NEW ORLEANS — After being named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013, the late Art Modell fell short once again for election on Saturday in New Orleans.
As one of his former players, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, was elected to Canton, Modell failed to make the final 10 as he was eliminated along with fellow former owner Eddie DeBartolo, wide receiver Tim Brown, outside linebacker Kevin Greene, and guard Will Shields.
Modell was the longtime owner of the Cleveland Browns before moving his franchise to Baltimore in 1996 and maintained control of the Ravens as they raised the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the owner’s first Super Bowl title. Current Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti bought the team from Modell, purchasing a 49-percent stake in 2000 before acquiring the remaining majority stake in 2004.
Despite being regarded as a pioneer in viewing television as having a prominent role in taking the NFL to unprecedented heights, Modell’s candidacy for the Hall of Fame has been thwarted on multiple occasions because of the controversial move from Cleveland to Baltimore. He was one of 15 finalists for Canton in 2001 and a semifinalist in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
“The man never did anything out of spite,” Ogden said. “His move was out of necessity; he had no choice. What he did was make sure that Cleveland kept their history. Irsay stole Baltimore’s history from them with the Colts — the name, the records, everything. You can’t tell the story of the NFL without mentioning Art Modell.”
Modell passed away at age 87 on Sept. 6, 2012.