“Now I know how Art Modell feels.”
As Dean Spanos felt the fury of San Diegans some four years ago after uprooting the Chargers, he invoked the target of scathing criticism nearly two decades earlier for having taken the Browns out of Cleveland.
The gloomy comparison, reportedly uttered to a fellow NFL owner, per author Mark Leibovich in “Big Game, The NFL In Dangerous Times,” didn’t imply any red-carpet welcomes because for the Chargers, there were none.
Where Baltimore hugged Modell’s football club, Los Angeles saw the Chargers and shrugged. The Chargers were uninvited guests.
Today, Spanos & Sons still run the Chargers.
The year ahead will answer whether a second Modell parallel will play out — one Dean and sons John and A.G. would love to see come true next February.
Five years after feeling Modell’s pain, will Spanos feel Modell’s Super Bowl euphoria?
Giving Cleveland sports fans a swift kick to bruised shins in the winter of 2001 — as if winter in Cleveland wasn’t painful enough — Modell was handed the Lombardi Trophy following his team’s fifth season in Baltimore.
Believers in karma rubbed their eyes, as Modell clutched the trophy.
Can the 2021 Chargers match the 2000 Ravens, the Super Bowl trophy going to Spanos in the Kroenke Dome, as it did to Modell in Tampa?
A Super Bowl run would come under rookie head coach Brandon Staley, who inherited a 7-9 program last…