Every once in a while, an evil so great that it far surpasses all the other evils in your city comes to town. Sometimes is comes to pillage and plunder, burn your village, eat your neighbors, and all that good horror-film stuff.
But other times, it just steals your football team. In Cleveland, that's a far worse evil deed than eating your neighbors.
Thus without further ado, let me present the most hated man in Cleveland sports: Art Modell.
In 1961, Modell bought the Browns for $4 million. Modell fired coaching great Paul Brown two years later, mostly because Brown, being the coach and having won seven league championships, had the nerve to think he had a right to have an opinion on how the team should be run.
Contract battles with players in the late 1960s and early 1970s further exposed Modell as the stingy control freak he was. Later, as the landlord for Municipal Stadium, he managed to alienate the Indians to such a degree that they began plans to build and move to a new baseball-only facility, Jacobs Field.
But all of that was nothing compared to what Modell would do in 1996: take Cleveland's beloved Browns and move them to Baltimore.
The city and the fans, who loved the Browns more than anything else in the world, were equally heartbroken and outraged. Further fueling the fire was the fact that Modell had promised several times in the past not to move the team.
The Brooklyn native had also spoken many times of how upset he was when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to LA in 1957. Ironically, he also voted against the Colts' move from Baltimore to Indianapolis in 1984, 12 years before Modell would make the very same move he voted down there.
After Modell skipped town in 1996, there would be no football in Cleveland for three years as we waited for an expansion team (the city, mercifully, managed to keep the rights to the team name, logo, and history).
Three years might not seem like much time to some people, but for Clevelanders, three years without football may as well be an eternity.
Thankfully, we got our team back, but that doesn't mean we'll ever forgive Modell for betraying us by taking them away. Modell is undoubtedly the single most hated man in Cleveland sports history, and probably always will be.