Today is a sad and somber day at Jersey Girl Sports because we just heard about the passing of our friend and NFL Films President, Steve Sabol. Steve passed away Tuesday of brain cancer just weeks of his 70th birthday.
Angela and I had the pleasure of meeting Steve in Dallas during Super Bowl XLV at an art show for his pop art works, something that was near and dear to his heart. We had never been more embraced and welcomed by anyone as we were with him. Not only was he excited to her about the things we were doing with Jersey Girl Sports, her invited us to New Jersey to see the NFL films headquarters and the place that he called home. Unfortunately we never got the chance to make that trip because in March 2011, only a month later, Steve found out he had a brain tumor that couldn’t be removed.
However earlier that month, Angela and I received a note from Steve reading…
Your enthusiasm and passion for what you do is evident. You did a great job with the Soul Bowl piece. It’s a shame there was a problem with the audio, but I did enjoy seeing my closed captioning highlighted in purple! Keep up the good work!!
Many don’t know the amazing contribution that Steve and his father, Ed made to the NFL. We cut our teeth and hung every word on the stories that were told through the lens of Ed and Steve Sabol. Steve started out as a cameraman before running the company.
“We all realized pretty quickly that Steve was the force behind what we were doing here,” the NFL Films’ head of cinematography Hank McElwee said this year. “The pictures. Big Ed had the idea and he sold the owners on it, but when it came to the actual vision of this company, without a doubt it was Steve. Steve saw things in a unique way that every network is copying right now.”
Steve Sabol won over 40 Emmy awards and oversaw 107 Emmys for NFL Films. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. The company broke ground as the first to wire players and coaches for sound. It revolutionized how music was used with sports films. It was the first to use ground-level slow motion and montage editing in sports. So much of what we see in sports television came directly from the Sabol.
In August we had an opportunity to watch Steve introduce his father for induction to the Pro-Football Hall of Fame. When it was announced that Steve’s father Ed, the founder of NFL Films, was going to be inducted Steve said “My dad has a great expression…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. And now my Dad’s story will be in Canton and hopefully that will live forever too.”
Steve, you and your father wrote the story that will live on in the hearts of football fans for many, many decades to come. We were pleased to meet, overcome with your confidence in us and enthused by the legacy that you leave behind.
Your Jersey Girlfriend,