NFL: On a cool, clear day made for football, Art Modell was laid to rest. Just 12 hours after the Baltimore Ravens won their opener, 44-13 over the Cincinnati Bengals, more than 400 people – including quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and linebacker Ray Lewis – gathered at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation to pay homage to Modell, the team’s former owner, who died at 87 on Thursday.
“Art was a special guy who did so much for the game and community,” said Flacco, adding that the Ravens were inspired by Modell’s spirit Monday night. “He was having fun upstairs, no doubt.”
Players, politicians and ordinary people dressed in purple, mostly neckties or dresses, took part in the 90-minute service, a celebration of the life of the man who brought the Ravens to Baltimore in 1996, following the Colts’ departure 12 years earlier.
“Art gave us back our pride,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said. “When the Ravens won the Super Bowl (in 2001), we had the bounce back in our step again. I’ll never forget that day at City Hall, when he held up the (Vince Lombardi) trophy and people, black and white, hugged each other on those cobblestones.
“We were back – and Art Modell did that for us.”
Speakers included Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, who called Modell “a legend, a visionary and an original” who, as owner of the Cleveland Browns, helped create “Monday Night Football” in 1970.
Former Grizzly pleads guilty
College football: A former University of Montana football player pleaded guilty to raping an acquain- tance as she slept on his couch after an evening of drinking two years ago.
Beau Donaldson, 22, pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent. Prosecutors have said they will recommend a 30-year prison term with 20 years suspended when he is sentenced Nov. 13.