Most Important Family in NFL History
The Manning’s, Matthews’, Long’s, Harbaugh’s, Winslow’s and Ryan’s pale in comparison
Edwin Milton “Ed” Sabol, the visionary and creator of NFL Films died Monday at the age of 98.
Ed and Steve Sabol have been important to the success of the NFL and it’s continued growth than any one player or coach in the history of the game. Ninety percent of football fans wouldn’t know the faces, but what their eyes have seen and their minds created were legendary and we as a nation need to make sure that the Sabol legacy lives on.
His son Steve who became the face and voice of NFL Films died in 2012.
“Through his determination and innovative spirit, Ed Sabol transformed how America watched football and all sports,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday. “Ed ignited the fire at NFL Films and was the Keeper of the Flame with a remarkable vision and dedication to telling the stories of the people who played, coached and loved the game.”
Ed and NFL Films became entrenched in Americana in the early 1960’s when he paid $3,000 to film the 1962 NFL Championship Game between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers. After placing microphones on legendary coaches like Vince Lombardi, the world got an inside look at the sport that would become the nations new pastime.
Over the years, NFL Films grew, and those incredible shots, coupled with the music and the dulcet tones of Harry Kalas and John Facenda made history. The demand for year-round NFL content spawned the birth of the NFL Network, where many of its films and ideas are still run to this day.
When people think of the NFL, they will see the faces of Joe Montana and Bo Jackson, hear the voices of John Madden and Mike Ditka, and experience the moments like the Immaculate Reception and The Fumble, but if not for the work of Sabol and the historians of the game at NFL Films we would never have enjoyed these scenes in our living rooms.
The football world and fans of all sports owe a debt of gratitude to the Sabol family. Ed’s vision and ingenuity have molded the way we watch sports and follow of favorite teams. The 112 Emmy Awards don’t give it enough justice, the 2011 induction of Ed Sabol into the Pro Football Hall of Fame doesn’t say thank you enough, and the hours of film can never fully capture how important Ed was to the world of football.