Tributes and recollections of former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell have been pouring in since word of his death broke Thursday.
For decades, Modell was one of the most visible of the NFL owners, having taken a lead role in negotiating the league’s first major television contract and in establishing Monday Night Football.
Not one to shy away from controversy, Modell bought the Cleveland Browns in 1961 and fired the team’s namesake coach Paul Brown two years later.
Later on, Modell moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, leaving the football-intense Ohio city without a team for several years.
It was reportedly a move Modell felt he had to make, but it’s also the move he is most closely associated with and it has left him with many detractors.
Eric Edholm, senior editor with Pro Football Weekly, told ESPN-1500 in Minneapolis Thursday that the story of the NFL’s history could not be told without mentioning Modell’s name and that he thinks the owner should be in the Hall of Fame.