Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NFL Films Set the Standard; MLS Films Soon To Follow?

This post is dedicated to Steve Sabol, who died today, Tuesday, September 18th, at the age of 69.  Steve Sabol's influence on the most popular sport in the U.S. and the artform he developed with his Father will never be forgotten.  There's no doubt Steve has his reservation in the Hall Of Fame, as well.

This article was orginally published in Augsut of 2011.

Ed Sabol, the 95 year-old innovator of NFL Films, entered the pantheon of NFL Football on Saturday in Canton, Ohio.  He earned his place in the NFL Hall Of Fame by spiriting a concept from his two favorite hobbies, film making and watching tackle football.  He began in his mid-forties after years as a clothing salesman.  He got his son, Steve, to work alongside him and saw NFL Films grow its business, after starting in 1964.

Ed and Steve were pioneers because of the style of films they produced.  They told fantastic stories by using great writing.  Also, they were able to capture the essence of tackle football with dramatic footage from all different angles.  They were pros covering pros.

Their documentaries covered all aspects of the game, including; techniques, personalities, weather, follies and the fans.

Two other aspects brought their films to a level of greatness.  They had original scores of music made specifically designed to match the sport's grind, discipline and beauty.  The music sounds perfectly suited for how the game looked and felt.  Then, there was the announcer.

Their choice for announcer sealed the deal.  He was John Facenda, a longtime Philadelphia radio and television broadcaster.

Part of the reason that Ed Sabol made it into the HOF is because of the financial rewards he brought to the NFL.  His films provided the NFL with a heritage that will never be forgotten.  He helped build and create a culture for how the NFL became what it is today.

Many people remember the films and place themselves back to those periods of time because the memories are worth cherishing.  In many ways, Ed Sabol is the foundation and roots that have complimented the development of the NFL.  His style of film and his ideas helped popularize the sport.

It's hard to predict how somebody may create the same magic for MLS and in what shape or form it might come in.  Definitely, there are people working on accomplishing similar feats to match the impact Ed and Steve Sabol accomplished with NFL Films.


  1. It is still impressive that Ed manage to live stunning 95 years old. I don't even think that I can reach to 60 years old and he even left a legacy.