Very few NFL owners were represented at Pat Modell’s funeral service in Baltimore Monday. In fact, I didn’t see anybody except Steve Bisciotti, the owner of the Ravens, and virtually his entire front office, which was understandable. The former commissioner Paul Tagliabue was there. The league PR man was there. But I thought that out of respect for Art Modell, every other owner should have been there.
Maybe they were tired after the death of Raiders’ owner Al Davis a few days earlier. Coming on a Monday, traveling was a hardship after playing games the day before. I throw out these excuses even though I don’t believe for a second that they are valid.
When Art vacated Cleveland, he made 30 other owners wealthier by $18 million each. He turned over the Cleveland market to the league, which auctioned it off to Al Lerner for $535 million, pure profit, divided up equally among the other owners. Additionally, the league charged Art an exit fee and a relocation fee. The millions just kept pouring into the league coffers, to be doled out in equal shares to the other owners. This was cash which was not shared with the players.
The other owners should venerate his footsteps. Maybe they sent flowers or mass cards.
That’s all for now.