As Superbowl 50 has come to the end and the Denver Broncos are World Champions and what was Peyton Manning last game, the 2016 Hall of fame class also has been introduced. With some big time names like Kenny” the Snake Stabler, Mad man Kevin Green, Tony Dungy, and the Great Bret Favre. One name remains lost in the shuffle for the Hall of Fame that name is Arthur Bertram Modell. Look back at over fifty years of the Superbowl being televised and one person had a significant role in making that happen Art Modell. Arthur Modell just always seem to stride to be the best and it showed at a young age.
Arthur Modell was born in Brooklyn New York his father was a wine sales man, who went bankrupt after the stock market crash of 1929 and later died when Modell was 14. At the of 15 Modell left school to help his family. Art first job was cleaning the hull of ship in the Brooklyn ship yard.
In 1943 when he was 18, Modell joined the U.S Army Air Corps, after World War II Modell enrolled in a New York television school under the G.I bill. In 1947 he found his own production company with a fellow student, and in 1949 they produced one of the first daytime shows in the country, marketing, melodies, dedicated to cooking and decorating. Art Modell sold the idea of his show to the grand Union grocery store chain and Modell installed televisions in the aisles of the chain’s stores where the show became very popular. At the time very few household had a television. In 1954 using the Lucrative Grand Union account as leverage, he was hired as a senior account executive at the advertising company L.H. Hartman company in New York city, eventually becoming a partner L.H Hartman was primarily involved in liquor advertising. Modell was also a Senior vice president at the advertising firm of Kastor, Hilton, Chelsey, Clifford and Atherton.
Arthur Bartram Modell have never been one short on ambitions that was apparent in 1961 when Mr. Modell purchased the Cleveland Browns for $ 4 Million dollars, using $250,000 Dollars of his own money, he borrowed $2.7 Million and found partners for the rest. Art Modell was hands on with his new team and it rubbed some people in the organization the wrong way, especially legendary coach Paul Brown. It seem that Modell and Brown just couldn’t see eye to eye and after 3 losing season it came to an end on January 9,1963 as Art Modell fired Paul Brown, shortly after Modell hired Blanton Collier a browns assistant coach as the new head coach. In 1964 the Browns was in the NFL/AFC Championship game against the Colts. The Baltimore Colts lead by Hall of Fame coach Don Shula and Hall of Fame quarter back Johnny Unitas were the favored to win, but the Browns won the Championship game by the score 27-0 and Modell celebrated his first NFL/AFC Championship.
One thing Art Modell know how to do well was promote, his team as well as his self. Modell became NFL president in 1962 and using his television connections to help negotiate the NFL lucrative television contract, Modell was always promote his team and on September 21, 1970 the Cleveland brown played the first Monday night football game ever aired against the New York Jets the Browns won the game 31-21. Advertisers were charged $65,000 per minute by ABC. Modell was busy with the football team but he was also so very busy in the Cleveland community, Modell was a leading fundraiser for charities and various Republican party candidates. Modell was a man around town an a well-known bachelor, that all change when he married Television soap opera star Patricia Breslin 1969.
In 1996 a new journey began for Art Modell as the Baltimore Ravens took to the field at memorial Stadium for the first time led by former Baltimore Colts coach Ted Marchibroda. The first 4 years in the league the Ravens didn’t make the playoff Modell replace Marchibroda with Brain Billick and that move paid off for him in 2000 as the Baltimore Ravens became Superbowl championsXXXV defeating the New Giants 34-7. No more the Bridesmaid, Art Modell had finial became the Bride and it was his day to shine.
Art Modell had good times in Cleveland but he also endured disappointment too. Many people had said that Art Modell had left his heart in Cleveland and that he felt that he had let Cleveland down and failed them by not bringing them a championship. So when Modell finally won a Superbowl with the Baltimore Ravens and hosted the Lombardi Trophy which had elude him for over 30 years it was a bitter-sweet ending.