Unfortunately, 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.
His father, Ed, founded NFL Films, and Steve was there working beside him right from the start in 1964. They introduced a series of innovations now taken for granted today, from slow-motion replays to blooper reels to sticking microphones on coaches and players. And they hired the “Voice of God,” John Facenda, to read lyrical descriptions in solemn tones.
“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 football and sports, and a great friend.”