The industries of both sports and film mourn today as we lose a great friend, Steve Sabol, who was the president of NFL Films.
NFL Films is a well-known production company founded by Steve’s father, Ed in 1962. NFL Films created various documentaries, commercials, and feature films for America’s National Football League (NFL). After Steve graduated from Colorado College (where he played football), he helped out his father in the business by serving as a cameraman.
As NFL Films grew bigger, Steve Sabol became an editor and writer, along with his camera duties. During this time, in the late 1970s, when the popular sports network ESPN was founded, ESPN signed NFL Films as one of their production companies, making Steve Sabol a popular personality, and made him one of the major people in the founding the NFL Network.
With Steve’s talent in the NFL Films, he earned the company 100+ Emmy awards. 35 of these Emmys rewarded Steve for his writing, cinematography, editing, directing, and producing talents. Along with the Emmy awards that he received, Sabol was also awarded the Pete Rozelle Award, a high award that is presented every year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the National Football League.
On September 18th of 2012, Steve Sabol passed away after an 18-month long battle with brain cancer at the age of 69. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell exclaimed the following statement pertaining to Sabol below: (Source: TMZ)
Steve’s passion for football was matched by his incredible talent and energy. Steve’s legacy will be part of the NFL forever. He was a major contributor to the success of the NFL, a man who changed the way we look at football and sports, and a great friend.”
Various fans of Sabol’s talent and personality have left their regards via Twitter:
My heart breaks w/ news of passing of my former boss & dear friend Steve Sabol. Profound impact personally & professionally to so many
RIP Steve Sabol!! A great man who made football film into art.
RIP Steve Sabol. Truly a master at his work. He’ll never be replaced. @NFLFilms
Nfl wouldnt be as popular as it is today if not for Steve Sabol the league should honor him properly #nflfilms
R.I.P Steve Sabol you changed the game as much as any player