CLEVELAND — Art Modell won't be enshrined in Northeast Ohio after all -- at least not yet.
On Wednesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Centennial Class, for which Modell had been a finalist as a contributor. The former Cleveland Browns owner who moved the team to Baltimore in 1996, however, ultimately did not make the cut, with Paul Tagliabue, George Young and Ed Sabol filling the class' three contributor spots.
As one might imagine, Modell's Hall of Fame candidacy became a popular topic on social media, where many Browns fans celebrated another year without the man who moved their team getting into the Hall of Fame.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Modell purchased the Browns in 1961 and quickly became a polarizing figure after firing founder and head coach Paul Brown in 1963. A year later, Cleveland beat the Baltimore Colts to win the 1964 NFL Championship, which marked the city's last major sports championship until the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Finals in 2016.
In 1996, Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore, where the team became the Ravens. As one might imagine, the move was met with no shortage of hostility in Cleveland, with the city suing Modell for breaching the Browns' lease.
As a part of the negotiated settlement between Cleveland, the city was able to keep the Browns' original name, color scheme and history. The Browns returned to Cleveland as an expansion franchise in 1999, while the Ravens went on to win two Super Bowls in Baltimore (2000, 2012).
In 2012, Modell passed away at the age of 87. He was also a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and 2013.