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Baltimore Welcomes Modell on Radio Show

December 20, 1995

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Baltimore football fans greeted Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell as he took questions from listeners on a local radio show Tuesday night.

Modell thanked them and made a promise.

``I pledge to you and to others who are listening that you will have a class-A organization here, a winning team with a winning tradition and an organization that involves itself in the community at all levels,″ he told a listener on Josh Lewin’s Sportsline show on WBAL.

``I want to make you a fan for life,″ Modell said.

Modell announced Nov. 6 he would move the Browns to Baltimore. The city of Cleveland has filed a lawsuit trying to block the move and Congress has held a hearing on the matter.

But Modell said he didn’t make the decision on a whim. He said he needed a new stadium and had waited six years for Cleveland to give him one.

``Anybody with an ounce of intelligence will come to the conclusion very quickly,″ he said. ``A man doesn’t throw away 35 years of his life ... and precipitously say I’m going to go to Baltimore because I’m not happy (in Cleveland).″

Modell said he didn’t fault Cleveland fans, whom he said are among the best in the country. He said he blames Cleveland’s politicians.

``I was not going to put a gun to their heads,″ he said. ``They knew what the situation was throughout the country. They knew our teams were moving. They knew what stadium economics meant. (That’s) the name of the game right now.″

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