Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown says he enjoyed his exchanges with the late former Browns owner Art Modell, who died Thursday, but that Modell broke the Cleveland fans' hearts when he moved the team to Baltimore in 1996.
"Unfortunately, the fans in Cleveland, he broke their heart, no doubt about it," Brown said. "But he didn't do it because he could help it, he could not help it. So it's an unfortunate tragedy that that had to happen."
Brown, who worked for Modell in the early 1960s, hopes Browns fans can forgive Modell one day, praising Modell for his vision in making the NFL what it is for the fans today. The Browns, at this point, don't plan to observe a moment of silence for Modell before this Sunday's opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Interestingly enough, Modell himself seemed to be hurt by his own decision to move the team from Cleveland, as seen in this tweet from Browns beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot.
I visited Art Modell every yr in owners' suite in Baltimore. He was never same after moving #Browns. I believe it broke his heart.— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) September 6, 2012