What a talent we lost today with the death of Steve Sabol. Sabol worked for NFL Films, the company his father Ed founded, since its inception in 1964. Sabol and his dad helped make NFL football the game it is today by revolutionizing the way it was filmed.
The Sabols did things like reverse angle replays and filming in slow motion, which showed the muscle strength and maneuvering in each play. The way NFL games are filmed today is a direct result of the innovation that Steve Sabol and his dad created.
NFL Films Were a Big Part of Our Household
As a lifelong NFL fan, the Sabols were a huge part of our family football tradition. We watched several of their releases throughout the years, like the bloopers addition, or the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl collection. We'd watch these each year in preparation for the football season to come.
Part of my fascination with football involves the movement in it. Not just how a play is called, but how that play looks on the field, with the precise actions that make one athlete good and another one elite.
NFL Films helped showcase the talents of football players, and also the emotions of the game. They filmed speeches that coaches gave in the locker rooms, caught one player giving another an angry shove on the field, and showed just how difficult it can be to hang on to a football in a place like Lambeau Field.
Steve Sabol's Creativity Included Mixed Media Art as Well
Sabol was a talented guy in many areas, not just for his early work in cinematography with his dad, but for writing and producing as well. He received 35 Emmys in his career, and didn't stop there.
I'd only recently happened upon his artwork. He created mixed media collages showcasing football and pop culture. He exhibited at the "ArtExpo in New York, the Avant Gallery in Miami, the Govinda Gallery in Washington, the Milan Gallery in Fort Worth Texas, and the Garth Davidson Gallery in Moorestown, N.J."
Sabol Will Be Remembered for Showcasing the Art of Football
He said, "We see the game as art as much as sport," and added that he and his father helped "nurture not only the game's traditions" but developed "its mythology: America's Team, The Catch, The Frozen Tundra."
Sabol was diagnosed with brain cancer in March of last year, and died today at the age of 69.