Skip to content

Steve Sabol, NFL Films president, dies at 69

Steve Sabol AP

Steve Sabol, the longtime NFL Films president who along with his father Ed Sabol helped define the way the American public saw professional football, has died at the age of 69.

Sabol confirmed last year, shortly before he introduced his dad at his Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, that he was suffering from brain cancer.

Few people are able to turn their passions into a great professional legacy like the Sabols, who loved football, filmmaking and family and managed to combine them all into one when Ed and Steve started NFL Films together. Ed was just a guy with a movie camera and a vision when he convinced the NFL to let him and his 20-year-old son be the official videographers of the 1962 NFL Championship Game, but before long the two-man video crew had become a part of the NFL. And over the next half century NFL Films became a major part of how America viewed both sports and television.

If you’ve enjoyed seeing super slow-motion replays, or hearing the sounds of players wearing microphones during games, or laughing at the blooper reels that began with “Football Follies,” you can thank NFL Films.

“Steve Sabol was the creative genius behind the remarkable work of NFL Films,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.”

He was never a player, coach, commissioner or team owner, but for his contributions to the game from behind the camera and in the editing room, Steve Sabol will be remembered as one of the NFL’s great visionaries.

Permalink 131 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Top Stories
131 Responses to “Steve Sabol, NFL Films president, dies at 69”
  1. jbxz says: Sep 18, 2012 1:37 PM

    RIP Steve.

  2. tzoppi says: Sep 18, 2012 1:38 PM

    RIP Steve

  3. nygmenruleny says: Sep 18, 2012 1:39 PM

    I feel like a friend just died. RIP Steve, you will be missed.

  4. tlmoon2112 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:39 PM

    Now THAT is something to really be sad about. not enough words to express the gratitude I have for his work. Thank you Steve, you will be sorely missed!!!!

  5. kingviking414 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:39 PM

    R.I.P. Steve!!!
    You were a true pioneer.

  6. Iain says: Sep 18, 2012 1:39 PM

    RIP Steve. A sad day.

  7. cubano76 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:39 PM

    R.I.P Mr. Sabol. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  8. vbe2 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:40 PM

    A true loss to the NFL and for all NFL fans.

    RIP Steve and thanks to you and your father for all you did for us.

  9. ketelwon says: Sep 18, 2012 1:40 PM

    Big loss for the NFL. He helped build what Commissioner Goodell is now trying to destroy.

  10. joecool16280 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:40 PM

    Damn. So sad. He truly changed the game and will be missed. Part of my youth was watching NFL films.

    Sorry to see you go Mr. Sabol you were a class act!

  11. natelan69 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:41 PM

    What a shame. He and his father created something truly unique, and in many ways, better than the NFL itself.

    For certain, the NFL would be a mere shadow of itself today without NFL films.

    Rest in peace.

  12. wussbasket says: Sep 18, 2012 1:41 PM

    wow. thank you so much steve sabol for all the hard work you put in to create a better experience for the fans. ive looked up to you when searching for what i wanted to do with my life and you have inspired me to do what i work for every day. thank you and RIP

  13. dldove77 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:41 PM

    That sucks. Loved his work. He’ll be missed.

  14. silvernblackpa says: Sep 18, 2012 1:41 PM

    In many ways, NFL Films invented the way modern sports are covered. Those old “Inside the NFL” highlight reels were groundbreaking.
    And mic’d up players. And on and on and on.

    It’s a hell of a legacy to leave behind.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Sabol.

  15. mikemac1027 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:42 PM

    Steve will surely be missed. He was a great person who will be remembered not only for his work but because he was a great man whose family and friends were as important to him as his work

  16. llghtn44 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:42 PM

    Been a NFL fan since 1998 ,go vikes, but there ia no way that I would have known anything,not just the the history od my team but the history of the league if it wasnt for him RIP big Steve!

  17. mataug says: Sep 18, 2012 1:42 PM

    The NFL and its fans owes a lot to the Sabol family for making the game as enjoyable as it is today. RIP.

  18. gadzod says: Sep 18, 2012 1:42 PM

    If it wasn’t for Mr. Sabol, we wouldn’t be watching the NFL the same if it wasn’t for you and your creation of NFL Films. Thank you and RIP!

  19. tannethrill says: Sep 18, 2012 1:42 PM

    Thank you to the Sabol family for everything you’ve given to us.

  20. rebel21das says: Sep 18, 2012 1:42 PM

    Sad day, R.I.P Mr.Sabol, real NFL fans will never forget you and your fathers legacy.

  21. dilberry says: Sep 18, 2012 1:43 PM

    ketelwon says: Sep 18, 2012 1:40 PM

    Big loss for the NFL. He helped build what Commissioner Goodell is now trying to destroy.

    ——————————–

    This.

  22. robertocfg says: Sep 18, 2012 1:43 PM

    True fans will understand his importance (along with his fathers’) to the game of football. The NFL wouldn’t be anywhere close to what it is if it wasn’t for him.

    Part of the reason that I like the NFL so much is how it is presented. It’s just not about the 60-minutes on the field. The videos, the documentals, the production. It’s all thanks to the Sabols.

    Thanks for your great contribution, Steve Sabol. Rest in Peace.

  23. quizguy66 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:44 PM

    RIP Steve and thank you for everything you’ve done for NFL fans, and by extension fans of all sports since you raised the bar so high. So many things we take for granted today we have because of the vision of you and your father.

    -QG

  24. hastekilled says: Sep 18, 2012 1:44 PM

    I was shocked and saddened when I seen Rich announce it on NFL Network. Thank you Steve, and may you RIP. Thoughts go out to Ed and the rest of his family.

  25. klownboy says: Sep 18, 2012 1:45 PM

    It will be so weird watching NFL Films and not seeing Sabol nor his name. RIP Mr. Sabol…

  26. opinevain says: Sep 18, 2012 1:45 PM

    God rest his soul! NFL Films is the NFL. He turned games into movies.

  27. t16rich says: Sep 18, 2012 1:45 PM

    R.I.P. Steve. The game would have never reached these levels without you.

  28. skito13 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:46 PM

    Brought the NFL into our homes and helped educate all of us into the league,without the films ,etc. interest would not be what it is today. He enjoyed his job!!!!!!
    THANKS,peace to his family…

  29. dirtybird28 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:46 PM

    RIP Steve

  30. brysong says: Sep 18, 2012 1:46 PM

    Thank you Mr Sabol.

  31. Deb says: Sep 18, 2012 1:47 PM

    Not a player, coach, commissioner, or owner … but Steve Sabol probably had more impact on my memories of the game than any other individual associated with the NFL. All of us who love the game owe him an immeasurable debt. May God be with his family, and may he rest in peace.

  32. scchamil says: Sep 18, 2012 1:48 PM

    Steve Sabol was a national treasure and, along with his dad, had a major hand in making the NFL the national phenomenon it is today. More importantly, he always just seemed like a really good dude. My condolences to his family and friends. He will truly be missed.

  33. shardar says: Sep 18, 2012 1:48 PM

    RIP Steve
    Thanks for all you’ve done for the game!

  34. source7769 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:49 PM

    wow atleast he got to see his father Ed get into the hall of fame its unbelievable how those two built nfl films from just them and a camera

  35. hoggy301 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:49 PM

    Thanks for all the great football memories you and your father gave us; you’ll always be with us Steve: RIP

  36. krashie21 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:50 PM

    The NFL would not be what it is today without the contribution of the Sabols.

    Steve was the face of the NFL and the creative genius that helped market the league into the powerhouse that it is.

    It took other leagues YEARS before they caught on and he was a true innovator.

    RIP Steve Sabol……

  37. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 18, 2012 1:50 PM

    Revolutionary figure. Sad to see he’s gone but will live forever with what he leaves behind.

  38. Matt says: Sep 18, 2012 1:50 PM

    John Facenda and the Autumn Wind are a part of the Raider Mystique. I cannot imagine a world where such is not true.

    Thank you, Steve Sabol. Thank you, Ed Sabol. Thank you, NFL films. The world lost a great man today.

  39. panthers34 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:52 PM

    “The Autum Wind is a Raider, pillaging just for fun….”

  40. wcdunkenfield says: Sep 18, 2012 1:53 PM

    Steve and his father built NFL Films into something very substantial. One could make the argument that those NFL Films greatly heightened the status of the NFL around the country and the world. They beautifully (remember those great color films?) brought us NFL football during the time when the game was not yet featured regularly on TV.

    And as a Philadelphian, one could always point with pride to the Sabols and NFL Films (and the baritone voiceovers of John Facenda) as a local product.

    RIP, Steve. You will definitely be missed…

  41. seabreezes51 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:53 PM

    Wow… A sad day.
    NFL films turned the NFL into the powerhouse it is today.

  42. axespray says: Sep 18, 2012 1:54 PM

    wow… RIP Steve.

  43. shawnleblancpatsfan says: Sep 18, 2012 1:54 PM

    RIP Steve. Truly a visionary that will be impossible to replace

  44. momsasaynt says: Sep 18, 2012 1:54 PM

    RIP Mr. Sabol many a time on a rainy afternoon your voice would narrate a football piece and you felt like a friend was educating you on the game of FB. Who ever put thumbs down on any of these comments SHAME ON YOU.

  45. greglandry says: Sep 18, 2012 1:54 PM

    Those images captured by NFL Films in the 1970′s are my childhood. Thank you Steve and Ed Sabol.

    God bless you Steve Sabol. My condolences to the entire Sabol family.

  46. cowboysallday says: Sep 18, 2012 1:54 PM

    RIP Steve

  47. sj39 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:54 PM

    There is something very wrong with someone who would thumbs down a simple RIP for this man.

  48. armchairqb says: Sep 18, 2012 1:55 PM

    A brutal and sad loss. He and his dad made the game what it is today. He will be missed.

    Rest in Peace.

  49. crisper57 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:56 PM

    Steve, it is not hyperbole to say that you made this League into what it is today. No way the NFL surpasses MLB as the national pastime without NFL Films leading the charge. You were a visionary and an icon. You will be missed.

  50. jrock3x8 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:57 PM

    i think his videos came with an SI subscription I got way back in the day and it’s hard to overstate how much those videos made an impression on me as a young teen. This guy had a lot to do with me being a football fan for life.

  51. sadskinsfan89 says: Sep 18, 2012 1:58 PM

    I wldnt be a nfl fan if it wasnt for him. He made nfl games seem like movies. Rest in peace you and your work will always be remembered.

  52. whodatnhollywood says: Sep 18, 2012 1:58 PM

    Steve Sabol, well done. You have left an incredible legacy for the world to continue to enjoy. Thank you and your dad for such great vision!

    Long before the plethora of highlight shows, there was NFL Films and the Bloopers show I grew up watching and loving. They are still, unmatched. Thanks for the memories.

    Rest well with the other NFL veterans including Walter Payton, Harvey Martin, Johnny Unitas, Sam Mills, Junior Seau, Tom Landry, Hank Stram, Don Coryell and the list goes on…

  53. sdiegosteel says: Sep 18, 2012 1:58 PM

    Born in 1970, I can probably give you, word-for-word, many of the scripts that John Facenda read for NFL Films’ highlights of the first 15 Super Bowls. I watched those every time they came on. The Sabols made football a mythology and those films were true art. Lynn Swann probably owes his Hall of Fame enshrinement off of Sabol’s shots of his catches in Super Bowls 10 and 13.

    I truly believed for decades now that Steve Sabol deserved a lifetime achievement Oscar – - his accomplishments were as much about film and documentary as it was football. He was a visionary and a pioneer (he and his father were making it up as they went along in those early years when you hear their story). It is a sad, sad day for anyone who came to love the sport in part because of what Steve Sabol did.

  54. bordner says: Sep 18, 2012 1:59 PM

    That’s sad news. The NFL has lost a great one.

    How many fans do you think he and his dad not only enhanced the overall experience for, but actually brought to the game?

    I may be biased towards football, but nothing any of the other major sports has done over the years even comes close to what we got from NFL Films. The sights, the sounds, the music – just thinking about some of it gives me chills.

  55. pooflingingmonkey says: Sep 18, 2012 2:01 PM

    He was part of the fabric that made up the NFL, and I’ll always remember his work with great appreciation.

    RIP Steve.

  56. dougydougdoug says: Sep 18, 2012 2:02 PM

    RIP

    What a loss. He was nothing but a class act, and the work which he (and has father) accomplished is simply unparalleled in any other sport. Period. I guarantee that their films introduced countless neophytes to the game which we all love.

  57. briang123 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:03 PM

    Thank you to Mr. Sabol for his work. His legacy will far outlive his physical life.

  58. eddardofthehousestark says: Sep 18, 2012 2:04 PM

    Steve, you were a talented guy and an even better person. RIP, you will never be forgotten because everytime someone watches NFL Films, they will think of Steve Sabol.

  59. rj88888 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:04 PM

    Godspeed Mr. Sabol, you were a true fan of the NFL.

  60. roadtrip3500 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:05 PM

    Those ’70s weekly highlight shows with the Sam Spence orchestra and John Facenda narration… Howard Cosell’s Halftime Highlights on MNF… cable’s Inside the NFL… then all the great home video… that will be the legacy of Steve Sabol. Thank you for making the game larger than life.

  61. endzone says: Sep 18, 2012 2:06 PM

    Ed Sabol– thank you for sharing your wonderful with us.

  62. ningenito78 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:07 PM

    Man this one sucks. It’s a damn shame he never got to the Hall of Fame while he was alive.

  63. r8rs4life says: Sep 18, 2012 2:07 PM

    Thanks for gettin’ us on the fields with the pros Steve, RIP brotha

  64. theroc5156 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:07 PM

    RIP indeed.

    I lifted weights with him back in 2002 in a Mount Laurel, NJ gym and was amazed how nice of a guy he was. He had the patience of a saint talking about my Bengals. They really sucked back then.

  65. dcfedsalesguy says: Sep 18, 2012 2:09 PM

    Who remembers the follies with Bugs Bunny type voices as being the narrator? Truly a genius that will be missed. Rest in Peace.

  66. endzone says: Sep 18, 2012 2:10 PM

    Ed Sabol- thank you for sharing your wonderful Son with us.

  67. ggreen7 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:13 PM

    Steve Sabol was working NFL games with his father as a kid in the 60′s. He deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame every bit as much.

  68. blacknole08 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:13 PM

    Wow I grew up watching this man and NFL Films. His enthusiasm and genuine love for this game was unparalleled and will be missed.

    RIP Steve

  69. jodave5 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:14 PM

    Steve belongs next to his father in Canton, OH. These two men are more responsible for the popularity of the NFL than they have ever been given credit for. I can recall watching This Week in Pro Football in the early 70′s and then going outside in the dark and tossing the football to myself and singing the music I’d heard early watching the highlights. To Ed, I’m so sorry for your lose. My deepest sorrow and gratitude to the entire Sabol family.
    RIP Steve.

  70. rajbais says: Sep 18, 2012 2:17 PM

    This is so sad. Many of us never knew him except if we saw him in any of his pieces he looked like a guy that had an infectious and lovable personality and smile. His father Ed is ailing too except it is sadder when we have to see the son leave first; especially when parents want their children to outlive them.

    I never knew Steve or worked at NFL Films, but I have always heard that it is a positive place to work at. He was a big reason for it.

    Steve, we’ll miss you. :(

    RIP.

  71. samoanjungle says: Sep 18, 2012 2:18 PM

    I think he and his Dad were a HUGE reason for the rise in popularity of the NFL.

  72. shallweride says: Sep 18, 2012 2:21 PM

    Love you Steve

  73. richndc says: Sep 18, 2012 2:25 PM

    well, that sucks. gone too soon for sure. RIP Mr. Sabol. I am sure you father was delighted you came to join him.

  74. jgedgar70 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:25 PM

    I was also born in ’70, and got hooked on the Football Follies and the perfect narration of John Facenda. I thought that the NFL Films product lost a lot when Facenda passed, and it lost a lot today.

    For me, nothing on film will ever top the follies video with the Luney Tunes characters (especially Foghorn Leghorn), and the Super Bowl XVIII highlights. The single greatest line in an NFL Films production was Facenda’s description of the Redskins last chance to make a game of it – the 4th & 1 with the Raiders up 24-9 in the 3rd or 4th quarter: “Riggins was the only choice. Might as well die with your boots on.”

    RIP Steve. Your work will be remembered forever.

  75. iamthefootballjerk says: Sep 18, 2012 2:26 PM

    RIP Steve Sabol. It was your voice and John Facenda’s that I remember as a kid learning about NFL football. A very sad day.

  76. philvil41 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:28 PM

    I have always been a huge fan of NFL Films.The pictures,writing, sound, and humor were and still are first class.A few years back I called NFL Films and asked to speak with Steve Sabol so I could tell him how much I loved his work.In a heartbeat he was on the phone, and I expressed my admiration for everything that is NFL Films, and he couldn’t have been more gracious.We talked for 10 minutes about the NFL and I asked him if he would do an interview on my local radio sports talk show.Not only did he do 15 minutes that time,he did it every year whenever I asked him to.The NFL wouldn’t be what it is today if not for Steve and his father.A total class act who belongs in the H.O.F.Thanks Steve,may you rest in peace.

  77. fetchezlavache says: Sep 18, 2012 2:28 PM

    The “Autumn Wind” on YouTube. Thanks Steve (and of course the Voice of God, John Facenda)

  78. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:31 PM

    Grew up in the 80s watching NFL Films on ESPN after school nearly every day. If I had grown up in the 70s, I would have been a Raider fan because of John Madden, and that SONG. RIP STEVE SABOL.

  79. crc281 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:31 PM

    R.I.P. to one of the greatest filmmakers ever. His work was one of the reasons I fell in love with the NFL as a kid. He was truly a legend.

  80. k0mbucha says: Sep 18, 2012 2:34 PM

    Horribly sad news!!

    Steve and his Dad virtually made the NFL popular thru their film work, RIP Mr. Sabol you will be missed!

  81. blaksteele says: Sep 18, 2012 2:34 PM

    NFL Films is so legendary. Big name directors have also given credit to the Sabols by copying their style of filmaking. RIP Steve.

  82. 40easter says: Sep 18, 2012 2:35 PM

    The height of passion in your films, you cant fake that. RIP brother.

  83. worldchampsbaby says: Sep 18, 2012 2:35 PM

    Way ,way too young.My best to his family!

  84. trefkennedy says: Sep 18, 2012 2:44 PM

    Rest in peace, I’m 23 and gotta say enjoyed seeing him during football season

  85. villa41 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:44 PM

    Too young. RIP, Mr. Sabol. Love the work he and his dad did at NFL Films. Can’t get enough of that stuff.

  86. rajbais says: Sep 18, 2012 2:45 PM

    He always looked like a youthful man who internally never aged.

    I’ll miss that smile of his.

  87. fwippel says: Sep 18, 2012 2:46 PM

    Rest in Peace, Steve. You will be missed. You have left the fans of the NFL countless treasures.

    Hopefully, the one good thing that may come out of his passing is that the NFL Network will wake up and start using more of his material, as well as start showing more archived footage of classic NFL games from the past.

    Sabol’s material would be a vast improve in the NFL network’s offseason programming, which seems to be nothing but endless reruns of NFL Access.

  88. agelardi says: Sep 18, 2012 2:51 PM

    First ballot HOF’er!

  89. fballguy says: Sep 18, 2012 2:54 PM

    I’ve been dreading this news for a year and a half. I never met the man, but to me he was family.

    Rest in peace Steve.

  90. kdn4 says: Sep 18, 2012 2:55 PM

    This is inherently tragic and he will be missed incredibly.

    Thank you, Steve, for all you’ve done to getting us closer to the game that we all love so much. You are going to be missed by millions more than you will ever know.

    Hopefully you rest peacefully for all eternity.

    Kevin

  91. imthedudedude says: Sep 18, 2012 2:59 PM

    Very sad, loved watching him talk about football. RIP Steve, you will be missed.

  92. rollteal says: Sep 18, 2012 3:00 PM

    RIP Steve Sabol. One of the great story tellers a person who redefined the NFL on TV & took nfl films to new height has passed.
    Steve Sabol now has the greatest view of all.

  93. yankeesgameday says: Sep 18, 2012 3:05 PM

    I once had to call NFL Films for work about 5 years ago. The receptionist answered and I asked for Steve Sabol’s office because I expected to speak with a secretary or assistant in order to try and set up a conference call for my boss.

    but Steve Sabol answered the phone himself. no pretence. no attitude, just the most open, generous, shockingly nice person for someone at the head of a mega company.

    when I get too big for my own britches these days I try to remember that Steve Sabol answered his own phone and stayed grounded and kind throughout all of his success.

  94. footballgod87 says: Sep 18, 2012 3:08 PM

    RIP Steve Sabol. You and your father are a big reason why the league is what it is today.

  95. godofwine330 says: Sep 18, 2012 3:17 PM

    I learned more than half of what I know about football from his “This is the NFL” shows that used to air before everyone had a pre-game show. Being only 35, I can speak in depth about the point-a-minute Rams of the 50′s with Crazylegs Hirsch, Slingin’ Sammy Baugh, Art “Fatso” Donovan and many other players and teams that existed long before my birth. Watching him talk about football was must-see TV when I was growing up.

    “but still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone.”

    Rest in Peace, Steve Sabol.

  96. footballhistorian says: Sep 18, 2012 3:20 PM

    Those of us who developed our love of the NFL during the 60′s (say ’64 – ’65) can remember when NFL Films were new. We couldn’t get enough of them. We couldn’t see anything but local games and if you were a fan of a team from another city, you didn’t see much of the team you liked even on the news. There was no ESPN – guys my age remember watching the TV networks show a test pattern at 1am. NFL Films – the Sablols changed that. Football is an inherently American game – teamwork, individual performance, achievement, failure, & greatness. Ed & Steve (and John Facenda) gave us our fix; our rush; that feeling when you could finally see your team make that notable play…in slow…friggin’…motion. And up close. Like we’d never seen before. I sure hope that when my day comes; and I’m having to watch my life with the big gatekeeper in the sky; that we’ll be watching it as filmed by the Sabols. That way, if I’m allowed in the good club; or I’m getting ready to face another option – it’ll be clear why…

  97. lightcleric says: Sep 18, 2012 3:22 PM

    Was great to watch, just seemed like a genuinely nice guy, and his company did fantastic work. RIP.

  98. ghostofgilchrist says: Sep 18, 2012 3:22 PM

    A true NFL icon, and a family as responsible for the popularity of the league as much as anyone.

  99. vanmorrissey says: Sep 18, 2012 3:25 PM

    Growing up Steve Sabol instilled a love for football in us through the use of film, choreographing it with slow motion plays, the use of John Facenda’s voice, miking up the coaches and players, he made us appreciate what these athletes could do. A true pioneer in his field. Steve, peace.

  100. skinsfantom says: Sep 18, 2012 3:25 PM

    WHAT a loss, so so sad. Grew up with all that was mentioned above, for a lot of us, Steve taught us what was to love about the game. for the thumbs down, don’t let them bother you, they are just adult children who were not raised properly, be happy you are not one of them, they truly need pity. PLEASE RIP STEVE

  101. radrntn says: Sep 18, 2012 3:25 PM

    Autumn Wind is one of the greatest poem ever written (so what if I am bias)
    RIP STEVE!

  102. unbreakable02215 says: Sep 18, 2012 3:27 PM

    I’m not sure any of us realize what we lost in
    Steve Sabol. I am 48. I remember NFL Films back to when I was a child watching “This Week Pro Football”. This guy WAS NFL Films.
    NFL Films has helped make the league what it
    is today. This guy was a giant. Between he and
    and Sam Spence and David Robidoux, they
    brought poignancy and pageantry and drama to
    the sport.

    Damn, what a loss.

  103. JSpicoli says: Sep 18, 2012 3:27 PM

    I have to leave a comment of condolence here. Steve and his dad meant a lot to me as a young fan.

    RIP

  104. j0esixpack says: Sep 18, 2012 3:30 PM

    Quite simply, the Sabols helped showcase the NFL as the Art of violent Chess that has made it so popular.

    Nice to see so many fans acknowledging this!

  105. birdmantd says: Sep 18, 2012 3:31 PM

    There are a lot of people that do great camera work. Sabol took it one step further by telling a great story to go with the great images. I hope NFL Films is able to carry on this legacy.

  106. bedmanokc says: Sep 18, 2012 3:35 PM

    May your spirit know peace SS. Your voice was a familiar to me as Vin Scully. Soothing mix of Graveling and smooth Steve Sabol.

    Rip my boy.

  107. warwiac says: Sep 18, 2012 3:36 PM

    They are the primary reason the NFL is the biggest sport out there. Their films made football what it is today.

  108. wipackman1265 says: Sep 18, 2012 3:45 PM

    Gods grace. You and your visionary father made NFL football so much more fun ….. Comfort and healing to your family !!!!

  109. bigbaldpapahawk says: Sep 18, 2012 3:46 PM

    This article should stay a headline for at least the entire day. What Sabol and his father accomplished was nothing less than greatness.

    As a little kid, I first got into football watching Football Follies. NFL films taught me much of the history of the game. I pray that legacy moves forward.

    The NFL and it’s fans loses a great man today.

  110. fmwarner says: Sep 18, 2012 3:49 PM

    RIP, Steve. I spent a year working at NFL Films and the place was like an extension of him and his dad. I look back on it fondly.

  111. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 18, 2012 3:58 PM

    Numbing news.
    Chilling.
    Courtesy of Steve Sabol and NFL Films, my 29-year-old son knows more about the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s than most 60-year-olds.
    The NFL landscape will never be the same.
    Mr. Steve Sabol, thank you.
    And RIP.

  112. gorilladunk says: Sep 18, 2012 4:00 PM

    I feel incredibly sad today. One of the iconic figures of my youth has passed. Anyone who grew up before the onslaught of ESPN and cable TV knows how we yearned each week for the Monday Night Football “halftime highlights” package and “This Week in Pro Football.” NFL Films shaped the way we watched football and grew to love the artistry and skill of the players. I feel like a member of the family has died. So long, old friend.

  113. muir6 says: Sep 18, 2012 4:14 PM

    Grew up watchin his work and playin in yard with brothers re enacting what we saw in backyard. He was a fan and it came thru when he introduced films, he and nfl films r the best part of league. He felt like extended family thanks for everything you did

  114. bigbluefan1 says: Sep 18, 2012 4:22 PM

    A very sad day for all of us who are a fan of the NFL.

    Everyone who ever watches a game owes something to this family they taught the networks how to shot a game.

    I hope that there are people stepping in to fill some big shoes so that the legend of the family can go on.

    My prayers go out to his family RIP Steve and thank you for work.

  115. iloveflorio says: Sep 18, 2012 4:43 PM

    A truly sad loss for anyone who loves this great game. Steve and Ed are legends and always will be. I will never forget the impact he had on my life. I send my deepest sympathy to the Sabol family.

  116. pugdog1228 says: Sep 18, 2012 4:47 PM

    Amazing, with all the snarky idiots that leave comments none dare defile the memory of Steve Sabol. His work is so universally loved and respected his behind the camera presence is as appreciated as Much as Speilberg, Lucas, and Cameron. An epic filmmaker who chronicled and made the NFL the billion dollar behemoth it is. RIP ! I’ll say a Kaddish for you.

  117. CKL says: Sep 18, 2012 4:54 PM

    Some really great thoughts and memories above.
    I too was “raised” on his fathers and his work. I can still see clips of his films in my mind even if I haven’t seen them in a long time. True innovators who never let themselves and their work get watered down or “corporate”. He was a very talented interviewer as well. I hadn’t realized that he was such a talented artist. RIP Steve Sabol, and I am very happy you lived to see your father get into the HOF.

  118. cpcfan says: Sep 18, 2012 4:57 PM

    Thanks for all you did for all of us…RIP, Steve.

  119. enbueno says: Sep 18, 2012 5:08 PM

    You were a major reason for the popularity of the modern NFL. RIP Steve, you will be missed!

  120. bunjy96 says: Sep 18, 2012 5:13 PM

    Can’t think of a family that has done more for the NFL fans than the Sabol’s.

    RIP Steve. We love you!

  121. vman0626 says: Sep 18, 2012 5:13 PM

    Steve, I have you to thank for my knowledge of and passion about the history of the league. Thank you.

    R.I.P, brother.

  122. buffedwhiteman says: Sep 18, 2012 5:15 PM

    RIP Steve Sabol.

  123. cometophillyforthecrack says: Sep 18, 2012 5:26 PM

    R.I.P. Steve, Thanks for the Game of the Week, you were on NFL network when they still had great shows like 6 days to sunday.

  124. frankfordyellowjackets says: Sep 18, 2012 6:00 PM

    NFL Films made football.
    A sad day.
    Cancer blows.

  125. fenny88 says: Sep 18, 2012 6:07 PM

    thank you Steve rip ill be looking forward to your induction anybody should respect a man that dedicated his life to a passion that brought so many others joy

  126. secretomen00 says: Sep 18, 2012 6:45 PM

    steve, you and your dad are irreplaceable. R.I.P.

  127. EJ says: Sep 18, 2012 6:54 PM

    I know when I see one of Steve Sabol’s films with my team as the subject, I get chills down my spine. Sabol turned the game of football into a movie, a movie with Action, Drama, Comedy and most of all Suspense. His films made you feel as if you were sitting right there on the sideline the whole time. The films were something that connected me with my Father as he sat and told me the stories about how the NFL was back in the day. My Brother and I, along with my Father sitting on the couch watching amazing plays from the past. The Sabol’s films are something that brings Fathers and their Sons closer. Not only did they bring the sport into the light, they made it special. RIP Steve.

  128. wcdunkenfield says: Sep 18, 2012 7:04 PM

    Here ya go, guys…

  129. Punk says: Sep 18, 2012 8:37 PM

    God bless your soul, Steve Sabol

  130. skinsfaninnebraska says: Sep 18, 2012 9:56 PM

    Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a PFT comment thread that was 100% positive towards the person who was the subject of the post.

    That alone tells you how important Steve Sabol was to football fans everywhere!

    Rest in peace, Steve. You will be missed!

  131. iowahbr says: Sep 21, 2012 7:58 AM

    When people see hi-lights of today’s NFL games I don’t think they realize how much Mr. Sabol did to make pro football America’s game.

    St. Peter would be wise to seek some advice on how to best capture the action at the Pearly Gates.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!