Cowboys’ owner and general manager Jerry Jones is in the Baltimore, Maryland area today to attend the funeral of former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell, who died last Thursday of natural causes. Jones, himself one of the more notable owners in the league’s relatively short history, took time on Tuesday morning to remember Modell the man, and the lasting impact the controversial owner had on the league in its formative years.
"He was such a great story teller. He really kept meetings, more often than not, that became very tense, very contentious, he kept those meetings moving with some of his great one-liners,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan this morning from his plane, via ESPN Dallas. “It was just a natural thing. He should have been a Bob Hope in another time. He had that about him.
“From the get go, understood the potential of our game, the NFL on television. He made a serious contribution during those years in the fledgling years of the NFL of becoming Monday Night Football and some of the dynamics of what we did on Sunday afternoon and some of the programming decisions. He was quite a contributor. He was well thought of. I thought a lot of him. He was always good to me.”
Modell bought the Browns in 1961 and, 35 years later, moved the team to Baltimore, where they became the Ravens. Modell, of course, was hated in Cleveland for the move, but he continued on, running to Ravens from 1996 to 2003 and winning a Super Bowl with them back in 2000.
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