Baskin's Blog: The Art Modell Hall of Fame induction debate

CLEVELAND - The hot topic in northeast Ohio - will former Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton?

You can pick up any paper or online column and see both sides of the story. 

I think he will get in this time. So get ready.

But it's hard not to talk about the fact Art Modell was a .500 owner. His track record of not being able to make money is clear. Clear for a billion dollar business. If revenue is the standard than Randy Lerner will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Lerner's ability to make half a billion dollars is amazing compared to Modell, who couldn't find a way to make money with two teams in two cities.

I have friends that are former Browns that say he deserves to be in. I actually think for what he did for charity here in Cleveland it's worth arguing. But, Monday Night Football would have been born, and the advertising revenues would have grown too. Giving Modell all credit for that is absurd.

What would have made him a Hall of Fame owner would have been to sell the team before he moved the franchise.

Modell's greed is Hall of Fame worthy. He put a noose around every NFL city to build a new stadium or else. You're welcome New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Arizona, Miami and everybody else. You should really be putting a statue of Art outside your stadiums. His failure is your success.

He should be in for the suffering fans of Baltimore. He brought them a Super Bowl. It's so heart warming for the good spirited Ravens fans to say that he left the colors and the team name here in Cleveland. Oh, wait that was a legal settlement, so Art didn't really do that did he? Let's see how Baltimore would have reacted if they got the expansion team in 1999.

I really think that if Baltimore football fans are so forgiving that they should put a statue of former owner Robert Irsay outside the stadium. After all, if he doesn't move the Colts you don't have the Ravens. Why are you not so vocal on Irsay being in the Hall of Fame? At least he is in the Indiana Hall of Fame.

An Irsay bust outside M&T is about the same as a bust of Art Modell in Canton, to Browns fans. But, in Baltimore, they are quick to forget the city's own history of pro football. Winning a Super Bowl can do that for a city.

These things don't really mean much to me. But, this does - a football writer that changes a previous no vote in 2002 to a yes vote.

Sixteen of the writers 46 will be voting again this time on Modell, this according to You really have to look yourself in the mirror if you can change your vote. 

I want to get this straight.

When he was alive he was not worth getting in the Hall of Fame but now that he's dead it's all good. So basically you couldn't look him in the eye when he was alive to say, "yes." But, now  that he is not alive it's okay to hide behind that.

If I was Art, I wouldn't even want your vote to be in. But, we will see what the answer is on Saturday.

Print this article Back to Top