The football world lost a huge innovator and true legend of the sport yesterday with the passing of NFL Films President Steve Sabol. As he finally lost an 18-month battle with brain cancer just weeks before his 70th birthday.
In 1985, after taking over the reigns of president from his father Ed, who founded the company he took the company to soaring heights that has since put football ahead of baseball as America’s most popular professional sport. With Steve bringing 107 Emmy awards for NFL Films, while getting 40 himself and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
He was very passionate about the sport and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell put it best with this statement he released through e-mail to NFL personal on Tuesday.
“Steve was the creative genius behind NFL Films’ remarkable work. Steve’s passion for football was matched only by his talent and energy. He was a major contributor to the success of the NFL, a man who changed the way we look at football and sports, and a great friend. His legacy is assured.”
Generations of NFL fans, myself included learned to love the game through both Steve and his father’s work with NFL Films. As they both forever changed not only how the NFL, but as Goodell said how sports in general where seen and viewed. Steve is definitely a true icon and legend in every sense of form that the history of the NFL probably could not be told without. That’s why he will truly be missed by many a football and sports fan, and hopefully his father and family will continue the legacy of NFL Films alive. May he rest in peace.