Thursday, September 20, 2012

NFL Visionary Steve Sabol Dies

You can watch a football game on Sunday on the various networks and know the score of the game.  But watching a production of NFL Films, you'r part of the game.  Steve Sabol may not have had the best known name in professional sports, but sports fans knew his work.  Sabol and his father, Ed were the creators of NFL Films.  Most widely known for showing highlights of  games from past and present times.  While in football, players wear pads and helmets, they can seem like running robots, NFL Films had the magical ability to personalize the game. 
With the deep baritone voice of John Facenda (later Harry Kalas) narrating and a symphony orchestra in the background, you could feel the cold weather as you watched the vapor coming off of the players or watch the mud  on the players' faces as the camera scanned the sidelines on a rainy day.  You would soon realize that football is a game for all seasons with no rain outs. 
You soon learned that offensive lineman were more than nameless players, because slow motion could break down a play in a way that live action couldn't.  NFL Films put microphones on the players and the coaches, you could hear the players encouraging each other. Suddenly, you had an action movie.
With the vision of John and Ed Sabol, the NFL became the envy of professional sports.  Sabol was a camera man and producer.  He won multiple Emmys.  His father is in the NFL Hall Of Fame. Steve Sabol passed away this week from cancer.

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