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Browns to show 'appropriate recognition' to Art Modell

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The Cleveland Browns will honor their former longtime owner Art Modell with an "appropriate recognition" during Sunday's pregame lead up to playing the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sessler: Modell a major figure
He's villified in Cleveland, but Art Modell meant a lot to the NFL over 43 seasons as sole owner of the Browns and Ravens, Marc Sessler writes. More...

The NFL has asked all home teams to commemorate Modell's life in some fashion Sunday, and Browns spokesman Neal Gulkis told Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer the team has decided follow suit.

Modell, who passed away Thursday, remains a radioactive figure in Cleveland after moving the franchise to Baltimore in 1996. Despite staying on as a sole and then minority owner of the Ravens until the end, Modell never attended another game in Cleveland after the relocation.

The NFL is right in asking teams to honor the man who gave so much to the league over the years, but asking for this to happen in Cleveland is a recipe for disaster.

The Browns' first instinct was to bypass a moment of silence for Modell. That was wise, even if the man deserves more. Modell-angst grows from the soil of this city. Some have forgiven him -- and maybe everyone should -- but the Dawg Pound is a controversial locale for a tribute.

The Modell family deserves our respect, but the topic is better left alone in Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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