The Cleveland Browns will not be one of the teams publicly recognizing the passing of Art Modell on Sunday, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. It seems that the Browns and Modell's son David have concluded that the reception from fans of the team might not be the greatest.
Browns President Mike Holmgren reached out to Modell's son David and said 'we want to do the right thing by the Modell family,'' according to Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne.
"David told Mike that he really appreciated the call and the offer, but that he knew it would not be totally accepted by the Cleveland fans,'' Byrne said.
The NFL previously sent out a memo to all 32 teams, asking that each one recognize Modell's passing in some way. The Browns had planned to read a brief statement over their P.A. system, but that's now out the window. There wasn't going to be a moment of silence or anything like that, but it's safe to say that regardless of what it was, it would not have been well-received.
It's unlikely that the NFL will think this reflects negatively on the Browns organization, in regards to going against the memo. Browns fans simply do not like Modell given the fact that he moved the team to Baltimore abruptly, despite his long-standing ownership of the team (from 1961 to 1995). The Browns returned three years after Modell's team became the Baltimore Ravens under a new owner.