Steve Sabol, President of NFL Films, Passes Away at Age 69
By: Kim O'Hara | Posted: September 18, 2012
Steve Sabol, President of NFL Films, has passed away after an eighteen month battle against an inoperable brain tumor. He was just weeks shy of his 70th birthday. He held a number of roles at NFL Films throughout the years, beginning as a cameraman before ultimately being named President of the company. He and his father, founder Ed Sabol, oversaw an entity that has garnered over 100 Emmy Awards (40 of those were awarded to Steve for cinematography, editing, writing, directing and producing). Both Steve and his father were honored in 2003 with Lifetime Achievement Emmy Awards.
His influence over the way we watch football is incalculable, as he aimed to “bring a new understanding to something we’ve already seen”. Early on, he embraced effects that are commonplace today, from super slow motion, to placing wireless microphones on players, to original scores that highlighted the action. He elevated simple replays to fascinating narratives, teaching us to appreciate the game in a whole new light.
Sabol introduced his father at Ed’s 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement and shared one of his father’s guiding tenets at NFL Films, which he surely adopted himself: "Tell me a fact, and I'll learn. Tell me a truth and I'll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever."
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