2005 VIDEO: Former Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell on loyalty, moving the team to Baltimore

CLEVELAND - In a 2005 interview with NewsChannel5 anchor Ted Henry, Art Modell tells fans why he moved the team, his thoughts on Clevelanders and why he felt betrayed.

Here are some key quotes from that interview:

On moving the team:

Henry: Modell's anger runs deep for those he felt betrayed him. But many of the city's leaders deny trying intentionally to hurt Modell. Cleveland Mayor Mike White, County Commissioners Tim Hagan, Mary Boyle and Lee Weingart and the city's most prominent business moguls were preoccupied with the flush of Gateway.
Modell said he and the Browns were ignored as Cleveland's blossoming renaissance exploded.

Modell: "I don't know what their idea was, but I construed it as I would get the same treatment as the Indians or the Cavaliers. The city pumped in hundreds of millions of dollars into the science center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, good bonafide projects. I have no complaint. But ignored us completely. Maybe they took me for granted I don't know, but it was not an easy decision to move at all."

Henry: That Modell might seriously move his team was unthinkable by everyone -- but Modell. He talked of a huge cash flow problem and he boldly asked for help.

Modell: "It tortured me leading up to the time I actually made the announcement. I could not stay I would be in bankruptcy in 60 days if I did stay. Pure and simple without naming names, I'm not going to get into he said this, he said this, but suffice to say at the highest levels of government, state, county and city, I was told 'you'll be taken care of, don't move, don't move.'"

Henry: But of course he did, much to everyone's shock and surprise.
"Is there anything else that you would like to say to clean up the record over those who think they know Modell, but they're a little bit short of the facts?"

On loyalty and Cleveland fans:

Modell: "I can only summarize it, Ted, by saying I didn't get a fair shake by people who were in a position of giving me a shake, fair or otherwise. I did not get a fair shake. I got the short end of the stick."

Henry: "Of those who are still your friends, what was the characteristic in them that you admired the most and must still admire today or they wouldn't still be your friends?"

Modell: "Loyalty. Loyalty, that's my middle name in life. I want my children to be loyal to each other and to their parents, loyal to life itself. Loyalty, it's a very essential ingredient, a characteristic that can never be replaced."

Henry: "And what about those Clevelanders who have proven their loyalty to you over the years -- the fans? "

Modell: "Tremendous fans, tremendous followers, loyal. Some of them who view what I did to be disloyal, that's another story."

On the Hall of Fame:

Henry: "We spoke to Bernie Kosar. He says he wants you to be in the Football Hall of Fame."

Modell: "That's nice of Bernie. Does he have a vote? (laughs) I've gotten a lot of support, but it's not my call. It's reserved for the members of the media who are electors. Whatever happens, happens."

Henry: Maybe it would be the Hall of Fame that could lure Modell back to northern Ohio, if he's inducted.

Modell : "I think the Hall of Fame would serve as a closure for part of my life, an episode that comes to an end. I would like to come back to Cleveland, not to live perhaps, but to stay for a while. Visit often."

On media coverage:

Henry: "How was it coming here?"

Modell: "Torturous. Fueled by the media who love nothing more than to tear people apart, if they can.

Henry: "Print more than broadcast?"

Modell: "Which print media? How many print media do you have in Cleveland?"

Henry: Modell said he seldom experienced newspaper writers in Cleveland giving him a fair shake.

Modell: "It would be a shocker to me if they did. A good man would do that, see that they were wrong and try to correct it. Not that it will make things nice again. I'm still vilified all over Cleveland, people think I betrayed them by moving."

On coming back to Cleveland:

Henry: "Would you ever consider coming back?"

Modell: "I'd have to have a clear-cut awareness and knowledge that I was wanted back, not by a handful of people, not by a social, 'let's get together' for dinner thing. I'd have to get a feeling that it's pervasive all over town that they want the Modells back. Even if it's only temporary."

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