By no means was Art Modell the only owner to uproot his franchise for the purposes of money. He wasn’t even the latest, given that Bud Adams more or less did the same thing a year later to Houston. But Modell was always more reviled for it. I don’t say that to suggest that he got an unfair shake. Modell’s legacy will forever be committing a trademark rich guy dick move and I’m all for that.
I don’t know how Ravens fans feel about him, but despite the fact that he soaked them out of a bunch of tax dollars to build what is now M&T Bank Stadium, he was the man to return professional football to Baltimore. He was also the owner who hoisted the Lombardi trophy when the franchise won Super Bowl XXXV. That has to be worth something. It’s also entirely possible he’s just thought of as the guy who owned the team before Steve Bisciotti.
The point is, Modell never really had much of a connection to the city of Baltimore, other than it being a place for him to cash in during his last decade of involvement with the league. It’s Cleveland that will always remember him. I dare say it won’t be fondly.