Steve Sabol Passes at 69, His Voice Will Live On Forever

Steve Sabol passed early Tuesday from brain cancer at the age of 69.  Although not everyone may know Sabol by name anyone who has followed the NFL over the past 50 years will certainly know his voice.  His father Ed, who Steve watched get inducted into the Hall Of Fame last summer, founded NFL Films in 1964.  Steve had worked for them since the beginning when he was only 20 years old.  He has been widely regarded as one of the voices of the NFL since then, narrating many of the pieces produced by NFL Films.  He was also a frequent guest on shows on both the NFL Network and ESPN joint productions.

Steve Sabol 1942-2012

More than that Steve, his father, and the rest of the crew at NFL Films brought the NFL to a whole new level for being a pioneer in bringing more than just the games into your living room.  They were the ones who started miking up the players or putting cameras in the locker room.  The one constant through it all was Sabol.  Sabol wrote much of the material for legendary voice John Facenda as well as narrating and hosting the NFL Films productions himself.  He became the president of NFL Films in 1995 when his father retired.  Of the over 100 Emmy Awards won by NFL Films Steve had his name personally on 35 of them.  Steve and his father Ed won a lifetime achievement Emmy award from the National Academy of Television Arts and sciences in 2003.  They cited NFL Films for “revolutionizing the way America watches football and setting the standard in sports filmmaking.”

Peter King revealed a few great Sabol quotes earlier on Twitter.  When asked if he had a favorite NFL player Sabol would remark that asking that question of him was akin to naming his favorite noodle in a spaghetti dinner.  When faced with his own mortality after his brain aneurysm last year he said this “They talk about heaven, I don’t know what’s waiting for me up there.  But nothing can duplicate my life down here.  That life cannot be better than the one that I lived down here.  The football life.  It’s been perfect.”  The NFL has blown up into a lexicon of American culture over the past 50 years and all along Steve Sabol caught the action on camera and told the stories on film.  One day he will have a bust in Canton just like his father.  Unfortunately he will not to enjoy that day with his father like Ed Sabol did with him.  They say people aren’t immortal but I’m not so sure that’s true…thousands of football memories will live on for generations with Steve’s voice.

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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