Ed Sabol took a hobby and turned it into a national treasure. As the founder and former president of NFL Films, Ed created a cinematic image that helped propell the NFL to its current position as America's most popular sport.
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Ed Sabol took a hobby and turned it into a national treasure. As the founder and former president of NFL Films, Ed created a cinematic image that helped propell the NFL to its current position as America's most popular sport.

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20 October 2011 (USA) See more »

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NFL Productions See more »
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One Who Recognized The Drama & Art Of The Gridiron.
20 March 2015 | by redryan64See all my reviews

THIS EPISODE MAY well be an example of doing the impossible. Ed Sabol, patriarch of NFL Films, was inducted into the PRO FOOTBSALL HALL OF FAME in 2011 at age of 94. That statement,in itself, is not so unusual; as often times a deserving individual is voted such honors late in life, long after their careers on the field are past. You see, Ed Sabol never played football at any level.

HE DID HAVE a most unusually diverse set of life experiences. He was a World Class Swimmer at Ohio State University in the 1930's, yet he chose to personally boycott the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He have up the opportunity to become a sure-fire Movie Star (like guys like Weissmueller and Crabbe), in order to make a statement about Hitler and the Anti-Sematic policies in Nazi Germany.

HE DID GRAVITATE toward acting and did appear on the Broadway Stage. Later in life, following service in World War II, he was a member of the Ritz Brothers Comedy Show's regular company.

IT WAS THE chance reception of 16 mm movie camera as a wedding present that was the catalyst in his starting a small, independent commercial r film company, Blair Films (named for his daughter). A sort of business crap-shoot of bidding ten times the amount for the rights to film the 1961 NFL Title game (totaling $5,000.00)that put his business both on the map and on the road to becoming NFL Films.

THE REST IS, as is so commonly said to be, is History. NFL Films became a force in our culture and no just in sports. A typical NFL Films production is a masterpiece of drama, cinematic art as well as being outstanding examples of how to make a proper Documentary film.

THANKS TO THE style created by NFL Films, the public views football in a far different manner than ever before. Prior to the ascent of Ed Sabol's company, bolstered by his dynamic, renaissance man of a son, Steve Sabol, watching game films was an exercise in monotony; as the camera's eye is situated in a high vantage point and the unimaginative coverage consisted of one play from scrimmage after another. Little else was ever depicted and the narration was so often was both boring and clichéd. Music, when present, was usually restricted to college marches and those of John Phillip Sousa.

IN WHAT WAS surely viewed as an act of blatant nepotism, the elder Mr. Sabol brought in the son as partner and chief artistic creative partner. It was a most brilliant move, as proved by the successes of NFL Films today; culminating with the creation of the NFL Channel on the cable and satellite outlets.

IT WAS TRULY a sad day when the junior partner, Steve Sabol (1942-2012) succumbed to a cancerous brain tumor so seemingly prematurely at age 69. He was followed by the passing of his father, Ed Sabol (1916-2015). That was on February 9, 2015 only a little over a month before this writing.

THE WORLD WAS indeed a better place for the Sabols being here. The will be missed and they don't make them like that very often.


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