Of course, everyone involved with the Ravens organization will agree on this: Art Modell belongs in the the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
So do his peers. After the former Ravens and Cleveland Browns owner passed early Thursday, they let their feelings be known:
Joe Browne, NFL executive who is the longest-serving employee in the league office: "Art Modell was a most influential member of Commissioner Rozelles Kitchen Cabinet for many years, along with Dan Rooney and the late Tex Schramm. Ironically, Art is the only member of that group who is not enshrined in Canton. Hopefully, the Hall of Fame media selectors will rectify that oversight in the near future not as an emotional reaction to Arts death, but as a rightful reflection of his longtime contributions to the NFL."
John Mara, New York Giants president and CEO: "Art Modell was one of the greatest owners in the history of the NFL. He contributed in so many ways to the success of this league, and he deserves a place in Canton. More importantly, he was a decent man and a great friend to my family. We will miss him dearly."
Joe Wooten, ex-Browns guard: "First and foremost, our relationship goes back to the 1960s when he first bought the Cleveland Browns. He was one of the great, great owners in the NFL. He was a man that sacrificed and did the things to make the NFL what it is today. He was an owner who excelled in dealing with players, working with the public and making sure that our game was growing. He sacrificed. He worked alongside Lamar Hunt, Tex Schramm, Well Mara and Art Rooney - and all of those men are in the Hall of Fame. He worked with them in all of those meetings. He was there. It is indeed a shame that he is not in the Hall of Fame. I can't tell you how bad I want Art to be in the Hall of Fame."
Tom Matte, ex-Baltimore Colts running back: "He was a special guy to me. I call him a very close friend. We came into the league together in 1961. What he's done for football can't be measured. This man deserves to be in the Hall of Fame."
Brian Billick, former Ravens coach: "It was a joy to come to work for him. He accomplished so much as an owner: championships, playoffs, the TV contracts, the leadership in the NFL. They are all great and deserving of the Hall of Fame. Those who worked with Art will all say the same thing. He was a Hall of Fame person."
Dick Ebersol, former president of NBC Sports: "I believe very strongly that Art Modell is one of the most important figures in the history of the modern NFL. He and Pete Rozelle developed the magic formula that married the potential of television to the game. Those funds from this marriage propelled the game into what it is today. Art was there with Pete, and Art made it happen. Those two, along with Well Mara who convinced other owners about the power of shared revenue - are the three men who pushed the NFL into what we know today.
"My good fortune is that I met Art when I was a 20-year-old intern for Roone Arledge, and he was creating the first Monday night game. He treated that intern the same as he treated a 60-something TV executive many years later. He always made me feel special. He was open and natural, and there was not a phony bone in his body. His humor could solve the biggest obstacles. When I first became president of NBC Sports, I went to Cleveland to visit with Art. The thoughts he shared with me about television helped me gain success. His efforts in three-plus decades of steering the NFLs TV committee are monumental. The debt owed by his fellow owners, the current owners and everyone else who has made a living off the NFL, is incalculable. The good news is that (late wife) Pat (Modell) will now be back with her Art.
"But, I am so saddened with one thing: Art did not get to experience an induction into the Hall of Fame. The leaders in Cleveland, when he moved to Baltimore, put Art in an untenable situation and left him with the hard choice of moving. That scarred some people on Art. I hope in death Art is placed where he should be - in Canton in the Hall of Fame.