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Time for Some Art in the Hall

Gabriella DiNatale


From a high school drop out to a major influence within the NFL, Art Modell’s success was nothing short of Hall of Fame caliber. But, while his name has graced Hall of Fame ballots for years, Modell’s biggest controversy has continuously kept his bust from appearing within the halls of Canton.


Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I often wonder if there is a connection between the Hall of Fame and Cleveland Browns both residing in Ohio. It’s almost as if the HOF worries it will be “backstabbing” the city of Cleveland by inducting Modell. We’ve seen it before. Al Davis moved the Raiders multiple times before settling in Oakland, yet he is among those listed in Canton. It’s a simple answer, one that will most likely hold true forever; Art Modell is despised by the loyal fans of the Cleveland Browns.


But, I believe Modell was much more than the man who decided to take the Browns to Baltimore. He was a leader among NFL owners. He used his talent and connections to take the NFL to places it had never been before. In 1970, he was an influential voice in bringing prime time football to TV. He served as NFL president, negotiated the first Collective Bargaining Agreement with players, and engrossed himself in many volunteering endeavors.


It’s true his days within the NFL are marked with controversy, but what he did for the industry should forever outshine his faults. And while he will always be an enemy to Cleveland, he is Baltimore’s hero, a man that gave us back everything Indianapolis took.  A man who will forever be remembered in our hearts even if he never gets the recognition he undoubtedly deserves.