The massive popularity of the NFL can be attributed to several sources, but any list of them is incomplete without mention of what Ed Sabol did at NFL Films after starting the company in 1964.
Sabol’s movies about the NFL became part of the fabric of the game to the point that he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011 and they will be celebrated along with the rest of his life after the sad news Monday of his death at the age of 98.
Sabol’s work with the NFL began in 1962 when he doubled the standing bid to film the NFL title game between the Giants and Packers and his company quickly became a hothouse of innovations that have changed the way we watch all sports. They were at the forefront of putting microphones on players and coaches to capture the sound of the game and matching footage to music and the inimitable tones of John Facenda made NFL Films productions stand out in a way no one had seen before.
Those production values and Sabol’s sharp eye, later matched by his late son Steve, for ways to make the films gripping portrayals of NFL action proved invaluable as the sport grew over the next five decades. For many of us writing and reading this website, the Sabols’ work is a major part of the reason we love the game of football and we send our deepest condolences to the Sabol family and friends in their moment of grief.