League-wide moment of silence for Modell could be disastrous


As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the NFL today announced that there will be a moment of silence to honor the late Art Modell before every game this weekend.

League commissioner Roger Goodell informed Ravens President Dick Cass of the decision. Cass then passed the news to Modell’s sons John an David during a press conference at the Castle on Friday.

Modell’s career accomplishments as an owner and a television pioneer are enough to have many calling for his enshrinement in Canton. There is no question that Modell is worthy of such a league-wide honor; however, there is a MAJOR problem on the horizon.

The Cleveland Browns host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

As much love as the city of Baltimore feels for Modell, there is the equivalent in utter distaste for him by most residents of Cleveland. Modell’s reasons for moving the Browns to Baltimore makes no difference to Browns fans – all they care about is that he left them without a team for three years.

To ask Cleveland fans to hold a moment of silence for Modell is like asking Ravens fans to do the same for Bob Irsay. Sports fans in Cleveland have proven their passion for sports during the good and – for the most part – the bad times. If the NFL doesn’t think the reaction will be negative for Modell, they need only look at how many people acted when LeBron James decided he was “taking his talents to South Beach.”

You can be all but guaranteed the crowd will voice their displeasure for Modell as the fan base is proverbially handed a sledgehammer to drive the final nail in the coffin.

Hopefully the NFL has cleared the decision to host this moment of silence with the Modell family because embarrassment is all but guaranteed in Cleveland.

The Cleveland Browns franchise is also put into a bad situation. They don’t want to look unprofessional and refuse to honor someone who had monumental contributions to the game, but they have to be concerned with the actions inside their stadium, especially from the “Dawg Pound,” residents of which are notoriously some of the most rabid fans in the game.

People may think honoring Modell in Cleveland won’t be that big of a deal but if the response to his death by Browns fans online is any indication, it’s not going to be pretty. Countless negative, heartless posts have been made on message boards, social media sites etc. with those voicing their distaste of Modell in a clear display of “hiding behind your keystrokes.”

Paying tribute to Modell should be about a celebration of life and in Cleveland it’s all but certain to be a celebration of death. Arthur B. Modell doesn’t deserve that, nor does his family, who has to cope with the loss of a loved one.

There is no doubt that the celebration of Modell’s life will be positive and emotional at M&T Bank Stadium on Monday night. For one of very few times in Ravens history, someone may actually get a louder ovation during pregame ceremonies than Ray Lewis does.


This entry was posted in Blog View, Purple Ponderings by Kris Jones. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kris Jones

Kris Jones
Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series...more

14 Raves on “League-wide moment of silence for Modell could be disastrous

  1. linda lewis on said:

    Well I wish the writers in Cleveland felt the same way as well as the front office. We have been season ticket holders for 35 years in the Dawg Pound – when he moved the team to Baltimore it was like death at our house. I cannot believe that the front office in Cleveland is doing this – they are only asking for a reaction and will get one they do not want. Cleveland will look like heartless individuals instead of the passionate fans that we are. My husband hates Art – I don’t hate him but I have no respect for what he did either. This will be another black mark on the Browns fans on Sunday afternoon.

    Shame on the front office in Cleveland – take the fine that you’ll be given by the NFL and let our season start on a good note not on one of anger.

  2. Lewis Linda on said:


    The good note you refer to in your comment will almost certainly last until halftime, at which point the excessive alcohol combined with poor product on the field, will shift things to a “note of anger”. Then the predicted embarrassment that the Browns fans bring on themselves will begin.

    The Browns will be awful this year, particularly the first four games with a newbie QB, a hobbled Trent Richardson, and no Joe Haden.

  3. Drew on said:

    Art modell deserves no respect from the fans of Cleveland. We will boo him Sunday, as well we should. Why should we pretend to feel differently about a man just because he has passed? The national media will rip cleveland to shreds for what will take place Sunday, but Browns fans will not care, and neither will I. If you’re not from Cleveland, you should not tell us what to feel or how to act– we will defend our city and our team till the day we die. They are a part of our hearts and our souls and a man who stripped us of them will not be honored nor respected in this city. This will be seen as classless, but sometimes pride and self-respect are more important than class. I’d rather be a classless idiot and a Clevelander than a classy fan from Pittsburgh or Baltimore or wherever any day of the week. You may disagree, I’m sure you will, but let me assure you that I, and most of my fellow Browns fans, will not give a rat’s ass what you think.

  4. Brian Bower on said:


    I am not sure anyone but the fans of the Browns can understand the displeasure of losing a football team to another city except fans in Baltimore. However there is one difference to the story. After years of on-again, off-again talks and hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding for your city’s baseball and basketball teams you all NOT Art dropped the ball. How can one expect to keep their doors open with the lack of public support?

    You are obviously unaware that Modell served as league president from 1967 to 1969, nor do you realize that he chaired the first collective bargaining negotiations with players in 1968. Without Art none of us would have had football.

    Above everything else is the sad fact that Art is a human being and you all would choose to disrespect his passing. You have every right to not care about what others from outside of your city think about you. It just shows the Lack of class your city has and then you wonder why he chose to leave.

  5. Eric on said:

    they dont get it smh. art had no other choice, financially he was getting destroyed he had no other choice to move. Cleveland built a new Indians stadium n cavalier stadium, when art asked for a football a NEW football stadium, which makes no sense cuz he was a god there. And now the brown fans hate him for no apparent reason cuz they heard the story wrong. He was nothing like irsay, the total oppisite. Art was a genuine human being. The browns fans dont get it. Thanks for all the memories here in baltimore art! R.I.P

  6. Jeanne on said:

    Modell was responsible for all the up-keep to the old stadium, he poured over 80 million of his own dollars into maintaining it. Cleveland promised Modell improvments to the stadium that never happened. He had no choice but to move the team….and he moved them to Baltimore….and the rest is history. We WILL win the Lombardi trophy for Art and the Ravens this season….take it to the bank….

  7. Jille on said:

    As a Baltimore native and active fan of our sports teams, I must say that Mr. Modell shall live in our heARTs as a man of greatness.

  8. Pat on said:

    How can people be so cruel and hateful about the death of another human being, a man who did so much for football, for Cleveland, and yes, for Baltimore. Football is a sport and a business. You don’t have to like how Mr. Modell conducted business, but to rejoice because of his death is incomprehensible. We are talking about a human life here, not a game. He has a family and friends who are grieving. How would you feel if you lost a father, a son, a friend, and people took pleasure in it? Not too good, I imagine. God doesn’t like ugly! Be a decent human being and show some respect!! R.I.P. Mr. Modell

  9. Kenneth Champion on said:

    Well will say this I dont know him personally or really well but i know this for a fact he was and still is in our hearts the most awesome person ever he will always be in our hearts minds and all in all a part of us no matter what. When the man upstairs created him he made him he really knew what he was doing. So for u sir we dedicate this season to u and we promise to make u proud. Always remember sir you will always and I mean always be the most awesome person we know thatll never change and you will always be with us in memories hearts souls and more we promise u that and i say also anyone that is happy with his passing his heartless and if the browns are happy like ive been hearing well guess what they will really get theirs. thats for sure.and that goes for anyone else that is happy about his passing. Cause im not but least he not suffering anymore and he in a better place now.

  10. Larry Bruggeman on said:

    You had 3 years without football because Art Modell moved his team(yes his team not the city of Cleveland’s team). He left you with your team name, colors, traditions etc. What would you think of having to go to Pro Football Hall of Fame in your own state and look at Otto Grahman, or Marion Motley or Jim Brown in a Baltimore Browns display but you don’t because it was all left. You also got a new stadium to replace the rat hole on the lake. It is not Art Modell’s but the Lerner’s fault that the Cleveland Browns finish in last place all the time. Maybe the truck stop magnet will get you a winner but don’t blame LOSING on Art Modell

  11. David J. Guyton on said:

    Art Modell was a human being just like every Browns fan or their loved ones. If they don’t respect him, fine…but I hope they have the decency not to DISrespect him. If they held a moment of silence for some Steelers player or coach or whatever, I certainly wouldn’t boo him. How disgusting.

  12. Mary L on said:

    Mr. Modell was a fine man. Cleveland let go of your bitterness. You have your team name, colors, stats, all 3 years after the team moved. Mr Modell and his family deserve your respect for the years he worked with your city and community.

  13. Heidi on said:

    Interesting remarks from Linda….You and your city will choose to react in one way or another…if you react like disrespectful people then, yes, the world will look at you as such…and if you act respectful you will appear to the world that way. You create you own fate, Cleveland fans….

  14. DonnyP on said:

    Larry, Art didn’t “leave” the name, colors, and traditions with Cleveland. He was forced to do it by the NFL as part of the deal to let him break his lease at Cleveland Stadium. The team was originally introduced as the Baltimore Browns, so he had every intention of taking the name along with the team.

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