NOVEMBER 6, 1995 UNTIL FOREVER
Welcome to MDW: Modell Death Watch, a modest little page dedicated to the public service of networking those who, er, care about one Arthur Modell.
We will link news reports and web sources from time to time.
We encourage other like-minded web surfers to email us here at MDW with suggested links, comments and updates on Modell's Death Status.
September 6, 2012. YouTube nation reacts to the news. (Thanks JamDawg.)
September 6, 2012. NYT obit.
September 6, 2012. USA Today.
This site will continue open, on alert for the admittedly remote contingency of zombie Modell outbreaks. Please relay sightings of same, especially in the Canton, Ohio, area. The price of freedom from Modell is eternal vigilance.
WEBMASTERS JOIN MDW
The 50 x 50-pixel MDW Status Report seen here will link to this page. It will also tell the viewer at a glance Art Modell's latest known Death Status. See below for HTML code you are free to use to place this handy and unobtrusive link on your web site. Email your URL and we will gladly link back.
Copy and paste this code onto your web site to stay up-to-date with the MDW Status Report:
QUOTES/LINKS (Some links have expired, sorry.)
Oh, really? "I called Bob and asked if he was interested in owning an NFL team," Modell recalled the other day. "He said, 'Why, are you selling the Browns?' I told him, 'No, it's more important than the Browns. It's the New York Giants.'"
This is why grown men who fought wars and played football without face masks cried when Art Modell announced he was moving the franchise to Baltimore. These players had turned into fans themselves and understood what the Browns meant to the community. In a word, they meant everything. "It was like losing a relative," Hall of Famer and season-ticket holder Lou Groza said. Or worse.
If at first you don't succeed... Modell has a history of heart problems. He underwent an emergency quadruple bypass operation after a heart attack in 1983. Seven years later, he had double bypass coronary surgery.
HOF shutout '02. Thank you Toni Grossi. `I shudder to think what that ceremony in Canton would be like if Art Modell were put in the Hall of Fame,` I concluded.
HOF shutout '03. Huh? ...firing legendary coach Paul Brown, forcing running back Jim Brown to retire and getting rid of two of the most popular players in Cleveland history, receiver Paul Warfield and quarterback Bernie Kosar. Combine those with The Move, and those are the arguments to keep Modell out of the Hall of Fame. It's not enough.
HOF shutout '05. Tagliabue Death Watch? Said Tagliabue: "Art is a legend of our game and one of life's unforgettable characters. I believe Art's entire record should be recognized as entitling him to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton."
HOF shutout '06: Good news, bad news. Former Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell did not advance to the finalists round of 15 on Wednesday for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Modell will be eligible again next season because he made it from the starting list of 112 nominees to the semifinal round of 25.
Attaboy, George! Modell's remarks on WTAM drew a heated response from Voinovich. He called WTAM later Thursday and said Modell is trying to "rewrite history." "Modell was a liar then, and he's a liar now," Voinovich said. "The thing that bothers me is, all during the time we were talking back and forth, he had already cut a deal to take the team to Baltimore. "If you want to know a reason why a lot of the business people in (Cleveland) have nothing more to do with Art Modell and why he's not welcome here, it's because he wasn't forthright and honest with us."
Modell's grave site under construction but the address is withheld, alas.
Shakadawg rants on the weaselly guy. (Our apologies to Don MacLean.)
32 gets it. It seems that the clue bus stopped a while back at Browns Stadium, and the greatest running back most of us ever saw, Jim Brown, hopped on, his shirt-tail flapping, his heart aflame with indignation. "About a month ago, for the first time, I realized what Art [Modell] did to Cleveland," said Brown.
Spate news, and the ultimate Fathead. These days, he navigates the Ravens' cavernous training facility in a wheelchair because his balance isn't quite what it used to be before a 2002 stroke. At 81, he shows the wear from 46 eventful - and sometimes turbulent - years in the NFL. "The worst thing is not being able to get around himself," [wife] Pat said. "He's such a strong, sensitive man. It makes it very difficult. He has fits of depression." Despite a spate of health issues the past few years, Modell still has a sharp mind and strong spirit. His presence permeates the team's complex, starting in the main lobby, where a life-size oil painting of a stoic Modell in a camel-hair coat greets visitors.
HOF hopeful. Do that, and we'll start calling it an "Egress."
Baltimore suburb dedicates Browns restroom. Mervo High School's new $1 million football stadium will bear the name of former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell. The unveiling of "Art Modell Field at Mervo" will take place Aug. 21 at the East Baltimore high school. Thanks, that's a relief.
HOF '09. Defensive end Bruce Smith, defensive back Rod Woodson and tight end Shannon Sharpe are among first-year candidates for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The list includes 110 players, seven coaches and 16 contributors, including former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and longtime team owners Bud Adams, Jerry Jones, Art Modell and Ralph Wilson. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
HOF '09 top 25. Bottom line is Modell helped make the NFL what it is today. A colluding good-old-boys' den of avarice. Thanks but no thanks.
HOF shutout '09. Former Browns owner Art Modell was not among the finalists. Justice is granted a reprieve.
Modell's grave site under construction but the address is withheld, alas. (Back with a working link - thanks Shakadawg.)
This writer looks into the future and predicts Modell will badmouth Cleveland on his deathbed.
HOF '10. 2010 preliminary HOF nominees include Leroy Hoard, Clay Matthews, Eric Metcalf, Frank Minnifield, Michael Dean Perry, Mike Pruitt and... Art Modell. One more time, as many times as it takes.
Religion is the last refuge of a scoundrel. In "Is It Time to Forgive Modell?" an avowed agnostic cites the Bible to commit blasphemy. MDW will die and roast tortured in eternal hell without a winning season before pardoning the unpardonable, but that's just us.
Do not watch with a full stomach. "Nestor inducts Art Modell into Class of Eternity in Canton, Ohio." Baltimore radio mocks the Hall of Fame and insults Cleveland, but at least Modell articulates no lies in this five-minute "ceremony."
HOF '10 top 25: like a bad penny, with Freddy Krueger haunting it. "For the sixth time in seven years, former Ravens majority owner Art Modell is among the 25 semifinalists for the Hall of Fame."
"Art Modell Turns 85 and I'm Still Thinking of a Corpse My own. Because a corpse is the only thing I'll want to be if civilization falls so far as to allow Modell's enshrinement in Pro Football's Hall of Fame." We're thinking of a corpse, too.
No Pull For Getting Modell In Hall because the Commish still goes to Cleveland.
HOF '11 Nominees: Former coach Dick Vermeil and owners Bud Adams Jr. of the Houston Oilers and Art Modell, reviled in Cleveland for moving the team to Baltimore are also on the ballot.
HOF '11 top 26: "Art Modell, who owned the Cleveland Browns from 1961 until he moved them to Baltimore following the 1995 season, is among 26 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2011 class."
Hear hear Bill Livingston: Upon further review, Art Modell's case for Canton gets weaker every year.
Cleveland Frowns rebuts. Hey Ozzie Newsome: stifle.
Patricia Modell, actress and wife of former NFL team owner Art Modell, dies. The MDW does not extend to family members and we bear them no grudge. RIP, Mrs. Modell.
HOF '13 Finalist?! Dying is something anybody can do and everybody does. It qualifies Art for entry to one place and that is not in Canton.
Are we doing this again? Art Modell has no Hall Of Fame credentials.
Found on Facebook: Keep Art Modell out of the Hall Of Fame.
HOF shutout '13. Our faith in humanity is restored.
True. But too kind.
OTHERS WHO CARE
BARK TO MDW email
"If Modell makes it into the Hall of Fame, his display will require two rooms there, so Ladies Room users won't be left out." -- BW, Ohio.
"Last year I was in New York city on business. I knew Art grew up in Brooklyn. So I searched online for quite awhile trying to find out where Art's father is buried, so I could go [visit] his grave. If you can find this out, let me know!" -- DZ, Ohio.
"When the lousy bastard finally kicks it - I will do my best to let you all know where he gets dumped. I'm from Pittsburgh and a proud member of the Steeler Fan Club of Baltimore. I'm certainly not a Browns fan, but what modellass did to you and Cleveland was pure bullshit and made me embarrassed to be here when it happened... In the immortal words of Drew Carey: 'I gotta go take a modell.'" -- DR, Baltimore MD.
"I've been a Browns fan since I was 11 which makes me anti-Pittsburgh automatically. But I must say 'Thanks Steelers for kicking the Ravens' ass last night!' May they never see another Super Bowl again!" -- TM, Ohio.
"From the paper the day after the Brownís last home game. I returned from a business trip to China and found this taped to my door at the office. It is still there! Enjoy!" -- DC. [Third image, right column.]
"Don't know if you still keep this site up... but it was the first page I went to when I heard the news." -- SG. Thanks. We intend to maintain this little page indefinitely. -- MDW.
September 6, 2012.
Thanks, folks! The emails started streaming in at 12:30 am EDT today, while we were at rest for our (early) day job. There was no time to update the site this morning, but there is no hurry now. Items of interest will continue to be added for the forseeable future.
So thank you, in chronological order: V (here we go...), Allan (get your popcorn ready), Joe (FINALLY DEAD!), C (Wake up, he's gone!), Jeremy (He's dead! He's dead! He's dead! R.I.H.), Jeffrey (Update needed), Mike (I've got some dancing to do), another Mike (CNN sports has it), Tom (He's dead), Suzanne (Start spreading the news), Bobbie (Might want to update), Vincent (The scumbag is gone), David (The day has come) and Scott (He's DEAD!)... received so far. -- MDW.
UPDATES FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY
"After everything Art did for your city! Yell at the political officals that built indians stadium over a new browns stadium ,then built the cavs new home sorry browns, then built the rock and roll hall of fame oh yeah sorry browns. Those 3 are the reason he said well time to go why not take care of what has been there for a long time. Hey anyway you got a new team and a new stadium. When the jerk Irsay left in the middle of the night baltimore was told to build a museum. So if you should be mad at anyone its the Political officals in cleveland not Art Modell if anything he gave you guys a new stadium by leaving and yeah you got to keep the name and stats Baltimore never did." -- Ed, 12-14-08.
...because Modell knew only good things would happen if he took the Browns away? Not so fast my friend. a.) Let us not lose sight of the perfidy here: Modell did not make public to the fans his intent to move the team if he did not get his way with the city. A Municipal Stadium PA announcement made between the 3rd and 4th quarters at the Sept 10, 1995 Tampa Bay game (the first Browns 1995 home game) that moving the team would be considered should Cleveland not approve a new stadium, for example, would have been all that was necessary to gain Modell the political leverage the fans later brought to bear on the city. But Modell chose the Irsay route. b.) Don't take MDW personally: MDW-ers hold nothing but sympathy for Baltimore Colts fans. Their hapless example inspired Browns fans to action, lest we become like them. -- MDW.
Art, I sincerely hope this gets to you, I lived in Sandusky Ohio from !956 [sic] until retiring in '98' & moving to Palm Springs, Ca. Grew up in Pa. when in USMC met & married a Sandusky girl. From that point on I was a Browns fan & went to many games. To this day I cannot believe Cleveland fans & the way they turned on you. If what you claim is true regarding putting you & the Browns on the back burner & accomodating & building new facilities for the Cav's [sic] & Indians (I 'do' believe your claims) I don't blame you for moving the team. The Browns were the #1 pro franchise in Cleveland, most popular, successful, etc & I could not believe the lack of respect, consideration, whatever you were shown. The old clich'e, ok to get crapped on but when they rub it in as happened to you it's time to haul ass. Only way I can say it, pardon my choice of words. [P] In closing Art I met you once, no big deal, at a practice one day, your team Doctor, (name escapes me) graduated from Bucknell. I grew up in Lewisburg Pa (Bucknell) & made it a point to seek out the Doctor to say hello & as I was speaking to him you rode up in a golf cart & in turn was introduced to you. [P] I always liked your style Art, every which way & not to blow smoke but I miss your involvement in pro football. There's been talk reg you health-wise, can only hope you're doing O.K. & able to enjoy life at this point. [P] In closing Art, if they ever do a documentary about a sports figure who got 'screwed, blued, & tatooed the most it's gotta start with you. [P] I wish you the best Art, & wife Pat. -- Longtime fan--- Richard, Troy, Ohio & Palm Springs, Ca., 09-07-09.
...A Pennsylvania native in California who became a temporary fan of his wife's team met Modell once and drank the Kool-Aid. No pardon here for your choice of words, Dick. -- MDW.
I was doing an internet search for the Cleveland radio schmuck who is keeping Art Modell out of the Hall of Fame and I stumbled on your vat of poison. What a bunch of misinformed, knuckleheaded misanthropes (I'm certain you'll have to look up a couple of those words - they all have more than one syllable). [P] Wasn't yours the town that built new homes for baseball, basketball, and rock and roll, thus depriving Art of not only the new park you promised him but of his biggest and most profitable tenant - the Indians - as well? So, who lied to whom? Didn't he make sure your heritage stayed behind, and then help you score an expansion team? You're also aware, of course, that he was pretty prominent in the development of the NFL you so profess to revere, right. [P] So how come he had his Super Bowl trophy within 5 years after he got to Baltimore? Not to mention a perennial contender. How have you guys done without that "stupid jerk", by the way? Be sure to enjoy the playoffs this weekend. What do you suppose made him so smart all of a sudden? Couldn't be that he could now compete with all the big boys with new houses, PSLs and all that other neat stuff your city fathers promised him and then reneged on, could it? [P] And you guys are all lined up to dance on his grave? What a bunch of assholes! No wonder he couldn't wait to get the f--- out of town. -- Jay Irvin, 01-09-10.
...Dear Jay: We looked them up and you are right: they do all have more than one syllable. It's good to know the Irsays are forgiven in Ratbirdland. And by the way - we're not lined up to dance. -- MDW.
"How do I see this Modell hatred as bullshit? Let me count just a fraction the ways! [P] First off, let me preface this letter by informing you that I bleed brown and orange, and have since before Art Modell bought the Cleveland Browns. My passion for our team dates back to the days when CHUCK NOLL wore Brown and Orange! Let me also add that in ways to numerous and obvious to spell out here I recognize Modell was a poor owner and businessman. [P] Now letís look at some facts." In the interest of space, we have summarized the facts as follows: 1. Cleveland Municipal Stadium; 2. the Indians got a new field; 3. Baltimore gave Art a better deal. [P] "As a native Clevelander and lifelong Browns fan, I would have done exactly the same thing. Only I would have left five years earlier! ...City of Cleveland sued Modell... agreed to leave behind the Browns' name... countless Browns fans unleashed a stream of hatred and bigotry that was often so over the top, I was ashamed to be a Browns fan. One example of this was connected to the press conference in Baltimore announcing the move. Before Modell and other dignitaries spoke, they asked for a moment of silence in honor of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin, who had just been assassinated. At the first Browns home game after the announcement, someone at the Stadium held up a sign that read 'They killed the wrong Jew!' ...I could give countless more reasons... Did the announcement feel like a knife through my heart? You bet? Was I pissed at Modell? So much so that I would have choked him to death, and tried to find a way to bring him back to life, just so I could do it again! [P] But as time passed..." signed in large font John-Hancock-style: Mark Kaufman, 03-14-10
...Dear Mark: It's a shame we can't reproduce your entire 1200-word apology here, but permit us the presumption of suggesting you have misdirected your ire. It seems to our reading of your rant that one and only one Browns fan tripped your trigger: the one you mention holding up the sign. The rest of us feel as you do about Modell, minus the actual homicidal tendencies. Shalom! -- MDW.
MDW is agnostic on all matters theological. But this rings true.
Hell, yes. Hall, no.
Sports Illustrated, Dec. 4, 1995.
Final game of the old Browns at Municipal Stadium, Dec. 17, 1995. Browns 26, Bengals 10.
Newspaper clipping: Dec. 18, 1995. Taken at the last home game at Municipal Stadium.
There is no justice.
This needs no caption.
|email MDW ~ Images © their respective owners.|