Should Art Modell be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Should Art Modell be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Former Browns owner Art Modell Former Browns owner Art Modell

While Browns fans are celebrating a new coach many are not happy about former owner Art Modell becoming a finalist for the football Hall of Fame.

"This is the guy who took our football team away. No I don't think he should be in the Hall of Fame," said one angry Browns fans.

"Can you let bygones be bygones?  I mean he did it for a reason," said another Clevelander.

Art Modell passed away last fall. Gone but suddenly no longer forgotten now that the former Browns' owner is one of 17 candidates for induction into the fabled Hall of Fame.

"I think Art Modell should be in the football Hall of Fame," said a Modell supporter.

After purchasing the Browns in 1961 for $4 million Modell did the unthinkable two years later and fired legendary coach Paul Brown, for whom the team was named.

Any animosity Clevelanders have, it should be over by now.

According to one former city councilman Art Modell was offered a new stadium just south of Progressive Field. Mr. Modell did not like the offer so he turned it down and moved the Browns to Baltimore in 1996.

"I was hurt by the fact that the Browns left but there is evidence that Mr. Modell was not treated as well as other sports owners in town," said another Browns fan.

Browns' legend, former player Hanford Dixon, says let time heal any Art Modell wounds Cleveland might still have. 

"Let's move on and just concentrate on the football team right now and let Art be," said Hanford Dixon. 

No arguing Modell did a lot for the NFL -- he was a ground breaker for TV contracts.

Modell is also called the virtual co-founder of NFL films, using his prior television and ad agency experience to create the modern marriage of TV and the NFL.

"Art Modell was the creator of Monday Night Football, he deserves the Hall of Fame," said a football fan.

And don't forget Modell's record over 35 seasons as team owner. He had a winning percentage of .519, well above the Browns' current average over recent years.

And don't forget Modell's Brown's won it all in the 1964.

"I think its a shame he is not in already," said a football fan.

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