Steve Sabol, along with his father Ed, brought the NFL to the fans in a way never imagined. Their on the field camera shots, super slow motion imagery, classical music back drops, and the John “Voice of God” Facenda performing voice over made the game so much more than it ever was. So today is a day when the NFL community mourns the loss of a legend. Steve Sabol has lost his battle with brain cancer and passed away at the age of 69. He leaves behind a league that is bigger than anyone could have ever imagined, a collection of films that depict the history of the NFL like no other sport has been covered, and a legion of fans that have to stop and watch anytime they see the NFL Films logo on the screen.
Steve brought local fans the ability to enjoy a national game by showcasing players, teams, and plays that otherwise would not be seen. Before ESPN there was NFL Films and the Sabols bringing the wonder of football into every household. Even if you are a new fan to the league you know who Steve Sabol is and what he has done. Don’t think so? Well who do you think was behind such amazing terms as America’s Team, The Catch, The Frozen Tundra? Those were all read by John Facenda over the artistically edited films that Sabol and his team put together.
It’s amazing to think that until Ed Sabol received the rights to be the exclusive videographer for the NFL in 1962 he had no experience filming professional sports. Can you even imagine someone coming into an office and saying they had filmed some high school plays, but wanted to direct major big budget movies? That is was Ed Sabol was able to do along with his son..high school football to the NFL and what a career it was for him and his son. In his career, Steve Sabol won 35 Emmys for writing, cinematography, editing, directing and producing. He was a true legend and artist – he will be missed.