Team owner Art Modell said he has been told by his doctors to cut down on his traveling this season. Modell, who spent two weeks in a Florida hospital this spring with a blood infection, had an encouraging checkup on Monday.
He did not travel to the team's preseason finale in Buffalo, where an official with the Bills said Modell was told to stay away because of the hostile reception he might encounter. Numerous Browns fans were spotted in the crowd, some with anti-Modell signs. Modell denied that account.
"That's not so. [Bills owner] Ralph Wilson called me and said he was disappointed that I didn't make the trip," said Modell, 71. "My doctors were astonished at my condition on Monday, given the eight months of torture and the illness I've gone through. My blood pressure is great. But they don't want me traveling to every game this year."
Modell has not decided if he will travel to the game in Pittsburgh on Sept. 8. But he said that an anti-Modell reception will not play a part in his decision.
"Pittsburgh was hostile long before we moved from Cleveland," he said. "It was always a frightening adventure to go down there. It's a hard-drinking, menacing crowd. It's been ugly for over 30 years going there."
Pub Date: 8/28/96