Former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell died at the age of 87 on Thursday morning, and the reactions from Browns fans have stirred up complex feelings about the man responsible for moving the franchise in 1996. Modell bought the Browns franchise in 1961, but he made a very controversial decision to move the team to Baltimore in 1996. The Ravens captured a championship in 2000 with a win in Super Bowl XXXV, while Browns fans struggled to put the pieces back to together with an expansion team.
Chris Pokorny of Browns blog Dawgs By Nature offered his condolences on Modell's passing, but the enduring legacy of Modell in Cleveland (or not in Cleveland) managed to factor in as well:
Donovan asked the question, "How will we choose to remember Modell?" I don't think you need to ask that question. As Donovan said, the move to Baltimore is as painful of a memory as this city has ever experienced. Fans will never forgive or forget what he did, and any soft spot that fans had for him deteriorated decades ago.