NFL Films Greatest Contributions to the Game

By Marc Jenkins
Ed and Steve Sabol During Ed's Hall-of-Fame Induction
Rick Osentoski-US Presswire

With the news that NFL Films President and co-founder Steve Sabol passing away yesterday due to a fight with brain cancer we must truly appreciate and reflect on all of the wonderful contributions that both him and his father Ed Sabol made to the game of football through their company.

Without NFL Films there might not be several innovations that we have grown so accustom to as football fans such as slow-motion replays, blooper reals and placing microphones on players and coaches during the games. All three of these innovations completely revolutionized the game of football making it more fan-friendly and had huge contributions in making the sport the most popular in our country now. Without any of these ideas the game and its players would still be viewed as a barbarian sport with ogres wearing helmets and masks looking to kill one another. These innovations humanized a violent sport and allowed fans to see a completely different side of these athletes.

Without NFL Films there wouldn’t be shows such as NFL Game of the Week, HBO’s Inside the NFL (all of the highlights on the show are courtesy of NFL Films), NFL’s Greatest Moments, NFL Total Access, Football Follies and the newest sensation of football television Hard Knocks. Just about any and every high-quality football show that has ever appeared on the small screen has some kind of direct NFL Films connection.

Without NFL Films there would be absolutely no footage of any thing NFL before 1978. Back then every game was aired live and then the tapes were later all destroyed, all except those that were recorded by NFL Films. Just imagine if there was no recorded football prior to 1978 it would almost be as if that was the stone age and players who competed in that time would be spoken of but never able to be seen. That would have been extremely tragic, well at least to a football junkie like myself it would have been. I couldn’t imagine growing up not being able to see any highlights of football except from two years prior to my birth. I can’t imagine now sitting down not being able to watch the terrific America’s Game series in my DVD player.It would have been almost like football did truly exist until 1978.

Throughout its history NFL Films has received 107 sports Emmy’s in a variety of categories from writing to editing to directing and producing even cinematography and original music. The music from NFL Films automatically can place some inside of an NFL Films scene just from hearing it no matter where that person is, I know it has that effect on me.

Without NFL Films football simply wouldn’t be football! I just want to thank you to Steve Sabol, his father Ed Sabol and everyone who has contributed towards the great company because without you who knows how I would feel about the great game.

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