If you are a fan of the NFL then undoubtedly you are a fan of NFL Films. Unfortunately today, NFL Films President and co-founder Steve Sabol died at the age of 69 as a result of brain cancer. Born on October 2, 1942 in Moorestown, New Jersey Sabol along with his father Ed Sabol began NFL Films in 1964 and turned what they thought was something unique and new into the gold standard of sports television programing.
Steve Sabol was hospitalized in March 2011 for a seizure and that is when doctors discovered that he had a tumor on the left side of his brain. Without NFL Films and the Sabols there would have been several innovations in sports television that may have not been discovered until years later if ever.
NFL Films is credited for introducing slow-motion replays, blooper reels and placing microphones on players and coaches during games and practices; all of these are now common-place necessities in today’s modern NFL. Steve Sabol has been awarded 35 Emmy’s for a various number of categories including writing, cinematography, editing, directing and producing. No one else has ever been awarded that many Emmy’s in that array of categories in the history of television. Both Sabol’s were also received Lifetime Achievement Emmy Awards in 2003 for their incredible work with NFL Films.
Ed Sabol was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame last year and Steve was there with him to honor his father along with others to honor his father for the tremendous work he ad done with the show and the contributions that he had made to the National Football League and I’m quite sure it will only be a matter of time before the same honor will be bestowed on Steve posthumously.
Steve Sabol will be missed not only by his family and friends but also a generations of football fans such as myself, who enjoyed and grew up watching and appreciating his life’s work as such fine art that not only moved many but also made them laugh and think.
Here’s to Steve Sabol a pioneer and icon not only in the world of professional sports but also television history. Thank you for everything you have done.