Football fans in Baltimore and Cleveland spoke about the death of Art Modell in much different tones Thursday, but there was at least one consistent topic -- Hall of Fame.
Modell is credited with bringing Monday Night Football to the NFL. Football historians also say he played a crucial role in the merger of the AFL and NFL, paving the way for what the league has become.
On sports talk radio shows in the two cities, among a few other common themes, was talk of whether Modell should now be considered for the NFL Hall of Fame.
Modell bought the Cleveland Browns in 1961, and the Browns won the NFL championship in 1964. In 1996 he moved the team to Baltimore. The move was mostly due to the inability to work with the city to secure a new stadium for the franchise. As Modell became loved by Ravens supporters, he became the enemy of Cleveland football fans.
Several reports from national media sources indicate it was his moving of the franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore that has kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
While fans won't see Modell's bust in Canton, a special plaque honoring his commitment to charities in both cities, success in the NFL and contribution to Baltimore is the last thing visitors to the Sports Legends Museum in Baltimore see before they enter the gift shop.
"We at Sports Legends Museum are very deeply saddened about the death of Art Modell," said museum deputy director John Ziemann. "But, years ago, we knew, that Art Modell would not get into the Hall of Fame while he was alive."
That be the case, is now the time? Should Modell's potential entry into pro football's archive of greats be reviewed?
What do you think? Leave your comments below.
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