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Browns extend brief condolences on passing of Art Modell

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As reactions and reflections and remembrance emerge following the passing of former Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell, the franchise that became the Browns after Modell took his team to Maryland has issued a statement regarding Modell’s death.

“The Cleveland Browns would like to extend their deepest condolences to the entire Modell family,” the team said.

That’s it.  No name has been attached to the statement, and the team has issued no quotes from ownership or management regarding Modell’s legacy in Cleveland or in the NFL at large.

We realize that few folks in Cleveland have warm and fuzzy feelings for the man who took away the Browns, but the new Browns should have no ill will toward him.  Indeed, the current organization wouldn’t even exist if the old Browns hadn’t moved.

So instead of issuing a perfunctory, almost reluctant, statement of condolences, the Browns should have said more — or maybe even nothing at all.

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48 Responses to “Browns extend brief condolences on passing of Art Modell”
  1. tannethrill says: Sep 6, 2012 11:39 AM

    Spoke too soon on previous post

  2. mad55555 says: Sep 6, 2012 11:39 AM

    Florio,
    How can you say there would be no football team there if the old team didn’t move? That is a bigger city than jacksonville, miami, and tampa bay put together. I am pretty sure there would be a team there by now even if the old team never existed. They would still suck, but they would still be there none the less.

  3. nickster31 says: Sep 6, 2012 11:39 AM

    If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything.

    The Browns HAD to say something, because if they hadn’t, then they would have been asked to over and over and over.

    What this man did in life, to one of the best fan bases in the entire NFL was sickening and should never have been allowed. In a situation such as his death, it is better to leave it alone and don’t bring up what he did to that city and those fans.

    I think the team did the right thing by issuing a statement and leaving it at that. Trust me, if it was fans that said it, it would not have been that nice.

    Full disclosure: I am a Steelers fan.

  4. goodellslovechild says: Sep 6, 2012 11:41 AM

    Yeah and LA should have thanked Al Davis for taking the Raiders away…

  5. lenke08 says: Sep 6, 2012 11:41 AM

    GO BROWNS!!! I would rather have that super bowl ring the Ravens won then the Front office we have now……Try again Mike

  6. christophershearin says: Sep 6, 2012 11:41 AM

    Why should they have been required to say anything at all? Your point that they wouldnt exist if Modell hadnt moved the team makes absolutely no sense. The reason the man is hated in cleveland IS because he moved the team. If he hadnt moved the team he would still be an esteemed member of the cleveland community. They issued a statement that they felt justified their feelings on the matter when in all actuality they didnt even need to mention it, considering modell has and at no time has ever had any ties to the new franchise.

  7. donny1rodriguez says: Sep 6, 2012 11:42 AM

    R.I.P. Mr. Modell, an N.F.L. ICON

  8. crustylovelips says: Sep 6, 2012 11:42 AM

    This is what Browns fans have been complaining about forever.. Randy Learner still technically owns the team. Since he’s owned the team management has done the absolute bare minimum necessary while running the day to day operations..

    Lerner could give a crap that his dads business partner passed away.. Unless it has something to do with soccer.. He’s not interested.. Can’t wait till the new owner takes over this team. At least we’ll have someone in there that gives a damm

  9. melikefootball says: Sep 6, 2012 11:42 AM

    Art rest in peace. Cleveland along with every other NFL team, player and fan should thank the Art Modell’s for the sport we love.

  10. adambhoy says: Sep 6, 2012 11:43 AM

    OR, you could take the words at face value and assume that the New Browns would like to extend their deepest condolences.

    What’s wrong with that?

  11. tannethrill says: Sep 6, 2012 11:43 AM

    I see nothing wrong with what they said. They’re walking a fine line between bad national PR and bad local PR. This might lean towards bad national PR but not saying anything would be worse. Saying too much might annoy the few long time local and loyal fans left there that remember a man that moved their team just in time for one of the most dominating defenses of all time and a ring.

  12. k0mbucha says: Sep 6, 2012 11:44 AM

    It’s a shame that Modell doesn’t get the respect he deserves. But I guess it’s understandable considering the Raves are truly the Browns and the Ravens have been winning year in and year out while the Browns well have been the Browns and I don’t mean any disrespect when I say this.

    RIP Mr. Modell!!

  13. redguy12588 says: Sep 6, 2012 11:46 AM

    I’m not a PR Marketing guy, but the new Browns ownership should be representing the Browns fanbase, shouldn’t they? Just because Modell is dead doesn’t mean that Browns fans all of a sudden have to love the man.

  14. ken0west says: Sep 6, 2012 11:55 AM

    @mad55555

    Miami is a slightly bigger city than Cleveland on its own, and thats not counting the seasonal/tourist numbers, with those it is not even close. Tampa is only slightly less populated than Cleveland. Combined they are over twice the size of Cleveland.

    I guess you watched a lot of FOX last week but you should really not make completely false statements that can be corrected in a 2 min google search.

  15. ravensgrl says: Sep 6, 2012 11:59 AM

    christophershearin says: Sep 6, 2012 11:41 AM

    Why should they have been required to say anything at all? Your point that they wouldnt exist if Modell hadnt moved the team makes absolutely no sense.

    _______
    It makes perfect sense to any Baltimore Colts fan. Modell left Cleveland their history, a courtesy that was never extended to Baltimore when the Colts left.

  16. jeffperk says: Sep 6, 2012 12:03 PM

    You stay classy Cleveland, should we expect anything more from you?! Maybe if you took care of the man & his team when they were there, instead of taking him for granted, he would have never left. The Indians, Cavs & Rock n Roll Hall of Fame had higher priority than the Browns. RIP & Thank you Art for restoring Baltimore to it’s rightful place in the NFL. The Ravens will take care of the Browns on the field for you Art.

  17. benacci says: Sep 6, 2012 12:05 PM

    Maybe they should have offered to bring over a covered dish or help out with the beverages…….?

  18. rajbais says: Sep 6, 2012 12:06 PM

    Cleveland, no offense. Let it go!

    You got your football team. Baltimore didn’t care this much about Bob Irsay when it got the Ravens and Los Angeles didn’t act that disrespectfully towards Georgia Frontiere and Al Davis.

    Cleveland needs to look at itself in the mirror because to be bitter about that one guy for so long should make the city feel ashamed of itself.

    But then again, there is a reason why Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick, and the Ravens all one championships after leaving Cleveland.

    Art Modell, RIP.

  19. 84sgl says: Sep 6, 2012 12:09 PM

    If any team were to make some grand statement, you’d think it would be the Ravens not the Browns. Am I off base here?

  20. guitarkevin says: Sep 6, 2012 12:10 PM

    Nothing wrong with the statement.

  21. birdmanbrownies says: Sep 6, 2012 12:12 PM

    Has the curse finally been lifted? From shoeing out the greatest coach in the history of the NFL all the way to ripping away the greatest fanbase’s passionOrange, the man responsible has moved on. He even got his undeserved SuperBowl before he died, Modell got what he wanted…can I get mines now?!?!

    Oh wait they drafted a 29 y/o signal caller to run the team………………………………….

  22. electionconfidential says: Sep 6, 2012 12:13 PM

    If they said nothing then you would have criticized that too. The new Browns represent Cleveland and Cleveland hated Modell just like Baltimore hated Irsay. I think the team did what it should by recognizing the event, but not spinning off the road into a field of hypocrisy.

  23. sportfan23 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:13 PM

    He ripped the hearts out of fans in Cleveland…made worse by the Ravens amazing run still he stole their team. The Browns don’t owe the Modells anymore than what they issued. If I were a Browns fan he’d be my number 1 enemy forever.

  24. mikeyhigs says: Sep 6, 2012 12:23 PM

    “So instead of issuing a perfunctory, almost reluctant, statement of condolences, the Browns should have said more — or maybe even nothing at all.”

    I didn’t know there was a proper etiquette or protocol for how to properly send condolences to an NFL owner who moved his team from your city to a city who also once lost a team. Who knew?

  25. snakeman40 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:30 PM

    Can we get one thing straight? Modell did not “leave” the Browns name/colors/history with Cleveland. He was forced to by the NFL. Why did this occur? Because Browns fans by the thousands and thousands screamed/yelled/called/faxed the NFL offices and made their displeasure known. We didn’t lay down and take it like others had in the past (sound familiar, Baltimore?). The NFL, knowing it was a terrible move, forced him to leave the name , colors, and history. I remember vividly being in Baltimore shortly after the move and seeing “Baltimore Browns” shirts being sold.
    Yes, Baltimore, you were hosed just as bad by Irsay and you got something you did not deserve. And if the NFL had any balls back then, they would have forced Irsay to leave the Colts name and history with Baltimore. But lets not re-invent the past and make Modell into some martyr who in his glorious generosity left the Browns their history. Cause it just wasn’t so.

  26. kane337 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:31 PM

    I think the Cleveland Browns statement was enough. Nothing more, nothing less.

  27. jbro3169 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:48 PM

    Get over already! Time to move on and quit crying Browns fans! You got a team so be happy!

  28. geniusfan says: Sep 6, 2012 12:49 PM

    “Indeed, the current organization wouldn’t even exist if the old Browns hadn’t moved.”

    Man oh man Florio, what is this nonsense? Of course the current organization wouldn’t exist if Modell moved the team. Instead Cleveland would have gotten Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and a Super Bowl title.

    This man stole the Browns from Cleveland. His own financial troubles and incompetent decision making was behind the move. Now you want Browns fans and the franchise to embrace him warmly and act like it never happened?

    If the Browns said anything more they would be alienating their fans who pay to see this team play.

  29. footballchic777 says: Sep 6, 2012 12:51 PM

    This is a lose/lose for the Browns. Say nothing and be accused of holding a grudge; or say too much and be accused of being insincere with your condolences! I thought their statement hit the right tone and didn’t come off as petulant or fake. I guess all the other teams had better step up with great eloquence!

  30. malignantsociety says: Sep 6, 2012 12:58 PM

    Thanks, Snakeman. I can’t decide which people are more wrong. The ones who say he left because the fans didn’t come to games/care about the team/the city didn’t care or the ones who think he gifted us the history and colors.

    If I had to choose, I’d choose the first group.

  31. hbdbrowns33 says: Sep 6, 2012 1:03 PM

    jeffperk you obviously no nothing about why the Browns left Cleveland. The reason is Art Modell was in so much debt he couldn’t even pay his players. Cleveland did nothing wrong and for the people saying get over it Cleveland what part of the article said anything about Clevelanders complaining? Get over yourselves because I guarantee most of you have never been here and know how awesome it is despite the fact that our sports teams are not good.

  32. eyeh8goodell says: Sep 6, 2012 1:05 PM

    It’s both amusing and sickening at the same time watching Clevelanders’ revisionist history of Modell’s move. Fitting however, because it is (and always has been) both sickening and amusing watching Cleveland Browns football.

    Massive 10 story tall statues of both Modell and LeBron should be erected in downtown Cleveland to further torment these people.

  33. cckmp says: Sep 6, 2012 1:17 PM

    “You stay classy Cleveland, should we expect anything more from you?! Maybe if you took care of the man & his team when they were there, instead of taking him for granted, he would have never left. The Indians, Cavs & Rock n Roll Hall of Fame had higher priority than the Browns. RIP & Thank you Art for restoring Baltimore to it’s rightful place in the NFL. The Ravens will take care of the Browns on the field for you Art.”

    I love revisionist history, not even close to what happened junior.

  34. dawgloverpb says: Sep 6, 2012 1:22 PM

    The Browns curse is over!!!!!!!! He may have done a lot for football, but he screwed the browns and the city of Cleveland. It goes all the way back to the Paul Brown firing. The Browns won one championship the following year with all of Paul Browns players. As we all know, not a single one since. Look for the Browns to surprise this year!

  35. Stlrfan8 says: Sep 6, 2012 1:50 PM

    I don’t see the issue… I didn’t know the guy, and I would probably have issued just as generic a response if someone had asked me so….

    The condolences weren’t great, but they weren’t notably bad either. We need something else to complain about I’m afraid…

  36. troodawg says: Sep 6, 2012 3:21 PM

    “The Cleveland Browns would like to extend their deepest condolences to the entire Modell family,” the team said.” signed Brad Childress.

    Does that work better Mike? You want to bad-mouth an NFL team because it published condolences for the family of a former NFL owner. You obviously have lost your objectiveness as a reporter by letting your bias/hatred for the Cleveland Browns cloud any impartial thought you contrive.

    The ownership is in transition and offered condolonces. What more should have taken place? Should they be flying the flags at half-mast in Cleveland Brown Stadium? Greater men die every day without mention. There are 31 other NFL franchises, how many have of those have done more than offer respectful condolences?

    Your only hope is to get a rise out of a fan base that you despise by slinging mud where there is none. It’s sad that you are implying disrepect in a statement that offeres nothing but condolences to a family that is grieving. I find that disrepectful and you should be ashamed.

  37. ctownc says: Sep 6, 2012 3:24 PM

    That was as ignorant a post as Ive ever seen on this site. The current FO wouldnt exist without Modell? Thats ridiculous, Florio.
    The guy was a HORRIBLE businessman. He got a boatload of money from Baltimore and still HAD to sell 4 years later.
    He took his team and left but he didnt leave the name and colors etc of his own accord. He was forced to. Good riddance.

  38. brianjoates says: Sep 6, 2012 3:51 PM

    Art was not the first nor was he the last owner to ever move a professional franchise from a city that had fans who cared deeply about the team, but he sure is treated like he was the only guy who ever moved a team. Yes, Cleveland loved the Browns, but the owner moved his business, it happens, it sucks, but you have a team to emabrace that can combine the history.

    As fans of pro sports you can’t hold the business side against owners,coaches or players, stuff happens for many reasons. You cant disregard what owners , coaches and players have done for the game during their careers with the league. Art did alot to help make the game we see today possible, and he should be thanked for that, he should be elected to the hall of fame for what he meant to the game. Yes, he broke Browns fans hearts, but he also brought footbal back to a city that was wronged by the NFL aswell. In the end two passionate fan bases have NFL football and that is good for the fans, because of Art.

  39. cincinnasti says: Sep 6, 2012 4:16 PM

    There definitely wouldn’t be the NFL in Cincinnati if not for Art Modell.

  40. rcali says: Sep 6, 2012 4:17 PM

    The sun shines brighter in Cleveland today.

  41. MCxShow says: Sep 6, 2012 4:27 PM

    “But the new Browns should have no ill will toward him. Indeed, the current organization wouldn’t even exist if the old Browns hadn’t moved.”

    The current organization (aka, the “new” Browns) wouldn’t need to exist because if Modell hadn’t moved the Browns, there would be no talks of “old” Browns and “new” Browns…they would just be the Browns…the same Browns that had existed since their inception (not to mention there would be no gap between the ’95-’99 seasons).

  42. erikinhell says: Sep 6, 2012 4:51 PM

    We realize that few folks in Cleveland have warm and fuzzy feelings for the man who took away the Browns, but the new Browns should have no ill will toward him. Indeed, the current organization wouldn’t even exist if the old Browns hadn’t moved.
    ===================================

    Isn’t this like saying, “A new World Trade Center would never have been built, if the old one hadn’t been taken down by planes”? Should we not hold any animocity towards Al Qeda because the terrorists that took down the buildings are all dead?

  43. marjax says: Sep 6, 2012 5:03 PM

    Seems like most of the comments have hit the nail on the head, in my opinion. I don’t see a thing wrong with the statement they issued. It was brief, but so what? They’re not gonna give a bio outlining all his accomplishments. That’s for HIS team to do (the Ravens). If Belichick dropped dead, I wouldn’t expect the Browns to make a lengthy statement either, since he’s moved on and found success with another team more recently.

    Of course it’s not signed by anyone. This team is in transition of ownership. Is Learner gonna sign it? Is he even in town? Is Haslam supposed to attach his name when he doesn’t even own the team yet? What about Holmgren or Heckert who have had (I’m assuming) no personal interaction with the man? None of these make sense.

    Cleveland offers their condolences to his family. Which I can guarantee is more than most Browns fans offer. I’ve never been more indifferent about a celebrity death in my life. I’m not saying I’m glad he’s gone, but I’m DEFINITELY not even a little bit saddened. It is what it is.

  44. joebrowns says: Sep 6, 2012 9:55 PM

    From a True Browns Fan:

    1 – ANYONE FROM BALTIMORE PITCHING NEGATIVE COMMENTS TOWARDS BROWNS FANS IN LIGHT OF THE REACTIONS TO THIS SITUATION ARE THE DEFENITION OF HIPOCRICY! You were SO upset (and rightfully so) when you’re team was yanked away from you but somehow, in your mind, you justify telling us to “just let it go” when it’s our old team; you know, the one that was ripped away from us; that you now love so much.

    2 – Modell DID NOT, by choice, leave the Browns name, colors, or history behind. He was unwillingly forced to. He wanted the team to be the baltimore browns. I didn’t capitialize that because it’s NOT proper.

    3 – There may have been some issues between Art and the City of Cleveland but the fact is that he made poor business decisions which led him to a crossroads, and a choice. The choice was to sell the team, or, move. He CHOSE TO MOVE THE TEAM out of Cleveland and destroy a history of one of the, if not the, most storied franchises the history of professional sports. That was a choice made out of greed. He could have sold the team to someone who would kept it in Cleveland, been a rich man and a hall of famer.

    4 – When Steelers fans have our back that says something. By the way, gaining respect for Steeler’s fans after what I’ve been reading. Still hate the Steelers as a team, but you know, that’s how how a rivalry goes. IT WILL RETURN. Both cities want it to. We might hate each other’s teams as football fans but we are REAL football fans, not like you scumbags in Baltimore. We both hate you and I can’t wait untill the Browns and Steelers are 1 and 2 (in no particular order) year after year are you are in last, which is coming by the way.

  45. joebrowns says: Sep 6, 2012 10:45 PM

    I almost forgot my 5th point:

    People might not agree with me but this is the way I feel.

    The CLEVELAND BROWNS are the Cleveland Browns! When the old team left Cleveland they ceased to be the Cleveland Browns. Some people think that team is the Browns… IT’S NOT. The Browns are playing on the lake on Sunday, where they belong!

    Not that we haven’t always been, but let’s get behind them oldschool style Browns fans! The devil is gone. It’s a new time now. It’s our time again!

  46. beelicker says: Sep 7, 2012 12:03 AM

    Hmmm …. I’m a lifer Bengalfan & it makes me chuckle inside whenever the clowntown team looks bad for any reason, but I’m with ‘em here.

    Because of merely the stories of how he treated the great Paul Brown (which of course, if he hadn’t done so then no Bengals & I’d likely have grown up a regional Browns fan) I also have a hard time drumming up any more than just a little perfunctory sympathy for Art ####

  47. beelicker says: Sep 7, 2012 12:10 AM

    Not to mention the incestuous nature of the Browns, Bengals & Ravens in the AFCN makes #### seem like the travelin’ man rolling stone soap opera of the NFL.

  48. ravens52sb35 says: Sep 7, 2012 1:49 PM

    I love how Cleveland fans say they’d take the 2000 Super Bowl instead of the front office they had now. Don’t they understand that it wasn’t ‘their’ team that won? 2 players from the Cleveland team were on the Super Bowl 35 team. Try to win your own SB in this millenium. No one said you can’t be upset about the team leaving. Same thing happened here, but we have no history of it. Get over it and embrace the team you have. You would have no good memories or MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL!!!!!

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