Oct 27 in Sports History: Art Modell steals away in the night


In 1995: It is well known how miserable of a sporting existence Cleveland fans have suffered, but this might have been the lowest point, the cruelest blow, the coup de grace gut punch. Browns’ owner Art Modell signed a secret agreement with the city of Baltimore to move his franchise – which probably had the most loyal fans in the NFL – there for the 1996 season. Modell cried poor and blamed Cleveland officials for refusing to build him a new stadium. He took a sweetheart deal from Baltimore (who was desperate for a franchise after losing the Colts in similar fashion in 1984), the Browns became the Ravens and changed their logo and uniforms, and the Mistake by the Lake was soon a memory (it caught fire during demolition just to remind Cleveland what it really was). Cleveland kept the rights to the Browns nickname and colors and was granted an expansion franchise for the 1999 season. The Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000 while the Browns have gone 37-81 to this day.

In 2002: Emmitt Smith of the Cowboys took a handoff from Chad Hutchinson and ran off left tackle for 11 yards. They were last of 16,727 yards he needed to break the late Walter Payton’s career rushing total. The game was stopped for five minutes to honor Smith, and a post-game celebration was also held despite the Cowboys losing 17-14 to the Seattle Seahawks. Smith is the NFL’s all-time career rushing leader in yards, attempts and touchdowns.

In 1986 and 1991: A pair of memorable World Series Game 7’s took place: In 1986, the Mets completed their stunning comeback by finishing off the Boston Red Sox 8-5 and continuing the Curse of the Bambino for the 68th consecutive year. In 1991, Jack Morris of the Twins turned in a legendary complete game, 10-inning shutout of the Atlanta Braves and a Gene Larkin bases-loaded single clinched the second World Series in four years for Minnesota.

And no Boston, we didn’t forget that the Red Sox clinched their first championship since 1918 with a four game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals on this day in 2004.

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