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Members of Ravens organization, loved ones reflect on former owner Art Modell

Posted on 06 September 2012 by WNST Staff

A number of members of the Ravens organization and others have chimed in with reactions to the passing of former Baltimore Colts TE John Mackey, via AM1570 WNST or press releases. Here are a few of the reactions:

Former Ravens president and son David Modell:

“Sadly, I can confirm that my father died peacefully of natural causes at four this morning. My brother John Modell and I were with him when he finally rejoined the absolute love of his life, my mother Pat Modell, who passed away last October. ’Poppy’ was a special man who was loved by his sons, his daughter-in-law Michel, and his six grandchildren. Moreover, he was adored by the entire Baltimore community for his kindness and generosity. And, he loved Baltimore. He made an important and indelible contribution to the lives of his children, grandchildren and his entire community. We will miss him.”

Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti:

“He was my friend, my mentor. We will miss him so much. How lucky are all of us to have had Art in Baltimore? How fortunate I am to have had him teach me about the NFL. His generosity, his love, his humor, his intelligence, his friendship – we were all blessed by this great man. We will strive to live up to his standard.”

Ravens General Manager & Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome:

“Art was a giant in our industry. He was my boss – but he wouldn’t let me call him that – my mentor, and most importantly, my friend. He was the most caring, compassionate person I’ve ever known. The opportunities he gave me are historic, and I will be forever humble and grateful.”

Ravens senior VP of public & community relations Kevin Byrne on AM 1570 WNST:

“Art was like a father for me, and I’m smiling as I say that. His humor was just dominant.”

“He loved his players, he loved the game & he felt a responsibility to give back to the community because they kept you in business.”

“We joked that if Art has his way, he’d put fans in the huddle.”

“[Making the Pro Football Hall of Fame] was important to him. He wold never say it publicly & he hated to say it privately.”

Former Ravens linebacker Brad Jackson on AM 1570 WNST:

“Every day it would be 10 or 15 minutes of non-stop back-to-back jokes. Just hilarious jokes.”

“He had already told us that if we won the Super Bowl he was going to do Ray’s dance, and he did it.”

“He didn’t want to leave Cleveland. It was the toughest decision he ever made.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:

“Art Modell’s leadership was an important part of the NFL’s success during the league’s explosive growth during the 1960s and beyond. As the longtime chairman of the league’s Broadcast Committee, Art was a visionary who understood the critical role that mass viewing of NFL games on broadcast television could play in growing the league. Art played important roles in many other league matters as a key advisor to Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue, and also built championship teams in Cleveland and Baltimore. His skills as an owner and league contributor were matched only by his great sense of humor. Any conversation with Art included laughs. He always left you with a smile on your face. We extend our condolences to John, David and the rest of the Modell family.”

Former NBC-TV President Dick Ebersol:

“I believe very strongly that Art Modell is one of the most important figures in the history of the modern NFL. He and Pete Rozelle developed the magic formula that married the potential of television to the game. Those funds from this marriage propelled the game into what it is today. Art was there with Pete, and Art made it happen. Those two, along with Well Mara – who convinced other owners about the power of shared revenue – are the three men who pushed the NFL into what we know today.

“My good fortune is that I met Art when I was a 20-year-old intern for Roone Arledge, and he was creating the first Monday night game. He treated that intern the same as he treated a 60-something TV executive many years later. He always made me feel special. He was open and natural, and there was not a phony bone in his body. His humor could solve the biggest obstacles. When I first became president of NBC Sports, I went to Cleveland to visit with Art. The thoughts he shared with me about television helped me gain success. His efforts in three-plus decades of steering the NFL’s TV committee are monumental. The debt owed by his fellow owners, the current owners and everyone else who has made a living off the NFL, is incalculable. The good news is that Pat [Modell] will now be back with her Art.

“But, I am so saddened with one thing: Art did not get to experience an induction into the Hall of Fame. The leaders in Cleveland, when he moved to Baltimore, put Art in an untenable situation and left him with the hard choice of moving. That scarred some people on Art. I hope in death Art is placed where he should be – in Canton in the Hall of Fame.”

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue:

“Art Modell made extraordinary contributions to the National Football League during his decades as an NFL owner.  When he stepped away from operating the Baltimore Ravens in 2004, his 43 seasons in the league represented more than half of the NFL’s history.  Art contributed to the NFL’s growth and success through the performance of his teams, his recognition of the unique place our sport has in American life, his active participation in the league’s governance, and his support of civic and community organizations.  He was a trusted advisor to both Commissioner Rozelle and me during our time in office.  His wisdom, knowledge and wit kept both of us grounded in the toughest of circumstances.  My deepest sympathies to David, John and the entire Modell family on their loss.”

 

 NFL Executive Joe Browne, the Longest-Serving Employee in the League Office:

“Art Modell was a most influential member of Commissioner Rozelle’s ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ for many years, along with Dan Rooney and the late Tex Schramm. Ironically, Art is the only member of that group who is not enshrined in Canton. Hopefully, the Hall of Fame media selectors will rectify that oversight in the near future – not as an emotional reaction to Art’s death, but as a rightful reflection of his longtime contributions to the NFL.”

New York Giants President and CEO John Mara:

“Art Modell was one of the greatest owners in the history of the NFL. He contributed in so many ways to the success of this league, and he deserves a place in Canton. More importantly, he was a decent man and a great friend to my family. We will miss him dearly.”

New England Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft:

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Art Modell. I regret that I hadn’t talked to him since the passing of his wife, Pat, last year. We both shared that experience, and I know how hard that was for Art. When I first entered the league, Art was quick to welcome me, and I always appreciated that. He leaves a lasting legacy for the many contributions he made to the National Football League. The one thing that I always admired most about Art was his understanding of the role television would play in the growth of the game of football and the overall popularity of the NFL. He understood the value of primetime games at a time when there really wasn’t a tremendous demand. He helped negotiate and launch ABC’s Monday Night Football in 1970. I can’t remember what Monday nights were like during the fall before Monday Night Football, nor could I imagine them without football today. Football fans everywhere owe him a debt of gratitude for that alone. I speak for my entire family in extending our heartfelt sympathies to the Modells.”

Detroit Lions Owner William Clay Ford Sr.:

“On behalf of my wife Martha, our entire family and the Lions organization, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to David and John and everyone who knew and loved Art.

“Art was a great personal friend, and we shared many wonderful times together over the years. The game of football lost one of its’ all-time greats today. Art’s contributions to the NFL during his five decades in the game are immeasurable. I believe that Art did as much as any owner to help make the NFL what it is today. Art was a pioneer, a visionary and a selfless owner who always saw the big picture and did the right thing. Our game would not be what it is today if it weren’t for Art Modell.”

Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie:

“I will always be thankful for the way Art Modell reached out to me and made me feel welcome when I first became owner of the Eagles. Art was a man with a wonderful sense of humor. He also had a visionary grasp of the importance of making professional football accessible to television audiences, helping build the sport’s popularity to this day. We extend our condolences to the Modell family on his passing.”

Denver Broncos Owner and CEO Pat Bowlen:

“Art Modell and I certainly had a history together, most notably from our teams meeting three times in a four-year period playing for the right to go to the Super Bowl. In addition to making the Broncos-Browns into a fierce rivalry, those AFC Championship Games formed a common bond between the both of us as owners. Our teams had some great battles – there was no question about that. There really wasn’t a tougher place we had to play than Cleveland during that time period under Art in the late 1980s.

“We also had the opportunity to work together on several league committees and initiatives over the years. During Art’s four decades of ownership in the NFL, he had a strong impact on the league and was a great influence to so many in the game. He was competitive, passionate and very knowledgeable as an owner.

“On behalf of the Denver Broncos, I extend our sympathies and prayers to the Modell family during their time of loss.”

 Arizona Cardinals Owner Bill Bidwill:

“When you look at those most responsible for the growth and tremendous popularity of the NFL, Art Modell has to rank high on that list. The backbone of that success has been the league’s relationship with network television, something Art was instrumental in shaping. Personally, when I think of Art, I will always remember his great stories and sense of humor, his generosity and civic leadership, and his passion for the game of football.”

 Houston Texans Founder, Chairman and CEO Bob McNair:

“Art Modell was a very popular owner. He was very creative in marketing the NFL and made a lot of contributions in terms of expanding the fan base.”

 Former NFL QB and Ravens Director of Pro Personnel James Harris:

“First thing that comes to my mind are the contributions Art made to the NFL: his teams, to television, to naming Ozzie [Newsome] as general manager. He was a pioneer. Working with him, you got to see what a great person he was. He cared about all of us – players, coaches, scouts, everyone in the front office. Genuine is a word I would use to describe Art. He was a special, special man. And, it’s a shame he is not in the Hall of Fame. He belongs there, and a lot of us know that.”

 Longtime Browns and NFL Personnel Executive Michael Lombardi:

“Vision, humor and generosity always guided Art Modell’s life. His humor made him a daily pleasure to encounter. His genuine generosity, which supplied you with the tools to learn – as well as work your craft – will always be cherished, but his futuristic vision left a lasting impact on the game he deeply loved.”

 Longtime Browns and Ravens Personnel Executive Phil Savage:

“My thoughts of Art Modell have always been wonderfully positive. One of the things that he will always be remembered for is his quick wit. He was incredibly sharp-minded when it came to one-liners and stories that happened to him through the years.“I think the thing that I admire most about Mr. Modell is that he persevered through some tough times. He was a man that experienced being on a mountain top, but also had been through some very significant low points as well. He was always able to keep a positive spirit and break the tension with that sense of humor that he had.

 

“Like I said, all of my experiences with him were great – 14 years, including five with the Browns and nine with the Ravens. I think he always felt a little bit more of a loyalty to those of us that made that transition from Cleveland to Baltimore. It was a difficult time for a lot of people, but through a lot of support from he and his family and the leadership of Ozzie [Newsome], we were able to reach that Super Bowl. I think that there was a real connection between he and the team and the players. I think the players loved him, and he loved his players. Over the years, I think almost every player that you could talk to would say they enjoyed playing for him and his teams because he had such a passion for pro football.”

 Ravens Front Office Staffer Chad Unitas, Son of the Late Johnny Unitas:

“Art Modell was a true visionary and leader in the NFL and community. In the Ravens’ first year, I remember going to practices with my dad, sitting on Art’s golf cart and listening to Art ask my father how he could help him and all the older players with their disabilities. He cared more about them than he did about himself. He was a true gentleman that will be missed, but never forgotten.”

COACHES ON ART MODELL

 

Former Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick:

“Art Modell was all about family, and that’s how he directed the Ravens. He treated me, my family and everyone in the organization like a member of his family. Before I think of the gratitude I owe him for giving me the opportunity to be his head coach, I think of the way he treated all of us. I don’t believe there’s another NFL franchise that embraces that more than Art did. That was reflected in the people he hired. He created an atmosphere that was the best. It was a joy to come to work for him. He accomplished so much as an owner: championships, playoffs, the TV contracts, the leadership in the NFL. They are all great and deserving of the Hall of Fame. Those who worked with Art will all say the same thing. He was a Hall of Fame person.”

Former Browns, Chiefs and Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer:

“No, no, this is sad news. I loved Art Modell, and I was just thinking of him yesterday. He was a man’s man, someone you wanted to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with. He gave me my first head coaching job, and we had the most fun working together. We didn’t win the biggest prize, but we were awfully close, and we had a ball trying to get there. Art made it fun. His humor was the best, and my wife, Pat, always said what a gentleman he is – classy, and he ran his franchise that way. I have only good memories of Art.”

Former Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher (who played and coached for Modell in Cleveland):

“One thing about Art, he loved his teams and his players more than anyone I met. He embraced his team with his whole heart and everything else he had. He took great pride in those who worked for him. Art always wanted to do the right things for his team – help in any way. I have great respect for him as a person. He wanted to help people who needed it, and he did so much for so many. Even when I was the head coach in Pittsburgh, I was so happy he won the Super Bowl. He deserved that championship, and it was tremendous to see him get it.”

Former Browns Head Coach Sam Rutigliano:

“Art was my friend and supporter. He gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.  Art was a hands-on owner, he never rode shotgun – whether at practice, the draft, or even at meetings. He was willing to do the real work to make us better. If Art could have given the trophy to Cleveland, I believe he would have. The people in Baltimore certainly deserved it.  There are some here in Cleveland who still love him. Art Modell was a major contributor to an era of football that was the best the NFL ever had.”

Former Browns Defensive Coordinator and Current Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban:

“I think Art is what I would call a legacy owner. Whether it’s the Modell family or the Rooney family or the Mara family, the old, traditional franchises had a tremendous amount of responsibility for building the league in the early stages, and Art was certainly one of those. He’s also a man who I have a tremendous amount of respect for by the way he treated me and my family when I worked there for him. When I got the head coaching job at Michigan State, he hired a secretary and had her take all the calls until I finished the season, and we had a playoff team. Lots of things like that that didn’t have to be done, just there to serve someone else who he thought he could help. I think he is one of the great all-time owners in the league. He also had a great sense of humor and was a lot of fun to be around.”

 Former Ravens Defensive Coordinator and Current Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach, Marvin Lewis:

“I have a lot of fond memories of Mr. Modell.  Just him being around every day, being at practice every single practice.  His great wit and one liners anytime we had meetings with him.  Just how passionate he was about that football team.”

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh:

“By a Providential twist of fate, we came to be friends of Art and Pat Modell and their wonderful family. Pat took my wife under her wing and made her feel like they had been friends forever. Art made me feel like I could accomplish anything. He was the most encouraging soul I ever came across. He uplifted everybody around him. I loved Art, and he loved my family, including my parents. He welcomed us to Baltimore with genuine warmth and grace.

“Art continued to be a big part of this great organization. He spoke to our team every year, and he interacted with the players and coaches whenever he was here. This was a strong and good man. He was a winner in every way. And his humor … He always, in every situation, made us laugh. He is in God’s company, along with Pat, and Art is telling some good ones right now!

“It is important to mention some things about Art:

“Art Modell was a visionary who broke barriers to help make the NFL what it is today and to help move our society forward in important ways. It was Art’s vision that married the NFL and TV together like nothing else in the history of sports and entertainment. He saw it first and drove it home with the networks and the league. Art negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement in NFL history. On those two accomplishments alone, the NFL moved to the forefront of sport in America. Art also started Monday Night Football. How great it is that we are playing in the Monday Night Football opener this week? We should all salute him for that. Art was a frontrunner in breaking racial and gender barriers in sports. He was ahead of his time and pioneered change for the good. And, Art was a winner. There are a multitude of playoff teams and division champions, and he won the Lombardi Trophy right here with his beloved Ravens.

“It is often said about those inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame: ‘Can you write the history of the league without him?’ The answer with Art Modell is resounding. He was a great leader, but more importantly, he was truly a good man.”

PLAYERS ON ART MODELL

 

Former Broncos and Ravens TE Shannon Sharpe:

“Mr. Modell was one of the main reasons I came to Baltimore. I remember when I met him. He flew down to see me, and we flew back up to Baltimore together, and he learned so much about me and my family, and I learned about him as a man. I remember his words so vividly: He said, ‘Ozzie, get this deal done,’ and that was the start of something beautiful.

“One of my favorite moments in the NFL was when he spoke to us in the locker room after the Super Bowl victory. He said, ‘This is the proudest day of my life; you guys make me proud.’ And then he started to break down. That touched me. You could not only see the emotion from him and from all of us in that room, you could feel it. Knowing how long he had been in the NFL and how many great players he had been around, it was such a great feeling to give him something that he wanted for so long. We all wanted it for him!

“You see how close he was with his boys and how much he loved his wife, and he brought that atmosphere to the Ravens. He always had something positive to say, always had a joke to make you smile. I still picture him on his golf cart watching every practice, no matter what the weather was like. We were all in it together. The sport you see on TV today and what the NFL means to our society is in large part due to Mr. Modell.

“He was a great man, and I just wish that everyone got a chance to see him in the light that we did as players. It is a very sad day. I will miss my friend.”

Former Ravens T Jonathan Ogden:

“Art was more than a great owner; he was a great man. When I first met him, and he welcomed me to Baltimore, I knew he was special. The Ravens organization was a special place to be. He was more concerned with everyone else than he was about himself. Always wanted to know about how you and your family were doing. He is definitely one of the nicest, kindest people I have ever met. It would be very difficult to imagine what the NFL would be like today without a visionary like Art Modell. He was a ‘glass half full’ person every day of his life. I will never forget how he treated me and my family. He will always have a very special place in my heart.”

Ravens LB Ray Lewis:

“When you think about Art Modell, you think about a great man, a leader, a father and a servant. Every minute of his life, he cared more about everyone around him than himself. Anytime I saw him, he would always make me smile. He always had a joke to lighten your mood or some sort of wisdom to impart to make you a better man. I genuinely loved Art as a man, and he showed me what to strive for in life. When you truly see the impact he had on everyone he touched, it humbles you. When I found out he wasn’t doing well, I knew immediately I had to see him. When I was with him yesterday, I prayed with him and shared with him things that a son would say to a father. Even though he has left us, he is going to a place that one day we all want to be. I am truly blessed to have had Art in my life. He was a humble servant, and one of the best men I have ever known.”

Former Browns/Ravens DE Rob Burnett:

“I met Art 20 years ago, and he was my boss for 12 years. Not many people have had a bigger influence on my life than he did. He is part of my family, and he has always made me feel like I was part of his. He was a trailblazer and a big reason why the NFL is where it is now. There are no owners in history who could compare to him as a philanthropist and businessman. You look at the things that he has done for people, how many times he gave people second, third and fourth chances when other people wouldn’t have. He was a great humanitarian. Any chance I get, I tell people what a special person he was. There aren’t many people I could say this about, but I always knew I could count on him, and I think he knew he could always count on me. I will miss him dearly.”

Former Browns/Ravens K Matt Stover:

“I worked for Art for 18 years, and he is paramount to what the NFL is today. He was a visionary, and everyone who works in or is a fan of the NFL owes Art Modell a debt of gratitude and great appreciation for what he did to make this game great. As a man, he was one of the most philanthropic people I know. All of the tremendous things he stood for he passed on to his family, community and the people that he worked with, and that has made the Ravens and the NFL a better place.

“Art always empowered me to be my best, and did the same for everyone around him. I remember in Cleveland when I missed a field goal and was down on myself, and Art called me on the sideline phone. He told me, ‘Just hit the next one, kid.’ I’m not sure how many other owners would have done that. He was a special man and will be sorely missed by my family and me.”

Former Browns and Ravens RB Earnest Byner:

“The thing about Mr. Modell, his heart was always one of giving. That man did a lot for Cleveland, he did a lot for the players that were on that team, and he gave a lot of people a lot of second chances in life. He’s a juggernaut in the league because of what he did for Monday Night Football. He was a visionary, and he had the heart of a champion. For me, that pretty much says it all.

“He gave me an opportunity. When I was deciding to retire, and I told him I wanted to coach. He told me, ‘You can go look around and see if anyone else wants to sign you, but you will always have a home here.’ When I came back, he allowed me to develop as a young coach, a young scout, let me work in the weight room – all the stuff I wanted to do.  He gave me the ability to do that, and he looked after me the way a father would.

“The league might have taken longer to get where it is were it not for him. He had the vision and the forethought to put some things out there that other people hadn’t thought about, as far as handling revenue and how TV was being used to make the league bigger and better. I think that was really huge, really big for him to have that mind.

“I think he missed his calling – he should have been a comedian. He could tell a story, he could make light of different situations. We’d be busting a gut sometimes on some serious stuff, making some serious decisions, and be busting a gut because he had that natural gift of levity. I loved that about him and am definitely appreciative of all that he, Mrs. Modell and that family did for me.”

Former Ravens DT Tony Siragusa:

“Art was like a father to me and to all of his players. From the first time I met him, he always treated us players like his kids, but also treated us like men. When we won the Super Bowl, he was as big a part as anyone. We wanted to win it for him. Art was a man; you could talk to him about anything in life – not just football – and you would always come out wiser. Art is and always will be a family member to me.”

Former Ravens WR Qadry Ismail:

“When you look at the situation that players can be in, it’s such a cutthroat business, and there are a lot of tough decisions that have to be made. I am proud to say that I played for Art Modell. I am proud to say that I played for the Baltimore Ravens. I am proud to say that I am a part of this organization. I am proud to wear the championship ring that is on my figure, because Art Modell has set a high standard of quality, excellence, family and commitment to doing what is right. I will be forever grateful and indebted to the man that helped me in my career, as well as the impact he has made in my life as a man.

“Art has meant so much to not only the NFL community, but also the Ravens’ community and people of Baltimore and Maryland. I am thankful that I have been a part of that legacy. I am thankful that I have been able to be in a spot where it’s not about just playing a game, but it’s also about affecting other’s lives in a positive way. Art Modell, from the way he runs his organization to the way he carries himself as a man, has impacted me so much.

“I am so thankful that Art has been able to be a part of my life, especially at a time as a player when I was just starting my family. The one story that comes to my mind is when my son had a fall and broke his leg, and it required surgery. Art – he didn’t have to – but he made a phone call to the hospital about this. I remember sitting there stressed out, not sure whether my son was going to be able to be seen by a doctor. A person from the hospital came in and said, ‘You must know someone in high places. You are getting surgery pretty quickly.’ I was like, ‘Wow, OK!’ I came later to find out that it was Art who had made the call to have my family taken care of. He didn’t have to do that. He didn’t have to go out of his way.”

Former Ravens RB Jamal Lewis:

“Art meant so much to me because he gave me an opportunity when there were some people questioning me as a player and person. As an owner, he never missed a practice. Rain, sleet, snow, whatever, you always saw him on his cart. That set the tone for us as a team, especially during the Super Bowl run. He was at every practice, knew every player’s name and treated us like men. He ran a first-class organization, and what you see in the Ravens today was built on Art’s legacy. He was a great man, and as much as it saddens me that he is gone, I’m happy he is reunited with Pat.”

 “He was to be the one to comfort you.  He was the one to let you know he was happy to have you .”

Former Browns, Cowboys and Dolphins QB Bernie Kosar:

“I had a special relationship with Mr. Modell, and he’s probably angry that I’m not calling him Art. We were close when I played for him and became even closer through our adversities. He was such a caring person. The first thing he would ask is, ‘How are you doing? How are the kids?’ He told me that I was like a son to him, and that made me proud. A lot of Clevelanders wouldn’t believe this, but Art is one of the most loyal and trusting persons I’ve ever met. Maybe that led him to some decisions that not everyone liked. But, he was tough – always willing to take the brunt of things on his shoulders. He didn’t blame others. This is a sad day for me. I truly valued his friendship and will miss that.”

Ohio Native and Former Baltimore Colts LB Stan White:

“I feel like I’ve known Art Modell and his family my whole life, growing up around Cleveland and growing up watching the Cleveland Browns as a kid. Playing in the NFL, my association with Art grew as I became involved with the league through the Players Association. Then, I represented [former Browns DB] Frank Minnifield, one of his players, and got to know Art even better at that point. Of course, when he brought the team to Baltimore, I got to know him – I wouldn’t say intimately – but I got to know him fairly well.

“Art, to me, is just one of the great men of football, along with the Rooneys and the Maras. The men like that built this game for everybody that ever played, particularly the guys that are playing today. We all know his involvement in getting television involved with the NFL, with Monday Night Football. But more so, with the way he ran a football team, he treated his players as men and really cared about them. It’s a cruel business at times, but it’s always how you do things, and Art always did it with class and dignity, and you couldn’t say more about a person than you can say about Art.

“I coached his grandson at Gilman [School], and I got to know Art a little bit more through that. The whole Modell family has been such a gift to Baltimore, and Art Modell has been a gift to anybody who has ever been associated with football on any level – but particularly with the National Football League. Art Modell is a giant, and he will be missed.”

 Doug Dieken, the Longest-Tenured Player in Browns’ History:

“The thing that always stands out for me when I think of Art is his sense of humor. He liked to laugh. We’d be angry at each other while negotiating a contract, would have our battles, and he would still find a way to bring humor into it. Art was the last millionaire in what has become a billionaire business, and he tried to make it work. He treated players fairly, and you knew he was in your corner. He was what I would call a ‘players’ owner.’

“I think the players today making so much money should thank Art for his contributions to their pockets. His work with generating more money through TV is a big part of the paychecks today. He was a real competitor. It hurt him to lose, and he’d wear it on his sleeve, just like he would the wins. He did all he could to make us winners.

“I think what he did when he left Cleveland was not right, but there were others here who were wrong, too. It’s a shame that one decision hurt how some people think of him, because he did so much good. He gave people chances, and he helped a lot of people get a better life. He always looked out for the underdog and the underprivileged.”

Former Browns RB/RS Dino Hall:

“Art had a passion and a real love for the game of football. He was the true fan. I can remember him walking the sidelines at camps and at game time; he really was a true fan of football. For a long time, he meant a lot to Cleveland in a positive way, and he was a positive influence in that he loved Cleveland.”

Former Browns G Robert Jackson:

“From the time I was a rookie free agent with the Browns to today, Art made me feel like part of a family. That’s the way he treated his players. He was very fair, often tearing up contracts of players who were playing better and giving them new ones. My era of Browns, we respected him. In fact, a bunch of us got together in June and told stories about Art and those teams we played on. When I think of Art, I think of a good person who was fun to be around and knew how to have fun. And, I think of a person who cared a lot about people – how he could help them – and he did help so many.”

Former Browns RB Greg Pruitt:

“I have always thought so highly of Mr. Modell. And even after I got traded from the Browns to the Raiders, he made a point to apologize to me for the trade. It was something he didn’t want to do. He drafted me, and I became a Cleveland Brown. We had a lot of good times. He was always a great guy to me, and I was very close to Mrs. Modell. I was in love with his wife and his kids. On road trips, the kids would always come around me, and I would babysit. That was good; I liked it.”

Former Baltimore Colts RB Tom Matte:

“He was a special guy to me. I call him a very close friend. We came into the league together in 1961. What he’s done for football can’t be measured. This man deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.”

Former Browns G John Wooten:

“First and foremost, our relationship goes back to the 1960’s when he first bought the Cleveland Browns. He was one of the great, great owners in the NFL. He was a man that sacrificed and did the things to make the NFL what it is today. He was an owner who excelled in dealing with players, working with the public and making sure that our game was growing. He sacrificed.

“He worked alongside Lamar Hunt, Tex Schramm, Well Mara and Art Rooney – and all of those men are in the Hall of Fame. He worked with them in all of those meetings. He was there. It is indeed a shame that he is not in the Hall of Fame.

“I can’t tell you how bad I want Art to be in the Hall of Fame.”

Former Ravens Linebacker, Jaimie Sharper:

“Art was a strong man and even though people would talk about things around him, and how he dealt with them, coming from Cleveland to Baltimore.  It shows his own unwillingness to give up.  He brought his proud ownership to Baltimore and laid the ground work for what the Ravens are.

“He was the bridge between Cleveland and Baltimore; he was the bridge between the Colts and the Ravens.”

Former Ravens Linebacker, Peter Boulware:

A very kind person, obviously I was thankful to have the opportunity to be drafted by the Ravens.  Ultimately, all decisions come through him.  I had a chance to sit down with him to talk about coming to a new city, coming to the NFL, being apart of the Baltimore Ravens and his expectations.  Again he was a great person.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to play for him and am so thankful for the opportunity he gave me to play for the Ravens.”

“He always instilled in us the importance of being thankful to people that supported us. Going out into the community, going to restaurants and getting involved in charity.  As football players,we are given so much, it was him and his lead; if you look at all the charity work he did in the community, it was his lead that guided us.”

 

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Former Ravens owner Art Modell passes away at 87

Posted on 06 September 2012 by WNST Staff

The man who brought NFL football back to Baltimore in 1996 has passed away.

Former Baltimore Ravens owner Arthur B. Modell died Thursday morning at Johns Hopkins Hospital due to natural causes. He was 87 years old. His sons, John and David, were at his side.

“Sadly, I can confirm that my father died peacefully of natural causes at four this morning,” said Modell’s son David in a statement released by the Ravens. “My brother John Modell and I were with him when he finally rejoined the absolute love of his life, my mother Pat Modell, who passed away last October.”

Having owned the Cleveland Browns since 1961, Modell announced he was moving his franchise to Baltimore on Nov. 6, 1995. The team was given a new name and treated as an expansion franchise as the city of Baltimore enjoyed NFL football in 1996 for the first time since Robert Irsay had moved the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis in March 1984.

A report from Cleveland late Wednesday night said Modell’s vital organs were failing and his sons were at his side in the hospital.

“’Poppy’ was a special man who was loved by his sons, his daughter-in-law Michel, and his six grandchildren,” David Modell said. “Moreover, he was adored by the entire Baltimore community for his kindness and generosity. And, he loved Baltimore. He made an important and indelible contribution to the lives of his children, grandchildren and his entire community. We will miss him.”

Modell remained the majority owner of the Ravens until 2004 when he sold his share of the franchise to current owner Steve Bisciotti.

His crowning achievement in Baltimore was the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV victory over the New York Giants on Jan. 28, 2001, the city’s first NFL championship since the Colts’ Super Bowl V victory over the Dallas Cowboys in 1971.

 

 

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Report: Modell gravely ill in Baltimore hospital

Posted on 06 September 2012 by WNST Staff

WKYC-TV (Cleveland) reporter Jim Donovan reported Wednesday night former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell had been hospitalized in Baltimore and his condition “was worsening.”

According to the report, Modell’s vital organs are “failing” and his sons John and David had gathered with him in the hospital.

Modell moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore in 1996 and remained majority owner of the team until 2004 when purchase of the team was completed by current owner Steve Bisciotti.

Modell was majority owner of the Ravens in 2001 when they defeated the New York Giants 34-7 to win Super Bowl XXXV, the franchise’s only Super Bowl title and the first for the city since the Baltimore Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V.

Pat Modell, Art’s wife since 1969, died in October 2011 of pancreatitis.

WNST will have more on this story as it becomes available.

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March 29 a significant day in history of Baltimore football

Posted on 29 March 2012 by Luke Jones

Ask any Baltimore football fan over the age of 35 the significance of the morning of March 29, 1984 and you’ll see their expression change as a flood of memories rushes over their countenance.

Thursday marked the 28th anniversary of Robert Irsay and the Baltimore Colts sneaking out of town in the middle of the night, leaving countless grown men and women — like my father and grandparents — to only sob when learning the news that morning.


(Video package courtesy of WMAR-TV in Baltimore)

Many say they’re over the bitterness of the Colts’ departure while others will take that anger to their graves. And younger fans, such as those of my generation and younger, either aren’t that terribly interested or will never fully grasp the emotions of that night and morning and the days and years that followed.

All of those perspectives are perfectly acceptable as long as the feelings of each person invested in Baltimore football are respected.

It took time, but Baltimore wound up better in the long run as the city secured another team and won a championship before the Indianapolis Colts ever tasted Super Bowl glory. The Ravens have become ingrained in the community as much as a franchise can be in the modern and more lucrative era of professional sports.

What I didn’t realize, or perhaps had simply forgotten over the last 16 years, was March 29 also being a more positive day in the history of Baltimore football. Twelve years after those Mayflower trucks pulled out of Owings Mills, Art Modell announced his newly-relocated franchise would be renamed the Ravens — the Marauders and the Americans were the other two finalists — in the first tangible step of establishing a distinct identity for a new NFL team in Baltimore.

Modell

The team’s move from Cleveland had been announced several months earlier, but learning the result of a fan poll to name the franchise somehow granted more authenticity to the idea of NFL football once again being played at Memorial Stadium that fall.

A plethora of detailed accounts by more talented, authoritative writers can easily be found, so I don’t feel the need to rehash the circumstances or emotions surrounding each relocation at length.

But I do believe in the importance of remembering and respecting the city’s football heritage, recognizing where we once were and how those events impacted our lives as well as our loved ones, many of whom are no longer with us.

March 29 represents both the darkest day in the history of Baltimore football and part of a new beginning.

And it’s why I’ll remember and think about my father and grandparents a little more than usual on this day.

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The 15-7-0 Might Be Tricky, But It’s Always A Treat

Posted on 31 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. With the entire country winning, Andrew Luck looked like a Heisman Trophy winner and future #1 pick Saturday night in Los Angeles.

It’s a shame the USC Trojans gave the ball away just outside the endzone in overtime number three against Stanford. Not only because I picked the Cardinal to lose last Thursday when I played John Allen (of Charm City Devils fame) in “Everybody Beats Glenn”, but also because it was a hell of a game.

I’ll go ahead and move Luck ahead of Boise State QB Kellen Moore on my Heisman Watch list. Yeah, I guess I’m a sellout. But it’s hard not to like what you see with this kid. Alabama RB Trent Richardson is third on my list; which now ends at three because one of those guys will be your winner.

Going back to Saturday night, Andrew Luck also did this…

luck

2. Marvin Lewis is (very deservingly) the winningest coach in Cincinnati Bengals history.

I get more and more concerned about the Ravens’ pending matchups with the Bengals every time I watch them…

They did all of that without Cedric Benson and they were playing the Seahawks IN Seattle.

By the way, did you know Adam “Pacman” Jones was still in the NFL? Me neither.

3. I’ll assume Frank Gore is particularly happy to no longer be thought of as “the best player on a bad team.”

Also part of the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the Cleveland Browns? Joe Staley playing the role of “Offensive Lineman” in “Offensive Lineman makes catch, runs with football”….

Just beautiful. By the way, I guess the Niners have to be number two in my new NFL power rankings, right? How’s that possible?

4. Penn State controls their own destiny to reach the Big Ten Championship Game, but their schedule leads you to believe Ohio State is still very much in the mix.

Joe Paterno passed Eddie Robinson as the all-time winningest coach in Division I history as Penn State beat Illinois. It was the only time the word “pass” was used in Happy Valley Saturday. I don’t care for much of anything about the Nittany Lions, but I respect their students for packing in behind the goalposts to try to make the Illini’s tying field goal try harder…

Things get VERY difficult for PSU now, as they host Nebraska in State College next week before finishing conference play with trips to Columbus and Madison. Speaking of which…

Wisconsin fans were once again hoping a penalty flag could save them, but Braxton Miller did NOT cross the line of scrimmage before throwing the game winner to Devin Smith. Russell Wilson’s Heisman hopes are totally up in smoke, and the Badgers are now a long shot (at best) for the Rose Bowl, while the Buckeyes are still very much in the picture.

5. Nebraska is firmly back in the race for the Other spot in the Big Ten title game, and Michigan is by no means out of the picture.

Michigan State had no magic left after an incredible two weeks-or more realistically had no answer for some dude named Rex Burkhead, who reportedly plays for the Cornhuskers…

Elsewhere in the world of bizarre football names, the Wolverines stomped Purdue thanks to a running back whose name is (seriously) Fitzgerald Toussaint. Shouldn’t he be playing for Dartmouth?

Not part of the Big Ten title picture? Iowa. They lost to Minnesota. Yes. That Minnesota.

6. Stephen Tulloch may have shut down the internet after sacking Tim Tebow in the Detroit Lions’ win over the Denver Broncos.

We’ll start with the highlights…

And now for those that missed it in the video…

tulloch

I like Tim Tebow. I also like this. It is what it is.

7. I guess we can assume the Philadelphia Eagles are just fine at this point.

The Eagles DESTROYED the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Sadly the highlight of the game was a Laurent Robinson catch that didn’t count at all…

The SNF broadcast was obsessed with Philly O-Line coach Howard Mudd. I actually have no issue with that. Howard Mudd is awesome. Otherwise they’d have been obsessed with Rob Ryan, and I’m about done with that.

Also of note, Jason Kelce snapped the ball off his own ass at one point…

kelce

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Pat Modell

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Ravens to honor the late Pat Modell with patch Sunday versus Texans

Posted on 14 October 2011 by Ryan Chell

The Ravens will have a decal with the initials “PBM” on the back of their helmets when they play the Houston Texans this Sunday, Oct. 16, at M&T Bank Stadium. The initials stand for Patricia Breslin Modell, the wife of former Ravens and Browns owner Art Modell. Mrs. Modell passed away on Wednesday (10/12).

Pat Modell

“Spending time with Pat was always special. Renee and I loved everything about her. There was a spark about Pat that was visible. She lit up a room when she entered. Conversations and dinners with her were electric and exciting. She made you feel good by being with her. And, the love she and Art had for each other… We’ve talked about it, and it was inspiring. Art and Pat bragged about each other, delighted in each other’s company. Their love was so visible. We already miss her terribly, and our thoughts and prayers are with Art and his family,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said.

The team will also pay tribute to Mrs. Modell with a moment of silence prior to the singing of the National Anthem.

“So, so gracious and kind. Pat was one of the special people put in your life. She knew football and was not afraid to ask the tough questions. We’ll miss those, and we miss her now,” Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said.

“The first time I met Pat, she squeezed my face with her hands and brought me closer to her. It made me feel special. She had that ability to do that for people. She treated Ingrid and my family with kindness; she was so welcoming. She enjoyed life, helping others and loved Art so much. She was Art’s protector, and their love for each other stood out every time we got together. Her intelligence was impressive, and I loved to have serious discussions with her on politics, the economy and which plays we should run. Classy, glamorous, but most of all generous and loving – that was Pat Modell,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement.

Via a team release-

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Pat Modell-wife of former Ravens owner Art Modell-passes away at the age of 80

Posted on 12 October 2011 by Ryan Chell

Patricia Breslin Modell, the wife of former Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell, passed away at 1:30 p.m. today at the age of 80-the team announced today.

Pat Modell


She is survived by Art, their two sons, John and David, and six grandchildren.

Patricia Breslin Modell, born March 17, 1931 in New York City, was an accomplished actress who performed on the New York stage, motion pictures and television.

During her 22-year acting career, Mrs. Modell starred in the People’s Choice television series with actor Jackie Cooper and was cast in more than 400 motion pictures and television shows. Perhaps her most widely known role was as Meg Baldwin in the daytime series General Hospital. She also played Laura Brooks on the prime-time soap opera Peyton Place.

Patricia made her TV debut as “Juliet” in the NBC-TV production of Romeo & Juliet in 1952. Among her many television roles, Patricia Breslin was a regular on Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Perry Mason, and Maverick.

At one point, Patricia Breslin had appeared in more television shows than any other woman in U.S. history. Her record was eventually broken by one of her best friends, the late Lucille Ball.

Pat Modell

After her marriage in 1969 to Art Modell, former owner and president of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, Mrs. Modell retired from acting and immersed herself in her family and community improvement.In Cleveland, Mrs. Modell served on the board at Ursuline College and was active in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Cleveland Musical Arts Association, the Cleveland Ballet, the Playhouse Square Foundation and the Cerebral Palsy Association. She actively supported the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and she started and funded, along with her husband, the Hospice of the Western Reserve (Cleveland, OH).

In Baltimore, Pat served on served on several boards, including: House of Ruth, Gilchrist Hospice, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Walters Art Museum, and she was a major contributor to the St. Vincent’s Center and the Baltimore Museum of Art. The Modells contributed $3.5 million to the Lyric Opera House, which was recently renamed the Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric.

The Modells pledged $5 million to help start a public boarding school for disadvantaged students. The SEED School, which opened in the fall of 2008, recruits middle and high school students from around the state. The gift is believed to have been one of the largest private contributions to a single public school in Maryland.

Pat and Art Modell were honored as the 2009 Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year for the millions of dollars and the time donated to charitable causes by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Maryland Chapter.

Born in New York, Pat was the daughter of Edward and Marjorie Breslin. Her father was a Special Sessions Judge in New York City. Monsignor Patrick Breslin, for whom she was named, was Judge Breslin’s eldest brother.

Mrs. Modell graduated from the Academy of Mt. St. Ursuline and the College of New Rochelle.

The Modells have two sons, John and David, and six grandchildren.

-(Via a team release)

WNST passes along our condolences and prayers to the Modell family for the loss of one of their own-and for the Ravens community and family…

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Peter...Peter, Pocket Feeder, Profit Bleeder, Dirty Deeder

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Peter…Peter, Pocket Feeder, Profit Bleeder, Dirty Deeder

Posted on 15 September 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

One or two of you may recognize part of this from something I wrote a long time ago. Almost 5 years later and with a few new tweaks:

 

Peter…Peter, Pocket Feeder, Profit Bleeder, Dirty Deeder

2011 like 13 years before

The theme is decidedly tragic

Gone are the days of the Oriole Way

Forgotten is Oriole Magic

 

It seems with this team there’s a singular theme

But the owner’s not solely to blame

This fire’s been burning for 20+ years

But now he’s the one fanning the flames

 

Not here to defend what I can’t comprehend

So I’ll stop short of calling him devil

I will say quite surely he’s run the team poorly

And taken losing to a whole ‘nother level

 

He sure had me snowed when he first bought the O’s

And finally brought players to town

He wasn’t a bad man, and spent like a madman

For Alomar, Raffy and Brown

 

In Gillick he got a pro to call shots

Or at least that’s the way that it seemed

But with Gillick in place and the O’s in the race

Pete decided that he’d run the team

 

The day it began is when Pete took a stand

And squashed the trade of Bobby Bo

When it didn’t go down the Birds turned it around

And Pete figured that he’d run the show

 

It seems since that day he has been in the way

And preventing the team from success

GMs and agents on numerous occasions

Won’t take our calls due to this mess

 

It seems that our slide also coincides

When the Ravens showed up on the spot

The great deal Pete had was suddenly bad

Compared to what Art Modell got

 

A team in DC brought on more “Woe is me”

And it seems he’s conceded defeat

And I just can’t explain my unthinkable pain

As I fear we may never compete

 

A sweet deal with MASN brings boatloads of cash in

And should give the O’s hope at winning

Instead what we’ve seen is the revenue stream

Go to Pete who’s collecting and grinning

 

He can leach from the Nats and let them but the bats

A concept too true to be funny

Let them grow the arms and let them stock the farms

While Pete collects risk free cash money

 

To him it’s just business to others a game

For some an unfortunate passion

Who’ve watched in dismay as the Oriole Way

Has been bashed in and smashed in and cashed in

 

So what’s left for us the unfortunate few

Who are stuck in our Orioles ruts?

Whose undying patience and mild expectations

Are met with punch after punch in the gut

 

What do we do if we still give a damn?

Too sick with the owner to be a good fan

Where do we turn for the help that we need

To combat this owner’s compulsion for greed?

 

What do we think as the door still revolves

On GMs and skippers and problems to solve?

While turnstiles go silent and seats go unsat

And the owner and his wallet are still getting fat

 

Do we simply concede that the Oriole Way

Of today isn’t what it was back in the day?

And that this IS the Oriole Way of today

Where fans get back nothing and owners get paid

 

As long as old Peter is running the show

He’ll press us and test us and drive us all whacko

Instead of just sticking to that which he knows

Law suits, asbestos and freaking tobacco!!!

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Stover Ring Of Honor No-Brainer, But Who Will Join Him?

Posted on 27 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover formalized his retirement Thursday in a press conference at 1 Winning Drive.

“Playing for the Baltimore Ravens, I think I’ve always said that it’s a privilege” said Stover. “Being in the league has been a privilege-more than you can imagine.”

Stover had not kicked for the Ravens since the end of the 2008 season, he had not kicked in the National Football League at all since spending the end of the 2009 season with the Indianapolis Colts.

Stover, 43, spent 13 seasons in Charm City after coming to the city when the Cleveland Browns moved following the 1995 season. He was the only remaining player who came from Cleveland until he left after ’08.

During his 13 seasons in Baltimore, Stover made 354 of his 418 field goal attempts (84.6%), finishing 471/563 (83.7%) for his career. He was named the AFC’s Pro Bowl kicker twice in his career, including once in Baltimore (2000), the same season he played a significant role in helping the Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV, the only Super Bowl title in the team’s brief history.

It came with no surprise that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti announced that the team would induct Stover into their Ring of Honor on November 20th when the team hosts the Cincinnati Bengals.

“The thing about being in the Ring of Honor is that I meant to much to my team, the community” said Stover. “That to me is an awesome, awesome privilege. I can’t imagine any greater honor that an organization can give to a player, and I appreciate the Ravens doing that. I’ll be proud to do it…to retire as a Raven with some other great players.”

Stover’s on-field role would have been enough to guarantee his inclusion, but his community involvement (most notably with the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes) set him apart from other successful players in franchise history. Stover was a beloved figure during his time in Baltimore, even amongst fans who wouldn’t be considered amongst the most passionate.

Clearly Stover meets all qualifications to join OT Jonathan Ogden, LB Peter Boulware, DE Michael McCrary, Former Owner Art Modell, RB/Contributor Earnest Byner and the Hall of Fame Baltimore Colts as being featured prominently at M&T Bank Stadium to be remembered for the eternity of the franchise’s existence.

The question moving forward for me is now “who will join him?”

The Ravens have been very fortunate to have a number of great players/contributors in recent years, many of whom are worthy of consideration.

Here is the explanation of the criteria used by the Ravens when selecting players to their Ring of Honor…

“Character: The induction into the Ravens Ring of Honor represents the highest honor for a career of individual accomplishment resulting in team success. Teams constructed with character reduce uncertainty and stay on their purpose Ravens of Honor maintain direction with intense focus character is at the beginning of the cycle and takes them all the way to a successful ending.

Gratitude: Ravens of Honor carry forth a special attitude of gratitude, to those around them, they are always a fountain rather then a drain. Each is different but all keep those around them on the path of progression. Their basic ability to enjoy their talents and gifts of others help them to continually contribute as opposed to contaminate.

Vision: Fueled by self-knowledge, great character and an appreciation for everything available to them. Ravens of Honor visualize short and long term successes in Technicolor. They are, through vision, great connectors. Those around them are energized and they use all that surrounds them to create an inspirational bigger picture.

Passion: Passionate Ravens have an unusual ability to face failure, physical setbacks and exhaustion. They have an internal tenacity that helps them get back up when knocked down. Their passion motivates teammates to join in on the pursuit of the team dream. Passion breeds conviction and turns mediocrity into excellence. With passion, we can overcome all obstacles.

Faith & Courage: Ravens of Honor stand tall in the good times as well as the rough times. They are help up by their deep faith in themselves, their teammates and their fans. Inspired by belief in a great destiny, these champions never waver from their victorious path. Faith is belief in what you cannot see. Great vision matched with unbridled passion sets up absolute faith. Faith evokes a special courage and confidence. When matched with action, faith kills worry and procrastination, the two traits which produce regular failure.

Competitive Spirit: True competitors want to be put on the line and measured. They thrive on adversity and use it to achieve a special edge. They know the easy lakes get fished out first, thus they skip the easy. Persistence, determination, tenacity and sportsmanship are the hallmarks of this warrior mentality. Ravens of Honor need character, gratitude, vision, passion and faith to become a championship caliber competitor. There are no shortcuts and they do not look for them, because their competitive fire will not allow them to.

Humility: Humility in oneself inspires the best of others and feeds our character. A vital aspect of the true leadership is the willingness of others to follow.”

Nowhere on that list does it state that a player has to have reached a Pro Bowl as a Raven, which has been believed to be a bit of an unwritten rule within the franchise. In fact, a Ravens executive told me Thursday the qualifications could really be stated as “extraordinary contributions to the NFL, the Ravens and the community.” The same executive was willing to admit however that “it will be more difficult to make our Ring of Honor if the player was never recognized as a Pro Bowler, but it could happen.”

There are a number of current Ravens whose inclusion in the Ring of Honor seems to be as simple a decision as Stover’s. LB Ray Lewis, S Ed Reed and TE Todd Heap all seem to be easy choices after their careers conclude. WR Derrick Mason certainly has an argument. LB Terrell Suggs and DT Haloti Ngata have laid the groundwork for what could ultimately become Ring of Honor careers.

Perhaps a bit more interesting in the list of former Ravens who have not yet been honored. RB Jamal Lewis, CB Chris McAlister, DT Tony Siragusa, OL Edwin Mulitalo  and former Coach Brian Billick (full disclosure-Billick is now a part owner of WNST.net) have all moved on from their careers but have not been honored. General Manager Ozzie Newsome would seem to be a potential future honoree, and LB/contributor O.J. Brigance was the subject of a recent Facebook campaign seeking his induction.

There is an argument as to why any of the above names should be in. The reality is that in the next ten years, the team’s Ring of Honor could grow exponentially.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with being an organization that has a number of great players/contributors afforded significant recognition. An argument could be made that it simply reflects the greatness of the organization to have such an expansive number of ROH honorees.

At the same time, the Ravens do face a dilemma as they consider the future of the way they recognize players. In thirty years, these names will all represent the finest players/contributors in franchise history. The organization must at least be willing to ask the question “will this player’s inclusion still make sense when we look back in 30 years?”

It is a more significant honor than the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame, where a player is simply noted on a tough to find outfield plaque at Oriole Park at Camden Yards after honored at a pregame ceremony and luncheon. Fans don’t have to stare at the names for decades and debate the merit of their inclusion during games the way fans do at M&T Bank Stadium.

We’ve all experienced the moment where someone sitting near us says “did they REALLY put Earnest Byner in the Ring of Honor?” The answer is yes, and we’re all equally uncomfortable about despite our great respect for Mr. Modell.

As the team considers other candidates, they must keep in mind those questions. “Is ______ really in the Ring of Honor? Didn’t he only play here for like four seasons?” “You guys put ______ in the Ring of Honor? Did he ever even get to the Pro Bowl?”

They’ll be relevant questions that Ravens fans will have to answer.

The team doesn’t want to make the requirements for induction more stringent, as they want to be able to make their own decisions about who to induct instead of limiting themselves by instituting additional requirements.

Make no mistake. Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis, Chris McAlister, Brian Billick, Ozzie Newsome and Todd Heap really should all be in no matter how the team defines the requirements. Ravens fans should always be see those names honored for the greatness they contributed to the franchise and city.

But as far as the others are concerned, the team will have to truly make difficult decisions.

Hear Stover’s press conference-including comments from Bisciotti, Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net! Stover joined Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” Friday on AM1570 WNST, that chat is in the Audio Vault as well!

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7: Things You Need To Do To Consider Yourself a “Baltimore Sports Expert”

Posted on 25 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

In honor of the fact that the “reporter” from the FM sports station in town had trouble finding Towson University yesterday, we thought we’d put together a bucket list for our Tuesday Top 7, which came on a Wednesday this week.

Today’s Tuesday Top 7 topic was “The Top 7 Things You Need To Do To Consider Yourself a Baltimore Sports Expert.” As always, I hope it’s self explanatory.

Glenn Clark’s list…

7. Attend relevant high school football, basketball and lacrosse games

calverthallloyola

6. Get genuinely pissed off while watching an Orioles game at Camden Yards

osfans

5. Listened to Colts stories from Art Donovan (or someone for whom the Colts meant equally as much)

4. Bring your own beer to a duckpin bowling alley

duckpin

3. Attend a nighttime Johns Hopkins-Maryland game at Homewood Field

http://postinspostcards.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/homewood-field-at-johns-hopkins.jpg?resize=392%2C263

2. Travel on the road WITH Ravens fans

1. Morgan State-Coppin State basketball

Drew Forrester’s list…

7. Get to know Pete Caringi, Jim Margraff, Tony Seaman, Mike Gottlieb, Randy Monroe, Phil Stern, other Charm City college coaches

seaman

6. Watch old guys play bocce in Little Italy

boccelittleitaly

5. Emerse yourself in Baltimore Catholic League basketball

bcl

4. Know and be able to talk to former Baltimore Colts

3. Spend a day at Pimlico and appreciate what horse racing means to Maryland

Pimlico, horse Racing

2. Take in golf/tennis at Clifton Park

clifton

1. Have a 20 minute chat with Art Modell

If you missed the explanation the list on “The Morning Reaction” Wednesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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