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updated: 9/8/2012 5:15 PM

Modell family asks Browns to cancel tribute

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  • Sam Miller, left, the executive assistant to former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell, shakes hands with Matthew Twillman, 14, of Olney, Md., on Saturday during a public viewing at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

      Sam Miller, left, the executive assistant to former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell, shakes hands with Matthew Twillman, 14, of Olney, Md., on Saturday during a public viewing at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Art Modell's family has asked the Cleveland Browns not to acknowledge the former owner at Sunday's season opener.

The Browns had planned an "appropriate recognition" for Modell, who died on Thursday at the age of 87. But Modell's son, David, spoke to Browns president Mike Holmgren and requested the team not do anything to recognize the late owner who remains vilified by many Cleveland fans for moving his team to Baltimore after the 1995 season.

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The Browns will grant the family's wish. Any tribute for Modell before Sunday's game against Philadelphia could have triggered an ugly backlash by Browns fans.

Team spokesman Neal Gulkis said the Browns had intended to have a tribute read over the public address system.

The NFL has asked all its teams to observe a moment of silence or acknowledge Modell, who owned the Browns from 1961-95.

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