Modell, Ogden one step closer to Hall

Modell, Ogden one step closer to Hall
December 1, 2012, 2:30 am
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Former Ravens owner Art Modell is once again on the short list for the Pro Football Hall of Fame,  as he and former Ravens tackle Jonathan Ogden were named on Friday as two of the 27 semifinalists for the Hall's Class of 2013.

That group was culled from an original list of 127 candidates, and will be further reduced to 15 finalists. From that group, a class of anywhere from four to seven inductees will be announced on Saturday, Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl.

Ogden is one of six players who are semifinalists in their first year on the ballot. The others include offensive lineman, Larry Allen, kicker Morten Andersen, safety John Lynch, defensive tackle Warren Sapp and defensive end Michael Strahan.

Ogden, the first player the Ravens ever drafted, is considered a lock for the Hall of Fame. He went to the Pro Bowl 11 times in his 12-year career, all of which was spent with the Ravens. The 6-foot-9, 340-pounder out of UCLA helped set the standard by which all future tackles are measured.

Modell's candidacy continues to carry much more uncertainty. Although widely viewed as a visionary -- he created Monday Night Football and helped foster the invaluable link between the NFL and television four decades ago -- Modell is still held in contempt by some for his controversial decision to move his franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore.

Modell, who sold the majority ownership of the team to Steve Bisciotti in 2004, is on the list of Hall of Fame semifinalists for the ninth time. He has reached the list of finalists just once, in 2001, the year after the Ravens won  the Super Bowl. 

After his death, many former players and league executives made impassioned pleas for Modell's spot in Canton.

The official Hall of Fame enshrinement will take place in Canton on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013.