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Browns President Mike Holmgren shares memories of Art Modell

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2012

Here are the memories Browns President Mike Holmgren shared about Art Modell, the former owner of the Browns who moved the team to Baltimore in 1996 and died today at age 87:

“He was one of the owners that reached out to me at owners meetings and things like that. He’s a very gregarious guy. He’s a fun guy. I enjoyed him very much, and then we competed like crazy against his teams. And then when I left Green Bay [following the 1998 season] and was kind of determining my future, I had three interviews lined up: one with Seattle, one with Baltimore and one with Philadelphia. Those three teams and it was gonna be like the week of interviews.

“I remember Art talking to me about, ‘You have to come into Baltimore first. I want you to come into Baltimore. See you Monday.’ I said, ‘Well, I appreciate that, but I’m already going to Seattle on Monday and we’ve already told them I’m in Seattle.’ So it was gonna be Seattle, Baltimore and then Philadelphia at the end of the week, probably two days at each place. Then the Seattle thing, I never left Seattle. It worked out. We decided.

“So I remember saying, ‘We have to contact the other two teams in all fairness.’ I contacted Art and [Philadelphia Eagles owner] Jeffrey Lurie. I remember Art … every time I saw him after that he’d kind of jab me a little bit. They were doing well. They had built a new stadium in Baltimore and all those kind of things. But that was the situation. Had it worked out a little differently, perhaps he would have been someone that I would have worked for near the end there.

“As I look back and reflect on the owners I have met and now in recent position I’ve had a chance to be in those owners meetings more and see how they operate and all the things. And he was such an important part in the early years of the TV business in the league. You guys know that I’m sure. And I know David. My heart really goes out to the family in these situations.”

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