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Art Modell's impact much more than just 'The Move'

The people of Baltimore will hail Art Modell as the man who brought football back to Charm City in 1996.

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The people of Cleveland will remember Modell as the man who worked behind the scenes to tear their beloved team from them.

It's because of "The Move" that many have forgotten about Modell's accomplishments during his 43 seasons as sole owner of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. They should remember them now, after Modell passed Thursday at age 87.

As the league's broadcast chairman from 1962 to 1993, Modell fueled the engine that brought "Monday Night Football" into our living rooms. It's fair to remember him as a visionary for how he developed the relationship between television and football.

On the field, Modell's teams compiled 18 playoff appearances and 12 postseason wins, including Cleveland's 1964 NFL championship and Baltimore's Super Bowl XXXV victory over the New York Giants. Unlike the Ravens, the Browns haven't won a playoff game since New Year's Day 1995, with Modell staring down from the owner's box.

That Browns team included Bill Belichick as coach, Nick Saban as defensive coordinator and Ozzie Newsome in the front office. When word of the Browns' move to Baltimore leaked the following November, a shocked public was left wondering what just happened to 50 years of memories.

And that decision has overshadowed a lifetime of notable accomplishments.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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