Steve Sabol


NEW YORK (AP) - NFL Films President Steve Sabol, half of the father-son team that revolutionized sports broadcasting and mythologized pro football into the country's favorite sport, died Tuesday from brain cancer. He was 69.

In March 2011, Sabol was diagnosed with a tumor on the left side of his brain after being hospitalized for a seizure.

He started working with his father, Ed - NFL Films' founder - in 1964, and they introduced a series of innovations now taken for granted today, from slow-motion replays to sticking microphones on coaches and players.

"Steve Sabol was the creative genius behind the remarkable work of NFL Films," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement from the league confirming Sabol's death. "Steve's passion for football was matched by his incredible talent and energy. Steve's legacy will be part of the NFL forever. He was a major contributor to the success of the NFL, a man who changed the way we look at footb all and sports, and a great friend."

Ed Sabol was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year. The two received the Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2003.

Steve Sabol has also received the Pete Rozelle Award, presented each year to someone who made an outstanding contribution to professional football. In 2007, the Hall of Fame honored him with the Dan Reeves Pioneer Award.

"We see the game as art as much as sport," he told The Associated Press before his father's Hall induction. "That helped us nurture not only the game's traditions but to develop its mythology: America's Team, The Catch, The Frozen Tundra."

Sabol received 35 Emmys for writing, cinematography, editing, directing and producing. No one else had ever earned that many Emmys in as many different categories.

He began his career as a cinematographer under his father. He was the perfect fit for the job: an all-Rocky Mountain Co nference running back at Colorado College majoring in art history.

The Sabols treated sport as film and changed the way Americans watched and perceived games. Their advances included everything from reverse angle replays to setting highlights to pop music.

"Today of course those techniques are so common it's hard to imagine just how radical they once were," the younger Sabol told the AP last year. "Believe me, it wasn't always easy getting people to accept them, but I think it was worth the effort."

RACHEL COHEN, AP Sports Writer

Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Guest Book

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RIP Steve Sabol, he was a visionary to the sports world.

Steve was my counselor at blue mountain camp.he was just the best..Steve Modlin(Mickey)

guess what Steve I did not snow until after super bowl Sunday

Steve was a Great Anerican

Tears flow of sadness but also of great joy at how wonderful those highlights are and were in my youth. I will never forget the sights and sounds of nfl films in the 60 and 70's

next year in 2014 a year from now the Super Bowl XLVIII will be play in your home state of New Jersey the Garden State in East Rutherford New Jersey at Metlife Stadium the first open air cold weather city in Super Bowl History and i know you and your other friends from heaven will have the best seat in the house in God's Kingdom taking it all in Steve till we meet in heaven Steve RIP Love Amar

Steve last week i was watching NFL Network my favorite Super Bowl Highlight Film of all time Super Bowl XXV January 27th 1991 When the New York Giants won by one point over the Buffalo Bills 20-19 every time i watch that film that i enjoy even a lot more when it came out 22 years ago and you are the greatest visionary not just in Pro Football but in all of sports history you changed sports you and your father forever in the second half of the 20th century in and into the 21st Century and...

Yesterday at NFL Commisher Roger Goodell at his State of the union press conference Super Bowl XLVII Paying tribute to you and Art Modell and it will be the first Super Bowl without you and before the press conference yesterday while i was jogging i fought about you so know you going to watch the super bowl from heaven steve you are the keepers of the flame steve RIP Steve Love Amar til we meet in Heaven

and every year hours before the super bowl on ESPN Classic or on ESPN 2 I would stay up all night and watch Super Bowl Highlights before the Super Bowl Sunday Begins Love Amar Smith RIP and i will see you in heaven also i would record them on my Video Cassette RIP Steve