This Day in Death

9.18.12: NFL Films President Steve Sabol – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:25 pm September 19, 2012

Looks like you won for everything but modesty, S-bolz.

So the president of NFL Films Steve Sabol is dead today, but I’m practicing being coolly aloof to impress a girl I like. Whatever, let’s just go to the block quote, I guess.

In 1962, Steve’s father Ed made the winning bid to shoot the NFL championship game. The longtime amateur cinematographer called his son, then a football player at Colorado College. “I see from your grades that you’ve been doing nothing but playing football and watching movies,” the elder Sabol told his son. “But that makes you uniquely qualified for this new position I have in mind.”

Hey! That’s kinda like how I got this blogging job! Except that I was playing Tetris, and most of the movies I was watching were at least tangentially associated with Joanna Angel, but the meat and potatoes of our stories are shockingly similar. My dad even gave me the money for this site, although I told him it was gonna be about scriptural analysis and just haven’t answered his phone calls ever since. Sigh. Some days it doesn’t seem like Mitch Albom is *ever* gonna write that book about my life.

Within the next few years, the Sabols aligned their professional futures and creative passions with the league as the men behind NFL Films. And through the decades, every possible innovation in football film and video — nearly every possible innovation in sports film and video — came from their fertile minds. Without their vision and hard work, pro football would not be nearly as popular as it is today.

They brought quality narration to sports highlights with the great voices of John Facenda and Harry Kalas. They brought grand, sweeping orchestral music to the form with the great compositions of Sam Spence. They made us laugh at football with the Follies series, which debuted in the late 1960s and was always Films’ most popular product. They turned the Super Bowl into an international sensation with their yearly highlight packages, and elevated sports film to high art with countless documentaries and longer-form projects.

So… is it safe to say that the Sabols can be partially blamed for the transformation of sporting events into this weird quasi-religious cultural orgy of product endorsements and artificially drawn-out postgame programming, and are therefore the reason why we always had to rejoin The Cosby Mysteries when it was already in progress? The payoff at the end of the episode doesn’t have any impact if I didn’t get to see the set-up, dillweeds!

Source: Yahoo!

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