In Cleveland, harsh words for Modell

Posted: September 08, 2012

There were a lot of good words for former Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell after his death on Thursday.

Few of those words came from Cleveland, the city Modell's Browns ditched for Baltimore after the 1995 season.

"Good," said Debbie Wentz of Brunswick, a city just outside of Cleveland, when asked about Modell's death. "That's what I thought when I first heard about it. I'm still bitter about the move."

"He took away our football team. How could you do that?" asked Jim Thwaite, owner of Whitey's Army and Navy Store in Berea, Ohio, where the Browns have had their headquarters for more than 30 years. "We are blood and guts, blue-collar Browns fans. It didn't make any sense, still doesn't."

There are no plans to honor Modell, who became the Browns' owner in 1961, before Sunday's season opener at home against the Eagles. Any acknowledgment of his passing might lead to an angry backlash by thousands.

"I pray to the lord they don't do anything," tweeted Ted Riegling, a Browns fan. "I would hate for this city to add another black eye, by booing him."

Peterson: I'm ready

Adrian Peterson says he is ready to play for Minnesota in the season opener.

The star running back, recovering from Dec. 31 surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee, said he has "somewhat" of a gut feeling about whether the Vikings will let him suit up on Sunday against Jacksonville.

Peterson didn't specify whether he is expecting to play and knows the decision is out of his hands. Coach Leslie Frazier has said he will decide on Peterson right before the game.

Commish: Big gap with refs

The NFL and its locked-out officials are probably $50 million to $70 million apart on terms of a new five- to seven-year contract, commissioner Roger Goodell said.

The season started Wednesday with replacement officials working the Cowboys' win over the Giants.

"Our officials did a more-than-adequate job [Wednesday] night," Goodell said at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit hosted by Bloomberg Link in New York. "I think we've proven we can train officials, get them up to NFL standards, and we've done that in a three-month period."

Manning 'ban'

A third grader wearing Peyton Manning's No. 18 Broncos jersey in the Greeley, Colo., school district was sent home to change earlier this week. The district bans clothing with the numbers 13, 14, and 18 and their reverse, 31, 41, and 81, because they are associated with local gangs. Eighteen is in the name of the 18th Street gang, while 13 and 14 are associated with other gangs but not used in their names.

This article contains information from Inquirer wire services.

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