Longtime NFL team owner Art Modell died yesterday, and while I didn't know much about him what I did know is that he brought the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, and earned the undying hatred of hard core Cleveland football fans. This hatred is understandable for two reasons: (1) Cleveland football fans needed their beloved Browns franchise to help them cope with the fact that they live in Cleveland, and (2) Cleveland football fans are slobbering morons.
As a Washingtonian who can't stand Dan Snyder's racistly-named Redskins, I always liked the fact that Modell brought a team back to Baltimore so we'd have something local to root for. It's even better that the petty mouthbreathers from the Buckeye state (which has the motto, "Go Buckeye Yourself" on its license plates--keep it classy!) insisted that the name "Browns" stayed in Cleveland, because who the hell wants to keep a name that reminds us of the most depressing of colors? "Ravens"--the name the franchise took in Baltimore--actually means something. A raven is a bird, a crafty bird that gets into famous poems. A "brown" only makes sense if you're talking about hash browns, and what team would name themselves after breakfast food? I mean, if you have to go there, at least call your team the "doughnuts."
Eventually, the NFL let Cleveland have a new franchise, again named the Browns, because Clevelanders are too stupid to change the name because of "tradition". Face it--"tradition" is the excuse people give when they can't come up with a rational reason for something. No one says "I eat a balanced diet because of tradition" or "I wear a seatbelt because of tradition". Instead, they'll say "I wear a sombrero whenever I take my drivers test because of tradition" and "I put my beer on the radiator because of tradition." Likewise, "Browns" is just a dumb name for a stupid team for jerks.
Anyway, Modell moved his team for the same reason any team owner does anything--to make more money. Within a few years of moving to Baltimore, his Ravens won the Super Bowl, and have had some playoff appearnces since then. Compare that to his nearby rival, Dan Snyder, who couldn't field a decent Redskin team except eventually by accident. I'd give Modell high marks on that score alone.
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