Sad news to report for the world of professional football: Steve Sabol died today at the age of 69. He had been battling brain cancer.
Along with his father, Ed, Sabol was one of the founding fathers of NFL Films. He started out behind the camera and eventually found himself running the company that revolutionized the way live sports are filmed and televised. It’s no exaggeration to say that Sabol personally played a significant role in making the NFL the most-watched television programming in the U.S. today.
NFL Films was a pioneer in many modern sports broadcast norms. It was the first company to master the slow-motion replay (that slow-mo shot from the ground level at the corner of the endzone? They came up with that), the first to put microphones on players and one of the very best when it came to editing together montages.
Sabol personally won over 40 Emmys and oversaw over 100 Emmy wins for NFL Films. He inducted his dad into the Hall of Fame in August, 2011 and he will soon take his own spot in the Hall, too.