Baskin's Blog: The NFL is disrespecting Art Modell

CLEVELAND - The NFL knows it is the top dog in sports. We know how the league operates. Hopefully it will take two minutes to read this blog to see how dumb it is to ask the the Cleveland Browns to pay tribute in any way to Art Modell this Sunday.

I am not cold hearted. I know that everyone I have talked with over the years who has been personally touched by Art Modell feels that his intentions were warm, loving and caring. Most former players and staff have echoed those sentiments.

The league Friday made a major mistake by telling Browns fans that Art Modell will be recognized Sunday in Cleveland.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league has requested that all its teams observe a moment of silence or other appropriate gesture in memory of Modell this week.

The Browns will follow the league's wishes in what they are calling an "appropriate recognition" for Art Modell.

They put the Browns in a horrible no-win position. How do they do this without upsetting the fan base?

I could sit here and write about how I am worried that Browns fans, who still feel scorned by the team moving to Baltimore in 1995, will do something disrespectful because the Mensa group at the NFL decided to tell Browns fans two days before the game, giving them plenty of time to stew over this with a few drinks. But, I won't. Really, I won't.

No. I say this because any tribute, moment of silence or picture on the scoreboard at the stadium is disrespectful to Art Modell.

The best tribute is to do nothing. Nothing at all.

I'm not going to rehash that the city of Cleveland, the NFL and Art Modell are all to blame for moving a successful franchise. I'm not going to say it because it is true.

The bottom line is that Mr. Modell moved the team. End of story.

Art Modell chose to move his business to Baltimore. He made the decision not be part of the Cleveland Browns. It's what Art Modell wanted. Respect the fans by not shoving it in their faces.

The NFL granted him his wish in life. He decided to move to Baltimore. Why would they choose to ignore that after his death?

What do you think? Chime in via the comment box below.

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