The Modell family and the Baltimore Ravens invite their fans for a silent tribute to Art Modell. After a remarkable 43 year career in the NFL, Art Modell, 87, passed on Thursday, September 6th, of natural causes at Johns Hopkins University. Modell’s sons John and David, former Ravens President were at his side.
“Sadly, I can confirm that my father died peacefully of natural causes at 4 a.m. 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.”
The viewing will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at M & T Bank Stadium. Those attending the service should park in lots B and C and then enter Gate A of the stadium via Unitas Plaza. Parking and the viewing are free. All parking lots must be cleared by 1:30 p.m.
Fans are encouraged to wear purple.
In lieu of flowers, the Modell Family asks that contributions be made to The SEED School:
The SEED School
200 Font Hill Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21223
Hearing then news of Modell’s, quotes came rolling in from those who were close to and worked with 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 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 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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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 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…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 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.
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.”
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 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 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.”