Steve Sabol NFL Films

“It’s never been about making money. That separates us from others because we’ve been allowed that privilege. There’s magic in the sport, and we’re there to reveal it, document it and preserve it in our film.”

Steve Sabol began his brilliant career in 1964 as a cinematographer working for his father, Ed Sabol, who founded NFL Films. He was the artistic vision behind the studio that completely revolutionized how fans watched the National Football League and set the standard in sports filmmaking.

Sabol was an All-Rocky Mountain Conference running back at Colorado College majoring in Art History and an avid movie fan. This combination gave him a unique perspective and qualification to create football movies.

Under Sabol’s leadership, NFL Films won over 100 Emmys – 35 of those Emmys were won personally by Sabol which is more than anyone else in television and in more categories than any other person in television history – writing, cinematography, editing, directing and producing. Sabol and his father received the Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2003.

Other achievements by Sabol include: being named the 2002 Sports Executive of the Year by Sporting News; receiving the Pete Rozelle Award, which is presented each year to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the NFL and in pro football; honored by Pro Football Hall of Fame as winner of prestigious Pioneer Award for significant innovative contributions to pro football in 2007; bestowed with the March of Dimes Sports Leadership Award in 2010; inducted into Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2011; and received the Sports Business Journal’s Champions – Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business award in 2012.

Sabol’s career at NFL Films came to an end in 2012 when he passed away on Sept. 18 in Moorestown, New Jersey at the age of 69. He joins his father Ed (Class of 2011) as only the third father-son duo to be elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame – Art and Dan Rooney; and Tim and Wellington Mara are the others.

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