Steve Sabol died today. Not a name that rings a bell? If I told you, the odds are high that you’ve seen his genius unfold on the television multiple times, as you watched a football game,you probably would say, “OH, he did that?” Yes he did. Slow-motion replay, reverse-angle game action, NFL bloopers, NFL players miked-up on the sidelines….you have Steve Sabol to thank for that. He was the creative genius behind NFL Films.
Steve was the son of Ed Sabol, who back in 1962 made the winning bid to film the NFL Championship game that year. Ed pulled his son away from college and made him a camera man for that game. The business then was called Blair Motion Pictures. It would morph into what we know today as NFL Films.
Ed had the “big picture” in mind, Steve was the innovator. Together they were a magical father-son team and all of us who love watching football with all of its extremely cool special effects that enhance the game, have the Sabol’s to thank for it.
I remember Steve as a young, eager camera man running the sidelines when he’d come to shoot the San Diego Chargers games. On the Sunday’s I”d be on the sidelines with my camerman, we’d jockey for position, trying to guess which angle was the right angle to grab the best footage. He had the spark of creativity then and never lost it.
Steve earned over 40 Emmy’s in his stellar career. He was pure genius.
Cancer struck him where it hurt the most….his brain. Robbing us of years of new production ideas that were no doubt forming in that creative mind of his.
Steve Sabol was a visionary. We lost a good one today.