Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell loved the City of Cleveland. However, as the owner of one of the NFL’s pillar franchises, he committed several depravities against his beloved municipality.
For one, he antagonized pro football’s greatest running back of all time, Jim Brown, to which the eight-time NFL rushing leader decided to retire from the game while in his physical prime. And the dispute was over Brown needing a two-week hiatus from training camp while he finished filming his current movie “The Dirty Dozen” on location in London. Modell was going to fine him $100 a day for missing camp. This came on the heels of Brown being named NFL MVP award and captured his eighth rushing title in nine years.
Secondly, Modell fired one of pro football’s greatest coaches: Paul Brown. All Coach Brown did was capture seven championships and was named Coach of the Year four times. Coach Brown was an innovator and one of the league’s best coaches and mentors. While with the Browns he compiled 158 wins, 48 losses, eight ties with a .767 win percentage in a 17-year span. Cleveland’s 5-7-0 record in 1956 was Coach Brown’s only losing season.
Modell also fired another head coach who had brought the franchise back to respectability and prominence by the name of Marty Schottenheimer. All Schott did was win 45 games in five seasons including three straight years with 10 wins or better (12-4 in 1986), lose four straight years in the playoffs including two AFC Championship games, and win one Coach of the Year award. Of course, his crime was that he couldn’t get the…
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