Art Modell died early today, and that will dredge up a lot of memories – the bad far overshadowing the good – in my hometown of Cleveland. The Plain Dealer had it right that Modell was “forever vilified” after moving the Browns to Baltimore.
I had long since left Cleveland when Modell moved the team in 1996, so the experience wasn’t as bitter for me as it was for others. But it still gets under my skin.
I also found it a great irony that Modell moved the franchise to Baltimore, which itself had its primary franchise — the Colts — ripped from the hearts of its fans. One awful move begetting another.
Neither city deserved what happened, and Clevelanders deserve better than what the New Browns have given them. But at least they have a team.