It’s said that an NFL game is a show in and of itself. However, Steve Sabol, President of NFL films added the fireworks, music, and emotion in the stories that he told through his film work.
The NFL announced Tuesday morning that Sabol, 69, passed away after an 18-month battle with brain cancer. Steve Sabol was the son of Ed Sabol who founded NFL Films. Steve introduced Ed into the NFL Hall of Fame in August of 2011 which was the same year that Shannon Sharpe was inducted.
“Steve was the creative genius behind NFL Films’ remarkable work,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday in an email to NFL personnel. “Steve’s passion for football was matched only by his talent and energy. He was a major contributor to the success of the NFL, a man who changed the way we looked at football and sports, and a great friend. His legacy is assured.” – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (NFL.com)
Sabol won 40 Emmy Awards and he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
It’s not just Goodell speaking out about Sabol’s death. Here’s what the Twitter world is saying:
Whenever I wanted to know something about how NFL became the giant it is today, a half hour on phone with Steve Sabol was time well-spent. – Les Carpenter (Yahoo Sports)
Goodbye, Steve Sabol. A true American, and NFL, original. - Peter King (Sports Illustrated)
He did not play or coach or own a team but few have impacted the NFL like Steve Sabol. So sad to lose this legend. – Mike Tirico (ESPN)
Sabol connected the NFL fan base with the league itself. He made football a year round sport with his artistic abilities and passion for the sport. This is a must-watch “inside” piece on NFL Films with Steve Sabol.
Sabol said during the film, “The shape of a football field is the shape of a movie screen. There’s something about the way the spectacle of the game, the visceral nature of the game, it lends itself to making movies.”
He also said, “I still to this day remember the first line of script that I wrote, and the first line of script is ‘It starts with a whistle, and ends with a gun.’”
Sabol’s contributions started with a unique vision and ended with an everlasting band. RIP Steve Sabol. You will forever be remembered as the man who connected the fans with the league.