February 11, 2015 |
NEW YORK - Ed Sabol, the NFL Films founder who revolutionized sports broadcasting and reimagined pro football from an up-and-coming league to must-watch theater, has died. He was 98. Sabol died yesterday at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., the NFL said. Sabol was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. During his tenure at NFL Films from 1964-95, the organization won 52 Emmy Awards. NFL Films is based in Mount Laurel, N.J. "Through his determination and innovative spirit, Ed Sabol transformed how America watched football and all sports," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
February 2, 2011 |
Ed Sabol's dream venture started out as a near disaster. A former overcoat salesman from the Main Line, he had turned his longtime love of football, theater and video into a new family business: making NFL championship games into movies. Sabol, then 48, had brought his son, Steve, home from college in Colorado and headed to Yankee Stadium for the 1962 NFL championship game, between the Giants and Packers. They had eight cameras and a handful of men in their 20s to help film. But, as Steve Sabol recalls, it was the second coldest day of his life, after the famed Ice Bowl a few years later.
August 7, 2011 |
CANTON, Ohio - His words were few. His impact, as usual, was immeasurable. Ed Sabol was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on a muggy Saturday night in Canton during ceremonies at Fawcett Stadium. The 94-year-old who created NFL Films in Philadelphia is bound to a wheelchair much of the time and hampered by the normal physical ailments brought on by age. But they have not touched his wits. "I dreamed a dream. The impossible dream. I dreamed the impossible dream, and I'm living it right this minute," said Sabol, who spoke for less than three minutes on a night fellow enshrinee Shannon Sharpe spoke for 26. Sabol then added, "I said that twice because at my age your memory starts to go a little bit. " His son and successor as NFL Films president, Steve Sabol, presented the elder Sabol in a video segment.
July 24, 2009 |
Sure it was Ed Sabol who created NFL Films and son Steve who helped make it such an iconic American institution that yesterday Pennsylvania stuck a historic marker outside its original Center City headquarters. But if not for Pete Rozelle, Jerry Wolman and Fritzy Siegel, that football might never have gotten rolling. Wolman, the onetime Eagles owner, gave the fledgling enterprise its first home. Rozelle, the league's longtime commissioner, insisted it remain in Philadelphia.
February 1, 2011
ASK FRANNIE Donnellon who Ed Sabol is, and she does not know. Ask her about growing up with two big brothers, and this is the story she starts with: She was Jerry Kramer in the mud and the snow, one of us jumping over her to score while the other mimicked a Dallas Cowboys defender. She was Jerry Kramer when the folks went out for the night and the living room transformed into Lambeau Field. Sometimes she got to be Leroy Kelly, or Gale Sayers, but only when Ed's art called for two defenders to collapse upon the running back, making him fumble, or disappear.
January 25, 1993 |
When Super Bowl XXVII unfolds on Sunday in Pasadena, NFL Films cameraman Phil Tuckett will train his lens on the game, as he has every year since Super Bowl IV. Nothing new about that. But when halftime arrives, Tuckett - a former wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers - will slip into a relatively new role, that of music video director. He'll direct the camera crews filming Michael Jackson's halftime show for a "Heal the World" documentary to air later this year. You might say that Tuckett, 46, plays both ways for NFL Films: football and non-football.
August 8, 2011
CANTON, Ohio - They came from Utah, Colorado and Missouri. From Moorestown, Cherry Hill and East Falls. Some flew, many others drove. Call them Big Ed's Army. More than 150 current and former employees of NFL Films who made the pilgrimage to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past weekend to be with NFL Films founder Ed Sabol on what he would call "the greatest day of my life. " The 94-year-old Sabol, whose company helped turn the National Football League into the wildly popular $9.3 billion-a-year monolith it is today, was one of seven members inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday.
September 23, 2012 |
The spiral is perfect, the ball launched by a buggy-whip arm, and it arcs in majestic slow motion across a cobalt sky. Two are in lockstep pursuit of it, receiver and defender, each calculating where their thunderous intersection will be reached, and you see them rising and grasping as one, and it is all so real that you swear that you are, well, there. Right there! And Steve Sabol would smile a smile of modesty and satisfaction and lean back and thank you. On behalf of NFL Films and its gazillion Emmys, we thank you. To quote the song: Nobody does it better.
August 4, 2011 |
Ed Sabol's inexplicably long journey to Canton, Ohio, moved - appropriately enough for the man who introduced the technique to the visual lexicon of sports - in slow motion. For decades, as hundreds of those he helped transform into sporting icons were fast-tracked into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Philadelphian who founded and fostered NFL Films was ignored. But on Saturday, in what figures to be the most well-documented induction ceremony ever at the football-shaped shrine, Sabol, 94, will finally receive the ultimate honor from the game he, as much as any single figure, turned into an American phenomenon.