With the passing of Ravens owner Art Modell on Thursday, Bengals owner Mike Brown and coach Marvin Lewis took the opportunity to voice their condolences for a man who greatly affected both of their lives.
Lewis joined Baltimore as defensive coordinator and during his first season with the team the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000.
The Bengals franchise was created out of the firing of Paul Brown, Mike's father, who then went on to create the Cincinnati Bengals.
Brown didn't tiptoe around the subject in discussing the late Modell.
"Art was a significant owner in the NFL," he said. "My father had deep differences with him when they were together in Cleveland, yet on the other hand, their relationship contributed to a great rivalry between the Bengals and the old Browns. There was some real excitement to those early games. Art won praise for his work at the league level, particularly with the development of the NFL's relationship with network television, and we extend our sympathy to all who were close to him."
Lewis held a much closer relationship to Modell, who was responsible for the biggest break in his career.
"I'm very saddended to hear of the passing of Mr. Modell," Lewis said. "Having been a part of the origin of the Ravens franchise, I know how near and dear his football team was to his heart. it was truly an extension of his family, almost like another child to him. I want to send my sympathy and best wishes to all of Art's family, and especially to his sons David and John and their families."
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