One of the National Football League’s founding fathers died early Thursday morning.Art Modell, former owner of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, died at 87.
These are some of Modell’s major contributions during his time with the league:
• Purchased the Cleveland Browns on March 20, 1961
• Chairman of the NFL’s Television Committee for 31 years beginning in 1962
• Served as NFL president from 1967 to 1969
• One of the major forces in the creation of Monday Night Football on ABC in 1970
• Moved the Cleveland franchise to Baltimore, creating the Ravens franchise in 1996
• Won his first Super Bowl as a owner in 2000, when the Ravens defeat the New York Giants
Cleveland fans have reviled Modell for picking up and moving the Browns franchise to Baltimore nearly two decades ago. But following his death, The Baltimore Sun lauded Modell’s influence on the expansion of football saying he was an instrumental figure when “football overtook baseball as the nation’s most popular sport.”
Former Ravens head coach Brian Billick tweeted this after he learned the news of Modell’s death:
Art Modell was one of kindest men I have ever known. I am proud to have called him a friend & will miss him dearly. twitter.com/CoachBillick/s…
— Brian Billick (@CoachBillick) September 6, 2012
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