Yes, it sounds strange coming from a Browns' fan, but look at the history of this man as an owner:
-He was one of the driving forces behind getting the NFL on TV, which has made the NFL THE pro sport in the U.S.
-He, along with Pete Rozelle, were the brain-children behind starting NFL Films, which helped make the NFL what it is today, and now makes documentaries far beyond football, so good are they at what they do.
-He was the one who sealed the merger between the AFL and the NFL by volunteering to put the Browns in the new AFC that began in 1970.
He helped bring the NFL into the modern era, the TV era, and was one of the forces that made the league into the success it is today.
Yes, he moved the Browns, in a very poor way. I was against THE WAY he moved the Browns-by basically lying to the city and the fans in 1995 by saying he would not discuss the future of the Browns in Cleveland until after tha season. That was a lie. But there's no doubt that Mayor Mike White, who did nothing good for this city, was equally as guilty in running the Browns out of Cleveland as Modell was in lying to the city about it's future.
He leaves, in Baltimore, a franchise in great shape, that will be competitive for years. He is hated in much of Cleveland, especially by those who buy all the crap that the Browns radio flagship station, WTAM, and it's loudmouth idiots on the air. But there's no doubt that he was a pioneer in the NFL, and if Al Davis is in, so should Art Modell.
He's retired as of today. Unlike the jackass on WTAM this morning, I don't wish him a quick death, as that nut basically did. I hope he finally gets some semblance of peace in the lats years of his life.