ESPN Deliberating Ways To Address Modell's Death On "MNF"
ESPN producers are trying to figure out the best way to address the death of former Ravens Owner Art Modell during the season's first "MNF" game, which will be played in Baltimore. ESPN "MNF" Senior Coordinating Producer Jay Rothman said the telecast will acknowledge Modell during the "Monday Night Countdown" pregame show and immediately after the show's opening. ESPN plans to sprinkle mentions of Modell's NFL legacy, including his role as the host of the first "MNF" game in Cleveland in '70, during the show.
"This is still raw for the Ravens," Rothman said. "I don't know what they will do in stadium. It's still in the early stages here in terms of what might be going on." Modell still is vilified in Cleveland for his role in moving the Browns to Baltimore. But Rothman said the telecast will not focus on that aspect of Modell's legacy Monday. "In these situations, you honor him and the significance he had on the game," Rothman said. "You can acknowledge the mixed emotions and feelings in Cleveland. But I think to go down that road is something we're not going to do."