By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) Art Modell, the former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner, died Thursday at the age of 87. I’ve known of few men more vehemently hated by a fanbase—that of the Browns—than him.
My image of Modell is always that of the evil old man that I saw vilified on TV in the mid-90s. I hated Modell then, too, albeit irrationally. The Browns were of no real concern to me, and I thought their uniforms were butt ugly, but TV made their move to Baltimore seem bad, what with the fans cursing and crying and all, and Cleveland celebrities like Drew Carey and… Drew Carey demanded Modell’s head on a plate. So I hated him because TV doesn’t lie to teenagers. Ever.
The Internet has reacted to Modell’s death because that’s the Internet’s job, along with calling people stupid for thinking different things and searching for pics of women subjecting themselves to the misogyny of a male-dominated society. (Ladies, I find you to be more than physically beautiful. You are a person inside, too, and I value your intellect and wisdom and soul and all that other stuff that you want to hear).
Reading all the anti-Modell stuff online I thought to myself, “Really? That’s still going on?”
Know what, Browns fans or anyone else pissing on Modell’s yet-to-be-filled grave? Get over it. I’m all for celebrating the death a truly bad human being, but Art Modell was not one. He was a businessman who made what he believed to be a sound business decision. You lost an entertainment outlet and got it back a few years later. He didn’t dissolve the franchise, he moved it to a place that had a similar thing happen to it except under much shadier circumstances.
And he moved it 17 years ago. I teach kids who are about to graduate high school that never knew the Modell-owned Browns.
And, yeah, it’s easy for a Chicagoan to say this. It’s also easy to think to yourself, “Hey, I didn’t have a football team to root for for three years a generation ago. Maybe my vitriol for an old man is just baggage.” Or perhaps consider how Modell was a key figure in the NFL/AFL merger as well as in bringing football to a TV screen near you.
Let. It. Go. Then focus on the franchise you have right now that has long been awful without any of Modell’s fingerprints on it.
On to your questions. All emails and tweets are unedited.
Michigan competes again in 2 years, right?—@PARecSpecs
Why not now? Everyone is crapping their maize and blue undies over the Wolverines not getting taken to the woodshed by Alabama last week but instead being made the woodshed. Look, Bama is in a different class, and Michigan probably won’t be the only big name they’ll make look like a Division III school.
It happened (without its starting running back). It was ugly. Now move on.
Are people forgetting Michigan’s division? Michigan State’s defense is filthy and its running game solid, but I wouldn’t call them world-beaters. Iowa will underachieve as usual. Northwestern will find a way to outsmart itself. Minnesotahahahaha. And Nebraska isn’t good enough to avoid two division letdowns along the way.
So why not Michigan? They should beat Notre Dame even on the road because Notre Dame likes to ask for that to happen, and they’ll lose to Ohio State. There’s no reason this can’t be a two-loss team or one that can appear in the Conference Championship.
I know Southerners take great pride in their fried chicken, and I’m not about to claim any geographic superiority in that regard because I’ve had some chicken in the South that made me see Yahweh, Allah, and Vishnu, but ‘round these parts it’s all about the Harold’s.
Uncle Remus’ is not a place I’ve taken in before due to my fiefdom not extending to the West Side. Reading a few reviews, though, it seems like a place I should definitely check out should I ever accidentally be over there.
Seriously, though, timid white people—explore good soul food and black-owned restaurants. I was once like you, tapioca as all hell. Then I got a job laying asphalt for the city, which meant working in every neighborhood. Unfortunately in certain parts of the city the only dining options are fast food mega-chains or tiny independent joints. I could only eat so many processed burgers.
Lucky for me I had a few older black mentors on my various crews (shout outs to Big Will, Mr. Tim, Terry, Dee, and anyone else I’m forgetting at the moment—miss you guys) that introduced the green me to the beauty that is Harold’s and dishes like fried okra. I’m better for it.
what are your thoughts on the sexual misconduct scandal in US swimming and would you consider it worse than PSU? #TFMB—@Sirithe
Rape and molestation of minors anywhere is reprehensible and unforgivable, and all sexual predators should be set on fire in public, as should anyone known to be aiding and abetting such despicable subhumans. At the same, I hesitate to say that one massive situation of child abuse is greater or less than another. It’s not a Top Ten list or coaches’ poll when it comes to such matters.
The swimming thing is disturbing as much as the Sandusky crimes are because A) we shouldn’t have to live in a world where we can’t trust our children with adults running recreational activities, B) why grown men and women would try to protect pederasts and by that then foster more harm to children is beyond comprehension, and C) we may never know everything about either case, and not every victim may ever be accounted for or adult involved brought to justice.
The fact is that there are some sad people in this world that would put sports ahead of the well being of kids. The best the rest of us can do is educate kids and not fall into the culture of silence that allows such awful things to happen.
And so as not to start your weekend on a downer…
Bears. BEARS. BEEAAAARRRSSSSS! @#$%ING BEARS!!—Billy, Villa Park
Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.
Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to email@example.com or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget, but please don’t follow him in real life. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.