, and he will be sadly missed. He was instrumental in helping the National Football League become what it is today, and he always had the league’s best interest at hand. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family, as he will be missed dearly by the Steelers organization and the Rooney family.”
Buffalo Bills Owner