Modell's move may have helped save the Steelers I read...


January 21, 2001

Modell's move may have helped save the Steelers

I read with interest the letter of Jeff Hartman in The Sun last Sunday ("Be proud of Ravens, but not of Modell") in which Mr. Hartman, a Steelers fan, says Ravens fans should take pride in the team but not the owner. As a Steelers fan, he should probably be thanking Art Modell.

Al Davis and Robert Irsay were a renegade and a buffoon, respectively, when they moved their teams, NFL outsiders to be looked at as aberrations, not the norm. However, Art Modell was an NFL lifer when he moved the Browns to Baltimore, an "NFL first" guy seen as a more typical NFL owner than Davis or Irsay.

Modell's moving of his franchise scared the pants off cities facing stadium problems. If this could happen in Cleveland, then why not Denver? Or Seattle? Or, yes, even Pittsburgh? Denver, Seattle, Pittsburgh and other cities have begun building new football stadiums since the Ravens were born, due in large part to politicians not wanting to be known as the ones who "lost" the franchise.

At some point an NFL owner with stadium problems was going to move his franchise to a more lucrative location - Modell just did it first. In the process, he certainly helped Steelers fans get their new stadium and may have even helped keep the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Andy Passman Catonsville

Sharpe was right on with `eating crow' remark

I personally want to thank Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe for his comments after the team's dominating win over the crybaby Oakland Raiders. The part about the country "eating crow" was right on the money.

I don't think it was a matter of the national media not believing the Ravens were headed for the Super Bowl. I think it boils down to the fact that nobody wanted the Ravens in the Super Bowl. Well, guess what? The Ravens are AFC champions, headed to Tampa to play another disrespected bunch, the New York Giants.

Mr. Sharpe echoed the sentiments of every Baltimore fan when he made his comments.

Paul Hoke Towson

Baltimore's triumph a loss for Tagliabue

It took a team effort from determined Baltimoreans to prevail over an individual commissioner, but the NFL is alive and well in Baltimore. The guilt over how the city got the Ravens is ancient history.

We waited patiently for the expansion process to reward us with a team, only to be snubbed twice. Is the Browns' heritage still where it belongs?

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder may or may not have learned that great individuals don't necessarily make a great team. From the front office to the team on the field, the Ravens have that elusive secret ingredient: team chemistry.

The Giants may have some momentum going into Super Bowl XXXV, but so do the Ravens. Not even predictable play-calling and under-thrown long balls can stop us this year.

Mr. Modell, when NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue asks what you will do with the Super Bowl trophy, tell him that maybe Baltimore will build a museum for it. But be prepared: The league may assess the Ravens with a fine for winning the big one.

Paul Miles Glen Arm

Super Bowl win would end all the frustration

Since the Colts defeated the Cowboys in 1971 in Super Bowl V, Baltimore has suffered through a demoralizing double-overtime playoff loss, a cowardly late-night exodus, the promises of less-than-admirable owners who teased us with visions of our own team, and the constant reminder from Paul Tagliabue that our money would be better spent on a museum than on a stadium.

Oh, how the tables have turned! Well, Mr. Tagliabue, we have our museum - located about two minutes from Interstate 95. We have our first exhibit, too: the AFC championship trophy. And we hope to add another piece to our collection on Jan. 28.

The only thing that could make this moment better is to see Tagliabue hand over a Super Bowl MVP trophy to Ray Lewis in front of the entire television world, just seconds after handing over the Vince Lombardi Trophy to Art Modell.

That would almost make up for 30 years of frustration.

Brad Dwin Baltimore

Modell bashers, take note: City played by the rules

To all those who hurl admonitions to Ravens fans regarding Art Modell, thank you for being so concerned about football fans in this area.

We could have used you when the state of Maryland begged the NFL for an expansion team. Where were you then? If I recall, the Steelers did not vote down the Colts' move to Indianapolis.

Baltimore played by NFL rules to get a team, and if you don't like it, too bad.

Greg Gummer Perry Hall

Ravens reflect badly on city of Baltimore

I read Sun columnist John Eisenberg's shallow commentary about how the Ravens' making the Super Bowl is "fair." How this is the "crowning reward for enduring 30 years of heartache and disappointment" and how this is "emotional payback for feeling the guilt over stealing another city's team."

I guess Baltimore should be proud of having a team make the Super Bowl, but everyone who likes sports could also agree that the Ravens represent everything that is bad about sports today.

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